How to Apply for a South Korea Tourist Visa for Filipinos

How to Apply for a South Korea Tourist Visa for Filipinos

When we first went to Korea a little over two years ago, it was a hot destination. Fast forward to 2017, and Korea is just as hot as ever, if not more!

So what makes Korea so popular among Filipinos? Well for one, there’s the food. Filipinos are partial to savory-sweet flavors so we can’t get enough of Korean barbecue staples like bulgogi and galbi. Two, there’s the entertainment. K-pop and K-dramas are huge in the Philippines. On that first trip, I wasn’t a fan of either so I didn’t understand the obsession. But after watching a few Koreanovelas like “Uncontrollably Fond”, “Beautiful Mind”, and “Moonlight Drawn by Clouds”, I was hooked. And three, there’s the cosmetics. Korea has become a hotbed for skin care products and nowhere is this more evident than in Myeongdong. With row upon row of beauty shops to pore over, that place is like an acid trip of toners and cleansing foams.

Without a doubt, Korea remains a popular destination for Filipinos. It’s showing no signs of slowing down so if you’re one of the many Filipinos looking to visit Korea, then you’ve come to the right place. This post will tell you everything you need to know about getting a tourist visa to the land of K-pop, cosmetics, and kimchi!

Step 1: COMPLETE BASIC REQUIREMENTS

Here are the documents that all applicants need to file.

  1. A completed handwritten visa application form. Don’t leave anything blank. Just put N/A if not applicable. You can download it HERE. (refer to the screenshot below)
  2. One (1) 35 mm x 45 mm colored passport photo against a plain white background. Paste it on application form.
  3. Philippine passport. Must have at least 6 months remaining validity. Submit without jacket or cover.
  4. Photocopy of passport bio page (page 2).
  5. If available, original and photocopy of valid visa(s) and arrival stamps to OECD member countries within the last 5 years. Valid visas to OECD member countries will greatly increase your chances of getting approved so be sure to submit these if you have them. CLICK HERE for a list of OECD member countries.

How to Apply for a South Korea Tourist Visa for Filipinos

Step 2: PROVIDE ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Depending on your employment status, these are the additional documents that you’ll need to provide.

A. FOR EMPLOYEES

  1. Original certificate of employment to be printed on your company’s official letterhead. It must contain your position at the company, date hired, salary, office address, HR landline number (cellphone number is not allowed), and HR e-mail address.
  2. Original personal bank certificate. It must include account type, current balance, account opening date, and 6 months average balance (ADB).
  3. Original or certified true copy of bank statements / passbook for the last three (3) months.
  4. Photocopy of income tax return (ITR Form 2316). Frequent travelers who have traveled as tourists to OECD member countries within the last 5 years are exempt from submitting an ITR.
  5. Copy of PRC or IBP card (if applicable).
  6. If invited by a Korean national, you must also provide an invitation letter and photocopy of your invitor’s passport or ID card.
  7. If invited by a company in Korea, you must also provide an invitation letter and photocopy of the Korean company’s business permit.

B. FOR BUSINESSMEN

  1. Photocopy of business registration from SEC or DTI.
  2. Photocopy of business or mayor’s permit.
  3. Original personal bank certificate. It must include account type, current balance, account opening date, and 6 months average balance (ADB).
  4. Original or certified true copy of bank statements / passbook for the last three (3) months.
  5. Photocopy of income tax return (ITR Form 2316) with personal TIN number. Frequent travelers who have traveled as tourists to OECD member countries within the last 5 years are exempt from submitting an ITR.
  6. Copy of PRC or IBP card (if applicable).
  7. If invited by a Korean national, you must also provide an invitation letter and photocopy of your invitor’s passport or ID card.
  8. If invited by a company in Korea, you must also provide an invitation letter and photocopy of the Korean company’s business permit.

C. FOR HOUSEWIVES

  1. If husband is employed, husband’s original certificate of employment printed on company’s official letterhead. It must contain husband’s position at the company, date hired, salary, office address, HR landline number (cell-phone number is not allowed), and HR e-mail address. If husband is self-employed, photocopies of his business registration from SEC or DTI as well as their business or mayor’s permit.
  2. Original personal or husband’s bank certificate. It must include account type, current balance, account opening date, and 6 months average balance (ADB).
  3. Original or certified true copy of personal or husband’s bank statements / passbook for the last three (3) months.
  4. Photocopy of husband’s income tax return (ITR Form 2316). Frequent travelers who have traveled as tourists to OECD member countries within the last 5 years are exempt from submitting an ITR.
  5. Photocopy of NSO-issued marriage certificate.
  6. If invited by a Korean national, you must also provide an invitation letter and copy of your invitor’s passport or ID card.
  7. If invited by a company in Korea, you must also provide an invitation letter and photocopy of the Korean company’s business permit.

D. FOR STUDENTS / MINORS

  1. Original school certificate.
  2. Photocopy of school ID.
  3. Photocopy of NSO-issued birth certificate.
  4. Parents’ supporting financial documents:
  • If parents are employed, original certificate of employment. It must contain their position at the company, date hired, salary, office address, HR landline number (cell-phone number is not allowed), and HR e-mail address. If parents are self-employed, photocopies of their business registration from SEC or DTI as well as their business or mayor’s permit.
  • Parent’s original bank certificate. It must include account type, current balance, account opening date, and 6 months average balance (ADB).
  • Parent’s original or certified true copy of bank statements / passbook for the last three (3) months.
  • Photocopy of parent’s income tax return (ITR Form 2316). Frequent travelers who have traveled as tourists to OECD member countries within the last 5 years are exempt from submitting an ITR.
  • Photocopy of parents’ NSO-issued marriage certificate.
  1. If invited by a Korean national, you must also provide an invitation letter and copy of your invitor’s passport or ID card.
  2. If invited by a company in Korea, you must also provide an invitation letter and photocopy of the Korean company’s business permit.

E. FOR RETIREES

  1. Photocopy of senior citizen ID.
  2. Original personal bank certificate. It must include account type, current balance, account opening date, and 6 months average balance (ADB). If bank certificate is under another family member’s name, then proof of relationship must be submitted. (ie photocopy of marriage contract for spouse, birth certificate for child, etc.)
  3. Original or certified true copy of bank statements / passbook for the last three (3) months. If bank account is under another family member’s name, then proof of relationship must be submitted. (ie photocopy of marriage contract for spouse, birth certificate for child, etc.)
  4. If invited by a Korean national, you must also provide an invitation letter and copy of your invitor’s passport or ID card.
  5. If invited by a company in Korea, you must also provide an invitation letter and photocopy of the Korean company’s business permit.



Step 3: SUMBIT YOUR APPLICATION AT THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA EMBASSY

Once you’ve compiled all the requirements, you can proceed to the embassy (address and driving directions at the bottom of this post). No need to make an appointment. Just proceed to the embassy and file your application between 8:30-11AM, Mondays to Fridays. This is on a first come, first served basis so the earlier you arrive, the better. Be sure to get there before 10:30AM to allow enough time for processing. Applicants who arrive after 10:30AM may not be accommodated. Representatives may file the application on your behalf so long as the required documents are complete.

If you plan on staying in Korea for 59 days or less, then the application is FREE of charge. For stays of 60-90 days, the fee is PHP 1,800 (at the time of this writing).

Frequent travelers who have visited OECD-member countries within the last 5 years and those who have visited Korea at least twice as a tourist will be directed to window 3. Everyone else will be asked to proceed to windows 1 or 2. After they’ve called your number and reviewed your documents, they’ll give you a claim slip with a tentative release date for your passport (hopefully with visa).

Step 4: PRAY THAT YOUR VISA GETS APPROVED

Once you’ve submitted your application, there’s little else to do but wait and pray for the best. The processing time for frequent travelers is 3 business days, and 5 business days for first-time travelers. Releasing time is from 1:30-4PM, Mondays to Fridays.

Applicants, especially first-time travelers, are advised to personally claim their visas since an interview with the consul may be required. If approved, tourist visas are valid for three (3) months from the date of issue.

For a smooth application process, be sure to provide all necessary documents and check the embassy’s WEBSITE for news and updates.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

How much do I need to have in my bank account to be granted a visa?
There’s no official amount. People have said at least PHP 50,000 but there’s no confirmation on this. People have mentioned that they’ve been approved with less. Some have been rejected with more. Your application is contingent on many factors so there’s no amount that can guarantee approval. As long as your application doesn’t raise any red flags and you have enough money to support yourself for the duration of your stay, then you should have a good chance of getting approved.

Do I need to have confirmed flight and hotel bookings?
No, you don’t. Confirmed flight and hotel bookings are not required. On the application form, you can just put down the contact details of the hotel you intend to stay at. It doesn’t have to be a finalized booking. You can always change after you’ve been granted a visa.

Is there an interview?
Not necessarily. An interview will only be conducted if they have questions about your application.

