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.

*If you’re a freelancer and can’t provide a COE, then you’ll be asked to submit some form of proof like pictures or screenshots of your work, letters from clients, etc. Basically you need to prove to the embassy that you are earning a living and won’t be going to Korea to look for work.

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 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.



There are 398 comments for this article
  1. JB Macatulad at 2:12 pm

    Hi Ron, I’m sorry but I’m not sure. I don’t know how sponsorship works if you aren’t related. Please contact the embassy directly as they’ll be better equipped to advise you on this.

  2. JB Macatulad at 2:13 pm

    Hi Olive, I’m not sure to be honest. They’ll only call if they need something clarified so it’s hard to say.

  3. Maple Fly at 6:28 pm

    You are telling about south Korea tourist visa for Filipinos, this is looking very nice explanation, thanks for sharing such beautiful information.

  4. Gyver at 9:07 pm

    Do I need to provide ITR even if I’m working abroad?

  5. JB Macatulad at 9:10 pm

    Hi Gyver, it’s probably best for you to apply at your local embassy since your requirements may be different. You may not need to submit an ITR.

  6. Gyver at 9:59 pm

    I’m afraid I will just get denied if I apply here in KSA. One of the requirement is minimum of SAR 10,000.00 equivalent to more or less Php 130K. I have 45 days vacation early next year so I’m planning to apply for visa in PH instead. Anyway thank you for your feedback. If you will get any info about my concern please let me know, thank you in advance.

  7. Herbert Saliente at 8:38 am

    1. Hi, we only have bank accounts for debit and ATM, do they really require a bank statement/passbook for employees?
    2. Does it help our chances if we process it through Agencies? We are a group of 3 – 4 only.

    Thanks.

  8. Herbert Saliente at 9:39 am

    Hi, One more question, if you have the small “stamps/tickets’ from your hongkong and macau trips, can you attach/stick it to your passport? Thanks

  9. JB Macatulad at 7:59 am

    Hi Gyver, they’ll probably look for an ITR here since it’s a requirement. In any case, good luck and I hope you get approved.

  10. JB Macatulad at 8:05 am

    Hi Herbert, yes the bank statement/passbook is required. Not sure if coursing your application through an agency will matter. Personally, I don’t think it will. You can attach Hong Kong and Macau stamps but it won’t matter either since they want to see previous travel to OECD member countries. Hope that helps and good luck.

  11. Marce at 9:19 pm

    Hi, if I’m going to use the BPI gold card promo for visa application. Can I try to apply for visa this January even if my target date of my tour is on November 2018? I heard and I read that bpi gold credit card holder have a high chance Of approval for a 3-5 yrs multiple entry. Thanks

  12. JB Macatulad at 9:52 am

    Hi Marce, I’ve never applied for a multiple entry visa so I can’t tell your from experience. But if it’s a multiple entry visa you’re applying for then you should be able to apply now.

  13. Vince at 10:23 pm

    Hi! I’m just wondering if any medical tests were done before or during the submission of requirements for visa or after your visa was approved? Thank you 🙂

  14. JB Macatulad at 10:44 pm

    Hi Vince, no not with me. Personally, I’ve never had any medical tests done in connection with a visa application.

  15. Analyn at 3:55 pm

    hello sir Good Day ! upon submission of all requirements, usually how many days they will notify you if your approved or not? Thanks you…

  16. Ace at 10:48 pm

    Hi JB, thanks for your wonderful blog! I’ve heard there’s a Free-Visa going to Korea this coming winter olympics. Do you have any idea about this?

  17. Adrian at 10:28 am

    hello good evening, i just want to ask if do i still need to apply visa even though i’ m a permanent residence in canada? thank you.

  18. JB Macatulad at 3:55 pm

    Hi Ace, it’s true but you have to arrive at YangYang airport which is near Pyeongchang. But as far as I know, there are no flight from the Philippines to YangYang.

  19. SAICY at 5:03 pm

    How if I just opened bank account last month? Is that a big problem?

  20. JB Macatulad at 8:47 am

    Hi SAICY, the requirement is 6 months ADb for the bank certificate and 3 months for the bank statements, so it might be. No one but the embassy can say for sure though. Just submit all the requirements and pray for the best. Good luck and I hope you get approved.

  21. Gette at 7:17 am

    Helo po ilan days po ang pinaka mahabang binibigay ng korean embassy pag tourist visa,,pewede kaya ang 30 days,,,thank u po sa reply

  22. Jojee M. at 8:38 am

    Hi JB! It’s Jojee again! Your blog post was such a big help when we applied for a Japan visa. This time we are applying for SoKor in a couple of weeks. Question, did you guys apply as a family? Thing is, my husband and I are applying together and we have a joint account and connected bdo gold credit cards (i am his supplementary). Do we have to supply two certified copies of the bank and credit statements (one for him and one for me)? Or will one certified copy suffice? We won’t pass the bank cert and ITR anymore because of the credit card exemption and we have OECD visas as well.

  23. Jeniveve Casanova at 10:27 am

    Hello po. I’am planning to apply korean visa to visit my husband there who is currently working as sincere worker under poea. He took a vacation and back to korea last january. We got married last Oct. 2017, and we got our marriage contract late. Thats why he didnt have a time to update his status from single to married on POEA. What was the best thing to do? Do I have to change my passport and other requirements status from single to married before applying visa or it is better to be single?. I’am only visiting him for just a week since I am currently working.

  24. JB Macatulad at 11:16 am

    Hi Jojee, happy to hear it! 🙂 Ren’s a US citizen so I applied solo. You many want to confirm this with the embassy but I think you can submit one set of financial documents as long as both your names are on it. Plus, they can see you’re married anyway. Personally, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Good luck!

  25. Pingback: I left my heart and SEOUL in Korea
  26. Angel at 10:25 pm

    Hello po. Say for example I will apply on Feb.14, can I get my passport by Feb.19 (3 days including the application date)? or on Feb. 20 (3 days after application date). I heard Feb. 16 is regular holiday.

  27. JB Macatulad at 5:31 pm

    Hi Angel, if you’re a frequent traveler and the 16th isn’t considered a holiday, then yes, you should be asked to come back on the 19th.

  28. Jaby Samson at 8:08 am

    Hi, I would ask if I don’t have 2316 (ITR) but i do have 2307 as may ITR since am an consultant/contractual as part of requirements for VISA in S. Korea, it will be acceptable to the embassy. Thanks

  29. Jsy893 at 2:12 pm

    Hi!
    Just wanna ask what if my bank account is 3 months old only. I changed bank last November 2017 from aub to bdo so basically, it was just a fund transfer. Should I submit a letter of explanation or it’s not necessary?

  30. Cresel at 3:06 pm

    Hi, I would like to ask if copy of any billing statement addressed to me is needed for visa application?

  31. Jay Bie at 1:53 am

    Hi, I am a college student and planning to travel alone in sokor. I have my own savings bank account, certificate of enrollment, ID, Passport with HONGKONG STAMP, and PSA marriage certificate. Kaso hindi ako mkakapag provide ng bank statement or bank certificate ng mother ko kasi OFW sya, chaka ung ITR baun ? ano po kayang pwedeng gawin ?

  32. badz at 4:55 am

    Hi i would like to ask what i only want to stay for about 5days it is the same process?

  33. JB Macatulad at 7:27 am

    Hi Jaby, I’m sorry but I don’t know if the 2307 form is acceptable. Please contact the embassy directly.

  34. JB Macatulad at 7:43 am

    Hi Jay, can your mother provide financial documents from a foreign bank? Those are requirements so failing to provide them may hurt your chances of getting approved.

  35. pearl at 2:50 pm

    Hi we’re planning to go to south korea this year and we don’t know yet which day of october to november is best for autumn foilage ? I just wanna ask if you have any ideas or suggestion to our trip. thanks

  36. Cathy Buray at 3:19 pm

    Hi! My friend is granted 59 days visa valid until Feb 2018. She wanted to re apply for a new visa since her fiance is working in SK. Is it possible for her to get a new visa or does she need to wait for 6 months to re apply? Thanks.

  37. Danie at 3:35 pm

    Hi JB, your post is very informative and very helpful! You have a very good heart that you openly share all these to everyone, thank you! I am currently an employee here in SG and my husband and daughter are in PH. My husband’s source of income are the private school service that he provides to some students (using a car) and we also have a tricycle (our subdivision means of transportation). I understand that I will need to apply the SoKor visa from here (Singapore) since I am based here. My question is, with the kind of source of income my husband has, do you think he and my daughter will be granted a VISA? Both of them has a savings account under their names (not much but still a bit of a sum). Appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank you once again.

  38. JB Macatulad at 6:10 pm

    Hi Pearl, I think around mid to late October should be perfect. You can check out this very detailed post for more information. Have a great time in Korea!

  39. JB Macatulad at 6:13 pm

    You’re welcome Danie! That’s very kind of you to say. 🙂 It’s hard to say, but I think a lot of it depends on how long you intend to stay in Korea. As applicants, we just need to prove to the embassy that we have the means to support ourselves for the duration of our stay. So if you stay longer, then you need to have more in your bank account. As long as your husband and daughter can provide all the requirements and have enough to support their stay, then I think they have a good chance of getting approved. Just pray for the best! Good luck. 🙂

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