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 184 comments for this article
  1. Alan at 3:40 pm

    hi. im in macau working for a couple of years. im planning to apply for a tourist visa in hongkong korean embassy. any idea of visa requirements or just the same as visa requirements in manila korean embassy?

  2. JB Macatulad at 3:58 pm

    Hi Alan, it’s best that you contact the Korea embassy there. The requirements may be different.

  3. Alyssa teodoro at 8:18 pm

    Hi , can i ask . If embassy will decide how long can i stay here ..

  4. JB Macatulad at 10:05 am

    Hi Alyssa, you can stay for up to 59 days or 60-90 days, depending on which you apply for.

  5. Katrina at 3:20 pm

    Hi, if ever the visa is not approved, will they stamped the passport denied? Thanks

  6. JB Macatulad at 9:07 am

    Hi Katrina, no, as far as I know, they won’t stamp anything in your passport if your application is denied.

  7. Josette Pagana at 6:00 pm

    Hi. I cannot seem to access the website of the Korean Embassy. Do you have a copy of the application form? Thank you.

  8. JB Macatulad at 7:56 am

    Hi Josette, the website sometimes goes down. It’s normal. You can just try again later.

  9. YanYan at 8:44 pm

    Hi! Do you know what are the requirements for student but not minor ? I am a working college student. I cant provide the “documents of parents” because my mon died and my dad was a driver. What should I do? Thank you.

  10. JB Macatulad at 8:12 am

    Hi YanYan, that’s a good question but I’m afraid I don’t know. Best to call the embassy to be sure.

  11. KG at 10:30 am

    Hi! I am about to apply for a tourist visa. Would you know if the ITR form 2316 needs to have the BIR stamp? The ITR I was issued by our HR doesn’t have a stamp and was just signed by my employer. I am wondering if the embassy will still accept it? Thank you 🙂

  12. elena mercado at 10:14 am

    I have question, my Korean boyfriend wants me to go to Korea but we dont know the process. I dont have work almost 5 months. He said he will help me financially if needed in ViSa.

  13. Jade at 10:13 am

    I have a question, how much money do we need to have for our bank account? Like

  14. taeyeon at 10:15 pm

    hi i recently got my south korean visa and just like the others i was so worried about it because i am currently unemployed too and had to have someone sponsor me financially. my tip is to provide all the needed documents of your sponsor, check the requirements for house husband/house wife and have your sponsor provide those other documents for you and the others you can provide for yourself like the photocopy of the passport bio page, oecd visa etc. if your sponsor is a family member, make sure you also add a photocopy of your birth certificate to prove that you are indeed relatives. also add additional documents like affidavit of support from your sponsor and a letter from yourself stating your purpose of visit to south korea and explaining that you are currently unemployed and cannot provide itr/coe. just be honest and say that you will go there for holiday purpose only 🙂 this is no guarantee for a visa but it’s worth a shot.

  15. JB Macatulad at 8:54 am

    Thanks for sharing taeyeon! This is very helpful. And I agree 100%. Transparency is key. Just submit as many relevant supporting documents as possible and always be forthcoming. You don’t want to be caught in a lie as that could forever impact your chances of getting approved.

  16. HelloWorld at 5:34 pm

    Hi, may I ask what if my bank account has less than 50k but I have a payroll account with a accumulating balance fit for my application, would it suffice the visa requirements?

  17. JB Macatulad at 4:56 pm

    @HelloWorld: I think so. Try backreading the comments. If I remember correctly, someone submitted a payroll account and was approved.

  18. Roanne Mallare at 8:37 am

    Hi, i’m a bit nervous kasi i wrote the wrong date format in the part of the countries travelled, will it affect my chances kaya? Although i have travelled to Japan last year and Australia just this June.

  19. Oshie at 5:53 pm

    Hi can i ask if i go to jeju island bec. It doesnt require visa when im there can i go/enter seoul too???

  20. JB Macatulad at 7:13 pm

    Hi Oshie, you don’t need a visa to go to Jeju but you’ll need one to spend time in Seoul.

  21. chamila at 11:30 pm

    do I need to book round trip flight ticket before submit the visa?

  22. JB Macatulad at 9:24 am

    Hi Chamila, no you don’t. Confirmed hotel reservations and flight tickets aren’t required when applying for the visa.

  23. Cha at 3:44 pm

    Hi. I already have my bank certificate for my savings account that has around 60k+. Do you think it’s a good idea to get another bank certificate for my payroll account which currently has 10k~ (Kakapasok lang ng money kanina lol payday; i’m pretty sure the ADB for this account is very low since i always use/transfer the money)?

  24. Joan at 8:31 pm

    Hi. We just passed out requirements for Korean Visa to the travel agency assisting us, but suddenly they required us to have atleast 100k each in our bank accounts. They also asked us to submit affidavit of support since my brother is a minor. It is right that in the requirements, there is no need for that since the parent was the one who signed the application form and parents’ documents are also complete?

  25. JB Macatulad at 1:22 pm

    Hi Joan, not sure why the travel agency is asking for the affidavit of support. It isn’t listed as a requirement on their WEBSITE. As for the bank account, it’s probably just to give you a better chance of getting approved. You may want to clarify these requirements with them.

  26. Macel Beran at 10:46 pm

    Can i still apply a tourist visa without marriage certificate?..we are not married yet but my husband want me ang our baby to go there…

  27. JB Macatulad at 8:07 am

    Hi Macel, I think so. Is your husband a Korean national? Best if you call the Korean embassy directly and explain your situation to them. They’ll be better able to help you with this. Good luck.

  28. Memo at 10:54 am

    Hello fresh graduate and without work here we will be traveling to Korea this November malaki ba chance na ma approve yung sa akin if kasama ko yung parents ko sa trip? Btw sila din mismo mag fifinance sa trip. Mother has a pharmacy business for 15yrs and father works in the government for almost 20yrs.

  29. JB Macatulad at 3:18 pm

    Hi Memo, I think so. If they can see from your application that you’re a fresh graduate, then I think you’ll be fine, especially since you’re traveling with your parents. Good luck.

  30. Rex at 1:02 pm

    Hi just wanna share my experience. Applied with a 6mos ADB of around 6thousand plus only. Current balance is around 42thousand. Stated in my application that I’ll be staying for 4 days and will be spending 20thousand. So it’s still covered by my current balance. Luckily approved naman.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *