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 thirty (30) days 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 17 comments for this article
  1. AcilegnA Patts at 7:53 am

    Hi. It will be our first time to travel abroad. What are the chances that our application will be denied because of this?

  2. JB Macatulad at 8:34 am

    Hi Acilegn, as long as you provide all the required documents, then it shouldn’t matter that it’s your first time to travel overseas. First-time travelers get approved all the time. Hope that helps and good luck.

  3. Jerome Bautisa at 1:31 pm

    Hi

    How about sa ITR na 2016 meron lng ako sa previous company ko, ok lng ba ayon ipasa, kasi nagstart lng ako sa bago kong compant nov2016.

  4. Carlos at 2:15 am

    Hi po..

    Ask ko lang po kung pwede wala ITR? OFW po kasi ako dito sa qatar. Bakasyon ko na po kasi nextmonth. Bali 2 mons po yung bakasyon ko. Kaya gusto ko po sana pumunta sa korea kahit 10 days lang.

  5. Sam at 3:43 am

    Hi JB,

    Nice blog! Very informative. Very helpful.

    I have a question…
    Re: 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.

    When you say “VALID” visas, does this mean that an expired visa does not qualify? I have traveled to OECD member countries during the last 5 years; the last time was a year ago, and the visa (multiple entry) is no longer valid (expired validity). Will I be allowed to submit my documents at Window 3?

    ‘Will appreciate your advice.

    Thanks for your help.

    Sam

  6. JB Macatulad at 8:15 am

    Hi Jerome, kung wala ng mas bago then I would submit that. Better than nothing. I’m not sure how it will affect your application though. Personally, I’d submit a letter as well explaining why I can’t submit a newer one. Good luck.

  7. JB Macatulad at 8:20 am

    Hi Carlos, requirement yung ITR dito so failing to provide one may hurt your chances of getting approved. Better kung magapply ka na lang from there.

  8. JB Macatulad at 8:21 am

    Hi Sam, you qualify as a frequent traveler so yes, you’ll be directed to window 3. Good luck.

  9. Prescilla at 9:42 am

    Hi. Thank you for this detailed guide. I am planning to visit Korea during the semester break that would be October-November 2017, should I apply now? How early should I apply? My concern is if I apply now and get approved, do I need to travel right away? How long is the validity of the visa?

    Also, I am in Samar and I am a first time traveler. Do I have to submit the application in person? Or could I submit an application through my sister (who is working in Manila)? You said that first time travelers are advised to claim the passport/visa in person as an interview maybe required, so does that mean the my sister can submit my application but she cannot claim it? That I need to go to the embassy in Manila to claim my passport/visa?

    Thanks again!

  10. Francis at 5:22 pm

    Hello i have travelled to an oecd member last yr but the visa is expired already. Do i still need to submit an itr? Thank you.

  11. JB Macatulad at 8:34 am

    Hi Prescilla, all your questions are answered in the post. Please go through it carefully and let me know if you have any other questions.

  12. CJ at 7:03 pm

    Hi! Can you please explain further kung ano yung Bank Certificate? Employed na ko for 2 years, same company. I don’t have any savings din sa bank since lagi ko winiwithdraw lahat hehe. D ko kasi talaga maets kung ano yung Bank certificate eh, if you need savings ba ganun or need ba credit card or kahit debit card. Please help. Thanks! Planning to go to Korea early next year or December

  13. Justin at 8:59 am

    Hi! ok lang ba kahit Payroll account lang ang meron ako? pero may ipon nmn po ako dun. first timer here! 🙂

  14. JB Macatulad at 9:06 am

    Hi CJ, a bank certificate is an official document issued by your bank confirming that you have an account with them. Certificates vary between banks but they usually indicate balance, ADB, date account was opened, etc. Most aren’t free either. Banks may charge you around PHP 200 for the certificate. Hope that helps.

  15. JB Macatulad at 9:11 am

    Hi Justin, sorry but I’m not sure if payroll accounts are accepted. Best to contact the embassy directly.

  16. Joy at 12:16 pm

    Justin, pwede payroll acct,may nbsa me yun gamit nya,approved nmn sya.

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