How to Apply for Korean Tourist Visa for Filipinos

That's me showing off my Korean tourist visa back in 2014.

ICYMI, Korean Embassy in Manila recently updated (effective September 1, 2015) their form for tourist visa application. I'd like to thank my good friend Dre of for the heads up and for updating this post. :) Read on for a step by step guide on how to apply for a Korean tourist visa in the Philippines. Please take note that this post is for Philippine passport holders only.

If you’re like me with itchy feet, I am pretty sure that you have dreams to travel every nook and cranny of the world. But traveling outside of your country is not always an easy feat; some countries require paperwork before you can enter.

This year, my family plans to travel to South Korea. When an airfare for 50% off to South Korea was published, we simply grabbed the opportunity. Book now, worry about the visa later. Based on my research, you should apply for a visa at least two months before your departure date, so on September 30th we passed our requirements to the Korean Embassy with the hopes of getting our visa approved.

One thing to take note is that we’re traveling as a family. We are composed of professionals, a student, and a housewife, but the requirements are basically the same for everyone. Please check this link for any Visa Announcement from the embassy, and this link for Visa Requirements.

Now let’s get down to business.

Here are some tips on how to apply for a Korean Visa.

Complete ALL the requirements.

1. Application Form
  • Download the application form here, or check the embassy website for the latest form. 
  • Fill out the form in BLOCK LETTERS. You can either write or type in your answers. Please use black ink! In our case, we typed in our answers and printed them out on A4.
  • Make sure that you don’t leave anything blank. Just put “N/A” if it’s not applicable.

2. 1 pc. Passport size colored picture
  • Any color background would do, but we chose a white background. 
  • Make sure your eyebrows and ears are showing. 
  • You can smile a little on your photo, and add in a pop of color on your lips if you’re a lady, but not too red! 
  • We all wore collared tops, if that helps.

3. Original Passport
  • Must be valid for more than 6 months
  • Remove the passport jacket/case, submit it as is.

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, and Korean Visas will not be counted)
  • Only one of us has an OECD visa. He had it photocopied. The embassy just checked the original visa, but gave it back after checking.

6. Original Certificate of Employment
  • Please make sure that the date is within the month of your application date. 
  • Please advise your HR to have the following information on your COE. 
    • Your position 
    • Date hired 
    • Compensation 
    • Office Address 
    • HR landline number – mobile number is not allowed 
    • HR email-address – some of us do not have this, but it’s always best to have this handy on your COE

7. Original Personal Bank Certificate
  • Must include the following information:
    • Account type 
    • Current balance 
    • Account opening date 
    • ADB (Average Daily Balance) 
    • With BPI and BDO, we had to pay Php100 for a copy.
    • On a side note, my bank account does not contain Php50,000. (Travel Junkie's Note: I get a lot of inquiries asking how much should they present. To be honest, I have no idea what the minimum is. I guess you just need to show like how much is your budget for the duration of your stay.)

8. Original Bank Statement
  • Original or certified true copy of bank statement/passbook for the last 3 months
  • With BDO, we had to pay Php100, and an additional fee if it exceeds 3 pages.
* My father will stand as the financier of my mom and brother, so we submitted two sets of bank certificates and bank statements from different banks to show that my father can support them.

For additional requirements:

You may refer to this link for updated visa requirements for other categories.

* Frequent travelers who have traveled as a tourist to OECD member countries within 5 years are exempt from submitting an ITR. To check the list of members, please refer to this website.

The processing time is 3 to 5 days. It is usually 5 days for those who have not been to an OECD member country within 5 years. The visa fee is FREE for 59 days or less, and Php1800 for 60-90 days stay in Korea.


