How to: Get Korean Visa (for Filipinos)

What to expect on this post:

  • Korean Visa requirements
  • My personal experience in getting a Korean visa.
  • Tips

You don’t know how frightening it is to apply for a Korean Visa here in the Philippines. I heard from friends that the Korean Embassy is very erratic in selecting qualified Filipino tourists. Good thing is that you don’t have to pay for anything when applying. You just have to submit the requirements to the embassy and wait for days.Everybody here knows that I’m a budget traveler. For this trip, I am reserving Php15,000 for 5 days. This is nerve-racking because I heard that the food expenses and activities are expensive in Korea. This is my first ever visa application and I’m so ecstatic that I got approved!

mikHH1469945753 - Copy

Requirements

1. Application Form
2. 1 piece of Passport size colored picture
3. Original Passport (should be valid for more than 6months)
4. Photocopy of Passport Bio-page (page 2)
5. Original & Photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years (If applicable only)
6. Original Certificate of Employment
(must include applicant’s position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR landline number(cell-phone number is not allowed), HR e-mail address)
7. Original Personal Bank Certificate
(must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB)
8. Bank Statement
(original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)
9. ITR(Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 Copy
10. Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable only)

* If personally invited by Korean
. Invitation Letter
. Photocopy of invitor’s Passport or Identification Card
(authentication not required)

* If invited by Company in Korea
. Invitation Letter
. Photocopy of Korean Company Business Permit
(authentication not required)

* Frequent travellers who have travelled as tourist to OECD member countries within 5 years are exempted from submitting ITR.

■ Processing Time:
3 working days (for those who have been to OECD member countries within 5 years as tourist)
5 working days (for those who have not been to OECD member countries within 5 years)

■ Visa Fee: 59 days (or less) stay in Korea — GRATIS
60 to 90 days stay in Korea — PHP1,800.00

mikHH1469945753 - CopyMythBuster!

  • One of the rumors is for the applicant to have at least Php50,000 in the account for 3 months. – No. I only had Php29,000 in my account and I reached 29k just 3 days before my application.
  • The account should be a personal savings account. – No. The one I used is my Payroll account. I also have a personal account but It’s new.
  • Big money should be reflected in your bank account. – No. I did the exact opposite! I want them to see that I’ve been traveling with a tight budget so I only indicated $350 to cover for my 5-day Korea trip. Having lots of money in your account could indicate that you might run an illegal business or stay long in Korea.
  • The Embassy will call the HR (if employed) to verify employment. – Might. I got scared because 2 of my friends’ employers were called. I didn’t receive a call from the embassy but got approved. I think my advantage is that I have a lot of stamps on my passport. They know that I’m no threat. Haha!

Also, if you don’t have enough money to show to the embassy, you may borrow ample amount of money from relatives and return it when you get your visa. Make sure that the cash flow that’ll be shown on your bank statement wouldn’t look like you just borrowed the money.

Do not get help from agencies anymore because they’ll ask you to pay Php2,400 and there’s no assurance that you’ll be approved. It is better to submit the requirements personally to the Korean Embassy so that if they have questions you can answer them real-time.