Monday, February 20, 2017

How to Apply Korean Tourist Visa in the Philippines

Applying for a Korean Tourist Visa in the Philippines is fast and easy if you have all the requirements needed. Months ago, I was confronted by my first ever visa application, and gladly it was a success. Best thing of all was that the application itself was absolutely free!

I am uber meticulous in filling out any type of document form. I always ensure that I read all the details carefully and that I don’t miss any item. So when it’s time for me to apply for a Korean Tourist Visa, I made sure that everything was completely filled out with meticulous precision because I know that once my application is denied, I have to wait for another six months to re-apply, and I don’t want that to happen of course (check here for discounted tours, transportation and activities in Seoul).
When applying for a Korean Visa in the Philippines, there are different sets of requirements for specific individuals such as for; employees, businessmen, students, housewives/househusbands, retired senior citizen, Korean’s sister/brother-in-law, Korean’s parents-in-law, Filipino married to a Korean, religious workers, seafarers, workers with visa issuance number, short term employment, studying in Korea, Filipino married to foreigner working in Korea, foreign resident in the Philippines, children of a Filipino married to military personnel stationed in Korea, Filipino married to military personnel stationed in Korea, parents of a Filipino married to military personnel stationed in Korea, and D9 visa.

Korean Visa Philippines

For this article, I will only be discussing my experience when I applied for a Korean Tourist Visa as a regular employee. Just a backgrounder, I still didn’t have flight tickets, trip itinerary and hotel accommodation when I applied for the visa, they will not be asking for those when you apply. For the requirements of other visa types, please go directly to the official website of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Republic of the Philippines.

So here’s a detailed account on my successful application of Korean Tourist Visa as an Employed Filipino:

  • To start with, I checked out the embassy’s official website and quickly scanned the Visa Announcement Page (check here) for promos and other current visa-related matters (there was a promo for elite credit card holders of a certain bank when I applied, sadly, I don't have that specific type of credit card).
  • Next was that I examined the Requirements for Employed Filipinos (check here);

VISA Requirements for Filipino Employees

  1. Duly accomplished application form
  2. One (1) piece passport-sized colored picture (attach it on the application form)
  3. Original passport (should be valid for more than six months)
  4. Photocopy of passport bio-page (page 2)
  5. Original and photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past five (5) years, if applicable
  6. Original Certificate of Employment (must include applicant’s position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR landline number – cellphone is not allowed, HR email address)
  7. Original Personal Bank Certificate (must include account type, current balance, account opening date, average daily balance)
  8. Bank Statement (original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last three months)
  9. Income Tax Return (ITR) or Form 2316 copy
  10. Copy of Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) card or Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) card, if applicable

*If personally invited by Korean
-          Invitation Letter
-          Photocopy of invitor’s passport or identification card (authentication not required)
*If invited by company in Korea
-          Photocopy of Korean Company Business Permit (authentication not required)
*Frequent travelers who have traveled as tourist to OECD member countries within five (5) years are exempted from submitting ITR.

  • I also looked at the Specifics of the Visa Application itself so as to plan my embassy visit accordingly.

Processing Time

Three (3) working days (for those who have been to OECD member countries within five (5) years as tourist)
Five (5) working days (for those who have not been to OECD member countries within five (5) years)

Visa Fee

59 days (or less) stay in Korea – free-of-charge
60 to 90 days stay in Korea – PhP1,800

Schedule of VISA processing time

Mondays to Fridays except holidays
8:30 am to 11:00 am – Visa Application
1:30 pm to 4:00 pm – Releasing Time

Other reminders;

  1. Applicants may file their visa applications at the Consular Office (see address below).
  2. No appointment is needed. Application is a first come, first serve basis. In cases that there will be a lot of applicants, those who will arrive after 10:30 am may not be accommodated.
  3. If traveling with a group, a representative can submit and claim all the documents for each applicant. For family applications, document/s for proof of relationship is a must (Marriage Contract, Birth Certificate) and should be filed together.
  4. All original and photocopied documents (such as bank certificates) that will be used on the application will not be given back to the applicant. You will also be leaving your original passport at the Consular Office and if the requirements passed are complete, you will then be given a claim stub for you to claim it. The date stamped on it will be the release date. You may also bring your old passports just to be sure that you have it when they ask you to present it.
  5. Processing takes five (5) days for first time travelers and three (3) working days for frequent travelers. It may be extended though, depending on the Consul’s decision.
  6. Validity of visa is three (3) months from the issue date.

  • After completing all the requirements, I Downloaded an Application Form here and printed it on an A4 size paper. I made sure that I did not leave any item blank and put N/A (Not Applicable) instead. Just to make sure, I accomplished two copies of the application form and checked it three times before heading to the embassy. Here are some of my specific responses I had on my application.

Fill out the application form legibly and honestly with no erasures. I used block (all capital) letters in all of my responses. Don’t leave any item blank and put N/A instead (this is very important).