Do I have to go to Manila to apply?
No. A representative can file the application on your behalf so long as all required documents are complete. If you can’t have someone file it for you in Manila, then you may be able to course it through a travel agency in your area. Some people have done that.

Can I apply for a multiple entry visa?
Yes, but only under certain conditions. Frequent travelers who have visited Korea more than 4 times in the last 2 years or have visited Korea over 10 times in total can apply for a multiple entry visa. You can check THIS LINK for more details.

I heard about the BDO / BPI promo. Could you tell me more about it?
Until 31 December 2019, BDO Gold and Elite cardholders can apply for multiple entry visas to Korea. The same goes for BPI Gold credit card, BPI Platinum credit card, and Gold BPI Express Teller debit cardholders as well. Check the following links for full details: BDO / BPI.

If I get rejected, how soon can I apply again?
After six (6) months.

Do I need a visa to Jeju Island?
No, Philippine passport holders can visit Jeju Island visa-free for up to thirty (30) days.

Republic of Korea Embassy in the Philippines

122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City 1634
Tel: +632 856-9210
Fax: +632 856-9008
Website: embassy_philippines.mofa.go.kr
Facebook: mofakr.eng
Twitter: mofakr_eng
Email: philippines@mofa.go.kr
Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30AM-5:30PM
Filing: Mon-Fri, 8:30-11AM
Releasing: Mon-Fri, 1:30-4PM

HOW TO GET THERE:
Going southbound on C5, veer right soon as you pass SM Aura. You’ll see a Petron/Jollibee shortly after. The exit to Upper Mckinley Rd will come immediately after this, with the embassy almost at the start of the exit. Parking around here is hard so ask someone to drive you if possible. If not, then the nearest parking is around half a kilometer away at the Tuscany complex.

Disclaimer

I’m not an expert on South Korea tourist visas. Like you, I’m just a traveler. I’ll try to help as much as I can but please understand that my knowledge is finite and limited to my experience only. Unless otherwise noted, all requirements listed above were valid at the time of my application. Please be sure to check the embassy’s WEBSITE for updates. If you need answers to any pressing issues, then it’s best that you call the embassy directly.

CLICK HERE for more on this website’s terms of use.

For travel tips to Seoul, check out our First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Seoul, South Korea.

The First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Seoul, South Korea

JB Macatulad

JB Macatulad

JB is one half of Will Fly for Food and its chief itinerary maker.  He's the one to blame for all the crappy photos and verbal diarrhea on this blog.  Don't listen to him.
JB Macatulad


There are 96 comments for this article
  1. JB Macatulad at 9:22 pm

    Hi Claire, not sure if you need to submit an NOC but best to take it up with the embassy directly. Since you’re family, it may be fine for you to provide your financial documents on her behalf. Please call the embassy to be sure though.

  2. Irish at 10:26 am

    Importante talaga yung ITR? Kasi ang alam ko hindi sya nababayadan ng company. The last time na nabayadan was 2011 or baka nga hindi kasi mabilis lang ako sa mga previous job ko. Nanggaling kami sa embassy kahapon at ang sabi ng nasa info no work,no visa daw. Paano yun?

  3. JB Macatulad at 10:35 am

    @Irish: Yes, the ITR is important. Sa totoo lang, mahirap makakuha ng visa kung walang work. That’s why you need to submit an ITR, to prove that you have work. Sorry, hindi ko alam kung anong pwede isubmit kung walang ITR.

  4. Psychet at 6:43 pm

    Just wanna asked about the frequent travellers thingy, Ive went to japan last year, single entry, the visa is no longer valid today, do i still qualify to the frequent travellers OECD which has 3 days processing time?

  5. Irish at 9:04 pm

    Kaso yung mga previous job ko kahit yung ngaun contractual lang kaya hindi nila binabayadan yung saken. Sss at philhealth lang yung sa kanila.

  6. Danna at 11:26 pm

    Hi, me and my husband are currently in Dubai. Is it possible na mag apply kami ng Korean Visa dito pero from Philippines kami mag depart to Seoul? Thank you sa may nakakalam po.

  7. Elen at 5:43 am

    Hi JB!
    I just want to ask if there is still a possibility that they will grant me a visa. I am an OFW and will be ending my contract next month, plan kasi namin ng frends ko to go to SoKor this September. I`ve been there last year. Unemployed na ako that time na mag aaply ako ng visa but I have a valid immigrant visa and booked ticket to Canada this year. Wala na akong maisa submit na COE sa embassy. Is it okay if I make an explanation letter? Thanks in advance! 🙂

  8. JB Macatulad at 7:53 am

    Hi Danna, yes I think it’s best that you apply from Dubai since your requirements will be different. People have done that. You may want to confirm with the embassy but I don’t think it matters that you’ll be leaving from the Philippines. Good luck and have fun in Korea!

