Updated as of February 2019
Applying for a Visa for the first time can be very nerve wracking. You feel all sorts of emotion especially when the claiming date of your passport is nearing up. Trust me, I know the feeling since obtaining my Korean Tourist Visa was my very first attempt to get a visa. It was the start of a dream come true to visit Oppa Land!
Update: Due to the increase of visa applications in the Korean Embassy, the office has decided to course through visa applications via accredited travel agencies starting July 1, 2018. Please see list of accredited travel agencies here.
However, the Cebu Korean Consulate Office still accepts walk-in visa applications.
Allow me to share with you my experience in applying for a Korean Tourist Visa as an employee. For all other types, please do visit the embassy’s website and you can find the needed requirements there.
Disclaimer: I am not a representative of the Embassy of Korea and I cannot guarantee with you that your visa will be approved. I am merely sharing my experience when I applied for my tourist Visa
- Application Form – Fill this up before going to the embassy. You can download the application here. Print it in an A4 sized bondpaper
2. 1pc. passport size colored picture – attach in the application form
3. Original Passport (should be valid for 6months); Old passports with previous travels within the last 5 years should be submitted together with the latest passport when applying for visa.
4. Photocopy of Passport Bio Page
5. Original & Photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years (If applicable only) Countries included are Japan, US, Canada, etc. I personally think this will give you an advantage in having your application approved.
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) – paid a Php100 fee to BPI. Was released immediately
8. Original/Certified True Copy of Bank Statement/Passbook for the past 3 months – released immediately by the bank
9. Income Tax Return or Form 2316 copy
Update as of August 2018: Starting July 1, 2018, Company Alphalist is no longer required to be submitted as a visa requirement
For employees, since our Form 2316 is transmitted to BIR via scanned copies, there will be no receiving stamp by the BIR. To augment this, the Embassy will allow the following as supporting for your BIR form 2316:
a. Copy of notarized sworn declaration, transmittal form with BIR stamp submitted by the company to BIR in accordance with RR No. 2-2015
b. Certified True Copy of the BIR 2316
I wish I knew this one way ahead. I had to go back to the company and ask HR if any of the above was available. I got item (a) above as supporting.
10. Copy of PRC or IBP Card (if applicable)
If you are personally invited by a Korean/Korean Company, you might need additional requirements such as:
- Invitation Letter
- Photocopy of Invitor’s passport or identification card
- Photocopy of Korean business permit (if invited by company)
Also, in my case, days before the releasing of my passport, I was emailed and called (though i was not able to answer my phone) that I needed to submit additional requirements such as a Guaranty Letter by the owner/department manager/HR manager of your company (they will send you a format), Copy of the Passport Bio Page and Company ID of your guarantor. I am not quite sure in what instance they’ll be requiring these additional documents. One thing was sure, this prolonged the releasing of my passport by a couple of days. So just a tip, you can prepare this requirement ahead when you feel like it to avoid hassle or just apply weeks before to ensure that you have enough time before your trip.
FILLING UP THE APPLICATION FORM
In filling up the form, note the following tips:
- Put N/A in items that are not applicable. As much as possible do not leave anything blank.
- Write in Bold Letters using Black ink ballpen.
- [PART 1] For the National Identity ID, put N/A
- [PART 2] I left this part blank
- [PART 9] check “Tourism/transit”.
- [PART 9] “Address in Korea” would be your hotel address. I also placed the hotel’s name just in case.
- [PART 9] “Contact No. in Korea” would be your Hotel’s number.
- [PART 9] If you’re travelling with any family member, write down the details needed. Note that family member means spouse, father, mother, children, brothers and sisters
- [PART 10] For visa purposes, I budgeted $100 per day. So for me, since I’ll be staying in SoKor for 5 days, I placed $500. Now be cautious of your bank balance. It should be enough to cover your estimated expenses and I also would recommend having spare money just to be sure.
- [PART 10] 10.2 will ask for who will fund your trip. Since I am funding for myself, (a) Name of person funding you- I placed my name (b) Relationship to you – MYSELF (c) Type of support – FINANCIAL SUPPORT (d) Contact No.
- [PART 12] Dont forget to sign your form.
SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION
Arrange the requirements according to the list above. You may submit your application and requirements between 9am-11am at the following offices:
METRO MANILA: 122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig city 1634, Philippines
Note: Korean Embassy in Manila only accepts applications via Accredited Travel Agencies
CEBU: 12th Floor Chinabank Corporate Center, Lot 2, Samar Loop Cor. Road 5, Cebu Bussines Park, Mabolo, Cebu City, Philippines
Note: Cebu consulate office still accepts walk in visa applications
I submitted mine in Cebu Office since I’m from the city. Upon arriving, you’ll be asked to leave an ID to the guard. They will also ask for your phone to cover the cameras. Don’t be surprised as picture taking is not allowed inside the consulate office and embassy. Once you get your priority number, wait for your turn and once called, proceed to window 3. You need not worry about lines, there aren’t actually a lot of people. I was done in more or less 30 minutes.
None/Zero/Gratis – If you are staying 59 days or less (Thank you so much SoKor!)
Php 1,800 – If you are staying 60-90 days
3 working days – If you have been to any OECD Country as a tourist for the last 5 years
5 working days – If you have NOT been to any OECD Country as a tourist for the last 5 years
However, please note that since April 17,2017, the processing time in Cebu office is now 7 working days. So better apply for your visas early.
APPROVED OR DENIED?
Did you know that you can check the status of your application online? Instead of waiting for your release date, you can check ahead whether you are denied or approved. You can visit visa.go.kr to check. Just follow the steps below:
- Go to the website. Make sure its in english (haha!)
2. In the side Menu, click “Check Application Status”. Then Click “Check Application Status and Print”
3. Click “Diplomatic Office”. Input your Passport No., Name in English (e.g if your name is MARY SANTOS. Input it as SANTOS MARY), Date of Birth and click search.
4. You may then check your application status below:
Steps are as easy as that!
RELEASING OF PASSPORTS
Passports are released by the embassy /consulate offices everyday from 2pm-4pm. It didn’t take me 5 minutes to claim my passport as no one was around. Just bring your claim slip and you’re good to go 🙂
So there you have it! Good luck in your application. I hope I’ve given enough information for you to know. Dont forget to pray pray pray before the release of your passports. Just have faith that it will be granted! 😉