Item 1.2. Chinese-Korean Name – "N/A"
Item 1.7. National Identity No. – "N/A"
Item 1.8. Other names used to enter or depart Korea – If you’re a single Filipina then check “NO” and put “N/A” on the space for the maiden name. If you’re married and traveled to South Korea when you were still single then you have to check “YES” then put your maiden name on the space provided.
Item 4.2. Current Residential Address – I’ve written my permanent (and current) address on Item 4.1 so I wrote “SAME ADDRESS AS ABOVE” on this item.
Item 9.4. Address in Korea/Item 9.5. Phone No. in Korea – I still haven’t decided on my accommodation at the time of my application so I put “UNDECIDED” on both these items.
Item 9.7. Countries visited outside your country of residence in the last five years – I made a list of countries I’ve been to in the last five years, printed it out and put “SEE ATTACHED LIST” on the space provided.
Item 10.1. Estimated travel costs (in US dollars) – I made a rough estimate on my possible expenses including food and accommodation and safe to say, $100 per day is good enough to write (assuming that you have more than that on your bank account/s). I put "US$600 (SIX HUNDRED US DOLLARS)" on the space provided given that I planned a six-day stay in Seoul.
Item 10.2. Who will pay for your travel-related expenses? – a.)    I wrote my name, b.)    I put “MYSELF”, and c.)     I wrote “FINANCIAL; AIRFARE, ACCOMMODATION, FOOD, SHOPPING”
Section 12. Declaration – Write the date following the format provided and you have to sign on the “SIGNATURE OF APPLICANT” itself (supersede). Do not sign below it as this line is for the parent or guardian of a minor.

Korean Visa Philippines
Sign above the SIGNATURE OF APPLICANT (supersede)
  • Together with the completely filled out form and requirements, I went to the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Republic of the Philippines (see address below) wherein I arrived at exactly 7:30 am, one hour earlier than the start of processing time. I was asked by the security personnel to register on their log book. I was 15th on the queue and was called to get inside the office at 8:00 am. I was with a friend at that time which they allowed to enter the premises as well.
  • There was an officer who asked us to line up for the queue number and inspected our requirements (taking out the unnecessary ones such as the photocopy of my company id). He then stapled it and gave me my number.
  • There are three windows at the visa application office and I was assigned on the second one. It was not until 8:30 am when the Korean consular officers started to receive the applications. At 8:40 am, my number was flashed on the screen so I immediately went to the second window and sat on the chair provided. I greeted the officer and handed her the queuing number, my application form and requirements plus my original passport. She scanned through my documents and didn't say a word during that time. I was just given a piece of paper with the expected date of release of my passport. It only took me eleven minutes from the time that the processing started until I was given my claim slip.
  • I waited for five working days for the release of my passport. During that time, I didn’t receive any call from the consular office regarding my application (like what I read from the experiences of other applicants). I arrived at the embassy at around 3:30 pm and aside from two other visitors, the place looked empty. I went to the officer who supervises the queue and handed him my claim slip. He then asked me to wait for my number to be called. After two minutes, I went at the second window and claimed my passport. There were no conversations or whatsoever with the officer and as I leave the embassy premises, I flipped through my passport and saw the visa that was pasted on one of the pages. I smiled and thanked the gracious security officers on my way out. 

Applying for a Korean Tourist Visa was my first ever visa application and it was a success. The key here is that you just have to fill out the application form legibly and honestly as well as pass all the requirements that were asked. After the approved visa, the nitty gritty part of organizing an itinerary for my first ever winter trip was next. And have I told you that it's also my first ever solo trip abroad? Haha.

Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Republic of the Philippines
122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center,
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, 1634, Metro Manila, Philippines
Contact Number: (+63) 2.856.9210


  1. And here I am feeling jealous of Korea trip!

    1. Awww. Super easy lang kumuha ng Korean Travel Visa! Go na! :)

  2. Thank you for this post!! I just have a question, on the "Purpose of Visit to Korea", did you check both the "Tourism/Transit" and the "Other" choices? Then wrote "vacation" on the "If 'Other' please provide details"?

    1. Nope Gemnikka, I just ticked the Tourism part when I applied for Korean Tourist Visa :)

  3. Hi! Where did you get your application form? I can't download the application form because the embassy's website is not working. Thanks! :)

    1. They have application forms at the embassy. But it's better to download it online so as to have more time in filling it out.

  4. Happy for you girl. Thanks for the tips! Planning to apply for korean visa this coming august. Hopefully ma approved��

    1. Just fill out the form legibly and honestly then, I guess, you'll get approved :)

  5. Hi girl! Just want to know if you don't have a visa (previously issued) from an OECD member that's why you were assigned to window 2? Looks like you travel a lot :)

    1. Hello there! I haven't been to other OECD member countries. And I dunno how they screen the applicants for the appropriate window. Goodluck on your Korean Visa Application! :)

  6. how about for the details of the sponsor? what should I write? I will finance everything but I am gonna stay at my friend's house.

    1. I think you should put "MYSELF" but provide the address of your friend on the item "Address in Korea". Just write legibly and honestly on your Korean Visa Application. Goodluck! :)

  7. how about for the details of the sponsor? what should I write? I will finance everything but I am gonna stay at my friend's house.

  8. Wow hopefully i got approved though ive read that youre saying you indicated 600usd? Which is technically 30k in peso. Would it really be enough for 6days stay ? Our departure is Aug 21 and our application will be Aug 2. I know its kinda bit late as I have a hard time with the show money.

  9. Wow hopefully i got approved though ive read that youre saying you indicated 600usd? Which is technically 30k in peso. Would it really be enough for 6days stay ? Our departure is Aug 21 and our application will be Aug 2. I know its kinda bit late as I have a hard time with the show money.

    1. What you write on the application form as your estimated travel costs should be lower than your bank statement I guess. And also, it's a rough estimate. Hoping you'd get approved on your travel visa to Korea. Goodluck! :)

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