  9. JB Macatulad at 7:56 am

    Hi Elen, nothing’s guaranteed but I think your past travel experiences and immigrant visa to Canada will be a big help. Yes, submitting a letter explaining your situation is a good idea. That’s what I would do. Good luck and I hope you get approved!

  10. Kat at 1:38 am

    Hi JB! Ask lang. Pumunta ako sa states 3 years ago. Kaso once lang, considered na ba yun as frequent traveler to OECD? Thank you!

  11. Bella at 7:43 pm

    Hi poh again 😃 . Ask ko lang poh Sana , I’m planning to go to soKor with my sister and my liL’brother .. 2 of them gagamitin nila ang bank certificate ng mother namin , but selfemployed poh si mommy , we have a small fish market pero wala kaming personal business registration, nagrerent lang din poh kmi sa owner ng space . Do we have to ask for a personal business registration? . And also poh I’m an OFW here in saudi arabia, I have my re-entry visa , is there any requirements poh na hihingian sakin ?
    Thanks poh .

  12. Angelica at 12:02 am

    Hi po! I’m planning to go to korea this april 2019. When should i get a korean visa? TIA! ❤

  13. JB Macatulad at 7:56 am

    Hi Bella, in your case, I think it’s best that you apply from Saudia Arabia since your requirements may be different. Ang alam ko, walang ITR diyan diba? Dito kasi hahanapan ka. Sorry, but I’m not sure about the business registration. Importante kasi yon. Please contact the embassy na lang directly about that. In my experience, helpful naman sila. Good luck sa inyo.

  14. Ann at 11:43 am

    Hi Jb,
    Just wanna ask in regards with personal bank statement…
    should be Payroll account or Savings account?
    Thanks for your reply.

  15. JB Macatulad at 11:47 am

    Hi Ann, someone commented before that he applied using his payroll account and was approved. Please backread the comments to find it.

  16. Kate at 2:01 pm

    Hi, my cousin and I are going to Korea this August. My question is, yung tita ko ang magfifinance ng trip namin so wala ng problem sa hotel and flight tix, ang problem ko is yung application ko. Kakahire lang sakin sa work, so basically di ako pasok doon sa bank certificate and bank statement kasi both of them dapat 3-6 months na ang transaction. And wala akong itr na maippresent since wala pa akong kaltas sa sahod for tax. Paano kaya yun? Is it okay na ipresent ko lang is bank details ng tita ko and affidavit of support along with other requirements? Thanks for answering!

  17. JB Macatulad at 7:55 am

    Hi Kate, sorry but I’m not entirely sure. Since your tita is financing your trip, then maybe best for her to submit her financial documents on your behalf. But I think the fact na may trabaho ka na will help your application. Importante kasi na may job ka so alam nila na hindi ka maghahanap doon. If you can, try to submit proof of your job, like maybe a COE.

  18. Malory at 8:30 am

    Hi, JB. I’m traveling to Korea with my parents this October. I am currently unemployed since I just graduated from college last March 2017. Should I just make an explanatory letter on to why I am not employed? My parents will be financing me anyway. Thank you!

  19. chelle at 8:03 pm

    hello ~does Korean embassy call all the applicants employers for those who apply for tourist visa?thank you

  20. JB Macatulad at 9:37 pm

    Hi Chelle, only if they have questions about your application. But from what I understand, they don’t for most people.

  21. Malory at 11:21 pm

    Hi, JB. Thank you for answering my question earlier although I have some more to ask, if you don’t mind. 🙂
    I was just wondering kasi two of my parents are already senior citizens. My mom has always been a housewife while my dad just recently retired from his work.
    Can they both be under the Retiree applicant or yung dad ko lang?
    Thanks!

  22. Aj Claravall at 11:52 pm

    Hi I love your article it’s so helpful, anyways I’m planning to visit Korea next year with my friend but for about 2-3days only because we will be going to US and we are planning to stop over to Korea on our way home (Philippines). Do we still need to get tourist visa for that? Because I read some article saying that you can enter Korea visa-free but I still want to clarify it you might have any idea about it. It’s so hassle to get visa kase especially that we’re not in/from manila.

  23. Henriell Bayabay at 12:09 am

    Hi Jb,

    Is it possible to apply for visa 2months before your flight?

  24. Mimi at 7:56 am

    Hello JB, good day! Your blog is very helpful :)So I’m applying for a tourist visa soon but I am currently unemployed. It’s because I’m flying to Canada on January 2018 to pursue my studies there. Pwede ba na I’ll just write a letter kung bakit ako unemployed and attach the letter of offer from the University that I’ll be attending to (just to prove that I’m not staying in Korea)?

  25. Shairielle at 8:37 am

    Hi poh kuya JB 😊 … have a good day .,

    Ask ko lang poh sana , kung pwede ako ang maging financial supports sa dalawa Kong kapatid which is both of them are students ..?? if so , need bang for both of them ay mai
    Copy ng bank account and certificate ko ? .. kakauwih ko lang galing Riyadh , and also i have my bank account but i don’t have ITR , kasi DOMESTIC HELPER work ko sa Riyadh. . For almost 5 years . In case na hahanapan aqo ng ITR, could I just write a letter and give the reason why i don’t have ITR ? ..

    Hope to hear from you soon poh 😊😊 thank you. .

  26. EDISON at 10:08 am

    HI JB Good morning i have tourist visa in dubai last february 2016 and nagpunta ako in hongkong last december 16 then nag qatar aq ng december 19 2016 magisa makakatulong ba yun sa pag apply ng visa in korea…mag isa lng ako nagtatravel para mas may trill so im self employed and im a vegetable dealer only in cloverleaf balintawak quezon city….paanu kya kung wala ako itr at new lng ang bdo account ko

  27. JB Macatulad at 12:12 pm

    Hi Malory, yes I think both your parents count as retirees since they’re already senior citizens.

  28. JB Macatulad at 12:17 pm

    Hi AJ, yes, if you’re a Philippine passport holder then you still need to get a tourist visa even if you’re only staying for a few days. As far as I know, only Jeju Island is visa-free for Filipinos. Hope that helps!

  29. JB Macatulad at 12:20 pm

    Hi Henriell, tourist visas are good for 3 months from the date of issue so yes, you can.

  30. JB Macatulad at 12:21 pm

    Hi Mimi, yes that’s what I would do. Not sure how the embassy will treat it though but I think you should be ok. Good luck!

  31. JB Macatulad at 12:37 pm

    Hi Shairielle, I’m sorry but I’m not really sure. Kung ikaw lang then it’s best for you to apply from there because ang alam ko hindi ka nila hahanapan ng ITR. Yes, I would submit a letter explaining to the embassy here in Manila why you can’t provide an ITR. If you can provide proof of your employment in Riyadh, then better. Since ikaw magfifinance ng trip ng mga kapatid mo, then you’ll be providing your financial documents on their behalf. I hope that helps. I suggest contacting din the embassy to ask how best to go about it. Baka may mas maganda silang advice sa inyo. Good luck!

  32. JB Macatulad at 1:11 pm

    Hi Edison, not sure how much those previous travel experiences will help cause hindi sila OECD-member countries. Sa totoo lang, medyo mahirap talaga makakuha ng visa kung hindi kumpleto requirements. Importante kasi yung ITR as proof of income.

  33. Erik at 11:19 pm

    Hey JB!:) I plan to go to Korea this oct & my aunt will finance my expenses..is it ok? what papers should I pass?

  34. Erik at 9:49 am

    Fresh grad po. Last March lang. @JB

  35. JB Macatulad at 6:14 pm

    Hi Erik, sorry but I’m never sure how to answer fresh graduates cause medyo in between status ninyo. Are you traveling alone or with your aunt? Please call the embassy na lang to inquire. They’re better equipped to help you with this.

  36. maeyojelly at 8:21 pm

    Hi, my sister and I where planning to go to Korea by the end of 2017, Im the one financing our travel, is it possible na documents ko ung ipakita nya instead of my parents?she’s 18 and still a student. Thank you.

  37. Malory at 11:59 am

    Hi, JB. Seems like the embassy’s website is currently down. Do you have any idea where I can download the application form aside from their website? Thanks!

  38. JB Macatulad at 12:03 pm

    Hi Malory, no worries, it happens to all websites. People have complained about that before. It shouldn’t be down for too long so you can just try again later.

  39. zai at 2:27 pm

    100% sure po ba pag sa jeju island pmnta wlang visa??balak ko po kcng mgtour sa jeju this coming august ..

  40. JB Macatulad at 8:17 am

    Hi Zai, yes that’s correct. Philippine passport holders can go to Jeju Island visa-free for up to 30 days.

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