Wandering South Korea has been my dream since college. Perhaps the influence of Korean series and movies hyped my urge to visit the ‘Land of the Morning Calm’. Yes, Korea is known for this name because of its fascinating natural beauty of picturesque high mountains and clear waters and its splendid tranquility, particularly in the morning.
Furthermore, it is undeniable that Korea is a must see country now because of its domination of pop culture which the world knows as ‘KPop’.
How to get to South Korea
It is hard to say but yes, Filipinos need to have a Visa to enter South Korea. Getting Visa for some may not be a piece of cake, especially for those first timers. But as long as you have complete requirements, there is a big chance for you to be granted a tourist visa. Not to brag about it, but I was granted a multiple-entry South Korean tourist visa valid for 3 years. Thank God!
I wrote this article to help those who have the same dream as mine; to spend winter in Korea, to eat authentic kimchi in the streets of Seoul, to watch live concert of KPop superstars, etc.
Now, let me share with you some easy steps and my personal tips to make your Korean Visa application successful.
Here are the 4 easy steps
1st Step: Complete these general requirements
- Duly accomplished Visa Application Form – you can download it here. Make sure to not leave anything blank otherwise put N/A if not applicable.
- 1 35 mm x 45 mm colored passport photo – you can ask the photographer in the studio that you’re applying for a South Korean visa, to be sure. Paste in the application form.
- Original passport – must be valid more than 6 months
- Photocopy of Passport Bio-page (page 2)
- If invited by a Korean, submit an invitation letter and a copy of the inviter’s passport (disregard if not applicable)
2nd Step: Gather this additional requirements
You must prove that you can financially support your trip by submitting these requirements. Documents may vary depending on the type of financial sources.
- Certificate of Employment (Must be original; and must have the address of the employer, the landline number and email address of employer’s HR department, applicant’s position, date hired, and compensation)
- Original Personal Bank Certificate (must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB)
- Original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)
- Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316
- Photocopy of Business registration form from DTI or SEC
- Photocopy of Business permit or Mayor’s permit
- Photocopy of ITR
- Original Personal Bank Certificate
***Note for Step #2: In my case, I did not submit Bank certificate and ITR as I have a BPI Gold MasterCard. Currently, the Embassy of Korea has a promo for BPI and BDO cardholders applying for tourist visa to travel South Korea.
All you need to do is to submit the original copy of your current credit card statement along with other requirements mentioned above upon application. Photocopy of credit card is also needed. And oh, the original credit card must be presented too during application.
This entitles you for a 3 years multiple entry Visa if granted!!!! Card holders with BPI Platinum* Credit Card and Gold BPI Express Teller Debit Card will be provided with 3 – 5 years multiple visa.
If you don’t have BPI or BDO credit card, proceed in completing the requirements on Step 1 and 2.
3rd Step: Submit requirements to Korean Embassy
Once you’ve completed all the requirements, you can proceed to the embassy at 122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City 1634. Note that there is 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.
4th Step: Claim your Passport (with visa hopefully) on the given release date
There is nothing you can do at the moment of waiting but to hope 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.