If you're planning a vacation to South Korea anytime soon, then we suggest you start filing for your visas early! The Korean embassy has recently announced on its website that they will be increasing the number of days to process the visas.
Visa processing for a temporary visitor's visa (C-3)—both for first-time and frequent travelers—used to take only 10 days. But since the "increase in number of Korean visa applicants," the embassy advises that it will now take longer periods for visa processing and release, effective Sept. 12, 2019.
However, the Korean embassy assures that they will be announcing the release dates for the week on the Embassy's homepage every Monday. It is also wise to ask your travel agency about the "exact release date on the claim stub after applying," the Korean embassy says.
Based on their previous weekly bulletins, visa processing can range from 13 days up to 30 days. But you can have yours expedited to just five days by applying for an express visa. An express visa has a P1000 fee and can only be availed by the applicant on the following conditions:
- 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.
This change in the visa processing time is the longest duration adjustment that the embassy has made. Just last April 1st, the embassy announced that the "visa processing period of temporary visitor's visa (C-3) will be increased from three days (frequent travelers) and five days (first-time travelers) to seven working days (same for both first time and frequent travelers). The embassy also reasoned that it was because of the sudden influx of applicants that triggered the new policy.