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Here's Everything You Need to Know About Getting a South Korean Visa

It's easier than you think!
Here's Everything You Need to Know About Getting a South Korean Visa
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It's easier than you think!

So you've finally decided to travel to the Land of the Morning Calm! Whether you're touring South Korea to taste their yummy delicacies, take photos at their IG-worthy tourist spots, or go on a K-pop or K-drama pilgrimage, first things first: You'll need to secure your visa!

With the Korean Embassy announcing the relaxed visa application for Philippine passport-holders, the good news resulted in the sudden influx of Filipino tourists wanting to visit South Korea. That said, the embassy now requires applicants to process their visas through accredited agencies and to allot more lead time, prior to the desired date of visit.

Now, to lessen the risk of having your visa denied, be sure to submit a complete and truthful application. Below, we'll show you a comprehensive guide to applying for your South Korea visa.

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How to Apply for a South Korean Visa

REQUIREMENTS

For Employees:

1. Accomplished Visa Application Form;

Download here.

Note:

  • - Use only Arial font, size 12.
  • - Print all of its five pages on A4 paper.

2. Two (2) pieces of passport-size colored picture;

Note: It must be shot against white background.

3. Original passport;

Note: It must be valid for more than six months.

4. Photocopy of your passport's bio-page;

5. Old passport (if applicable);

Your old passports should have documentation of your previous travels within the last five (5) years.

6. Original and photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past five years;

Click here to see all the OECD member countries.

Note: Frequent travelers who have traveled as a tourist to OECD member countries (excluding Japan) within five (5) years are exempted from submitting ITR.

7. Original Certificate of Employment (from your company's Human Resources)

It must include the following:

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  • - Details of officer or employer’s address
  • - HR landline number
  • - HR email address
  • - Designation
  • - Hiring date
  • - Annual and monthly salary.
  • - Tenure/Years of employment
  • - Purpose of visa application process (i.e. travel for leisure)

8. Guarantee letter  (from your company's Human Resources)

It must include the following:

  • - Dates that you filed for you leave of absence
  • - Date that you will report back to work
9. Original Personal Bank Certificate 

It must include the following:

  • - Account type
  • - Current balance
  • - Account opening date
  • - Average Daily Balance (ADB)

10. Bank Statement

It must include:

  • - Original or certified true copy of bank statements or passbook for the last three (3) months

11. Photocopy of Latest ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316

12. Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable only)

13.  Invitations

If personally invited by a Korean Citizen

  • - Invitation Letter.
  • - Photocopy of inviter's Passport or Identification Card (authentication not required)

If invited by a Korean Company

  • - Invitation Letter.
  • - Photocopy of Korean Company Business Permit(authentication not required)

For Self-Employed/Businessmen:

Additional requirements:

1. Photocopy of Business Registration from SEC or DTI

2. Photocopy of Business Permit or Mayor's Permit

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For Students:

Additional Requirements:

1. School Certificate (Original)

2. Copy of School ID

3. Copy of Birth Certificate 

4. Parents' Documents and Copy of NSO Marriage Certificate

Note:

- Families traveling together should submit their requirements together.

- If parents already have a valid visa, attach a photocopy of parents' valid visa. But if the student is not traveling together with parents, attach a photocopy of passport or valid ID of parents.

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Choose an accredited travel agency.

You have to submit your requirements to any of accredited travel agencies for South Korea visa processing. Click here for the full list.

FAQs

1. How much "show money" do I need to present?

There's no advised amount that you should have in your bank account in order to get a visa. The reason this is being asked by the consulate is to ensure that you'll have enough money to fund your trip. You don't wanna get stuck in a foreign land penniless, right?

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So, the rule of thumb is to have enough dispensable money in your account to cover your entire stay in South Korea, and a few bucks more to buffer unforeseen expenses. The best way to calculate this is to gauge your projected day-to-day expenses (like transportation fees, shopping and food budget, and entrance fees to attractions and tourist spots) and add a day or two worth's more. Remember that plane tickets and accommodation fees are excluded from this calculation!

2. How long should I wait till I get my visa?

The embassy suggests you allot at least 60 days or two months as lead time for you visa before booking anything. The consulate posts weekly bulletins for you to know when you can expect your visa application results. You can also ask your travel agency for an approximate date of release.

3. What happens when my application gets denied?

While other embassies disclose what went wrong in your application, the South Korean embassy does not. You can't file an appeal, either. The only thing you can do is to wait for six months and reapply again.

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4. Should I book my plane tickets and accommodations prior to filing my visa?

No, since the visa is needed prior to entering South Korea, it is recommended that you wait for you to be granted one before booking and paying for anything else. Just think about it: Rebooking fees and cancellation fees are additional expenses you don't want should your visa application be denied.

5. How can I expedite my visa application?

Yes, you can! You can have your visa application to just five days provided you meet the following conditions:

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  • - The applicant who is invited by Korean government and public agency.
  • - The applicant who is invited by Korean company, school, and organization.
  • - The family members of Korean (parents, spouse, children, family of spouse, etc.).
  • - The direct family members of foreigner who stay in Korea with registered alien card.
  • - The applicant who needs urgent medical treatment, with accidents and with humanitarian reason.
  • - The applicant who has official request from Philippine government office.
  • - The applicant who doesn't belong to #1-6 but recognised urgent matter for better diplomacy relationship.

Expediting your visa also comes with a P1000 fee, BTW!

6. Can I enter South Korea without a visa?

As it turns out, yes, you can! SoKor allows Philippine passport holders to enter the country visa-free if you are:

  • - a tourist in transit to third countries
  • - a general transfer passenger (A.k.a. you're in South Korea for your layover)
  • - a visitor to the Jeju area, with a direct international flight or ship to Jeju Island

Click this for more information.

Easy-peasy, right? Good luck!

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