1. Submission for applications is only done from Mondays-Fridays, 9AM-11AM. Schedule of pick-up is from 1:30-4:30PM only. Always check the embassy website for schedule of their holidays.
2.  If you’re applying for a family like I did, one member can pass all the requirements on their behalf.
3. Bring a valid ID to present when entering the embassy.
4. Make sure that your requirements are COMPLETE AND VALID. Do not dare submit fake documents. Your photocopies must be clear to avoid any issues.
5. There’s no need for additional documents such as plane tickets or hotel reservations. You can apply without those. However, in the application form you will be asked about your desired dates of arrival, length of stay, where you will stay – so you can just type in your target date, and desired hotel (address/contact info). In our case, we typed in the address of our Airbnb rented apartment.
6. When submitting your documents, arrange them the way the requirements were listed above. It helps the staff by the door to easily confirm that your documents are correct and complete.
7. You do not need to staple your application form beforehand. They will staple all your documents together after checking. Make sure the photo is already glued to your application form. This saves time.
8. After the staff checks the requirements, you will be given a number. Wait for your turn.
9. Please be courteous when submitting your requirements, at least greet “Good morning”maybe this will add brownie points!
We actually arrived at the embassy at 9:45AM, but we were done in less than 30 minutes. I love how efficient their staff is. We were asked to come back on October 7th to see if our visas have been approved. My mom and I went to claim our passports, and voila! VISA APPROVED!

About the Contributor: Dre of loves to wander and leave a mark everywhere – a wanderer and a wonderer. Her destination of choice is the beach. She is not afraid to get lost in a new city. She dreams to hop from country to country in Asia, and do a backpacking tour of Europe. Besides her love for travel, she is also a booknerd who loves animals, too. She has 3 dogs – Booboo, Jasper, and Kali – and one imaginary friend. She is recently into learning languages, and fell in love with Korean. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

P.S. This application is for Filipinos currently based in the Philippines only. If you have any questions, just 'LIKE' my Facebook page and you may send me a PM there. Thanks! :)


  1. I am a freelance director and I don't know which category I fall under. I don't have business papers and mayor's permit. What I have is BIR2307 issued by one of the companies that hire my services. Leaving in
    May already. What do I do?

    1. Hello Anon!

      Hmm, I'm sorry but I have limited info about your question but have you tried to submit your personal income tax with the BIR? If so, maybe you could present that to the embassy.

  2. Hi good evening. I have a questions. I want to visit Korea but I'm unemployed and not a student too. So is it ok to not submit COE? And I have a 2316 copy but it's until 2011 only. Would that be fine if submit that,? Tnx in advance. I will wait for your response.

    1. Hello Hyekyo,

      Are you a housewife? If so, you may present your husband's COE and latest ITR. Details here:

      But if not, I suggest you ask your parents to provide documents for you like affidavit of support, etc.

  3. hi im a graduate student dis year on may. but i hav no work yet. so wil i stil can apply for visa under as a student tourist visa?.and if dats possible,is it still valid to show my bank cert?instead of my parent bank cert? but il stil present my parent dtr and business permit.. Only bank cert is mine..

    1. Hi Anon,

      You're going to SoKor as tourist right? No need to apply for student visa, it applies only to those who plan to study there. If you're presenting your parents ITR and business permit then you also need to present their bank cert together with an affidavit of support. Optional na to provide your personal bank cert.

  4. hi, i'm korean national and my fiance is a filipina i want to come back in korea with her to visit my family for only a few weeks. she stopped in her study this year and she dont work becuase shes pregnant. what do we need to pass in korean embassy? is she can still apply as a student? please reply. thnx

    1. Hi,

      I'm not exactly sure but I think you need to provide an affidavit of support for your fiance but for further clarification I suggest you give the South Korean embassy a call regarding this matter. (Tel) (63-2) 856-9210 visa local no. 270, 500.

  5. Hi we have a business here in cebu me and my brother are self-employed,dn sister of my mom is a senior already..any idea wat requirements should we submit?

    1. Hi Anonymous!

      Are you Philippine residents? Please click here for updated list of requirements per application:

  6. hi im a graduate student dis year on april. but i have no work yet. so will i stil can apply for a korea visa under as a student visa?.and if that's possible,is it still valid to show my bank certificate? And beside i have a place to stay there my boyfriend is working there he is a Filipino to and I'm 18 years old is there a age limit for applying for a visa?

    1. Student visa is only for people who will study in South Korea. You need to get a tourist visa but yes I guess you need to submit requirements for student. You need to show your parent's bank cert, ITR, employment cert.

  7. hi ask ko lang po kung anu needed na requirements for korean tourist visa kc i already had a us tourist visa.

    1. Click here for list of requirements per category:

  8. Thanks, do i still need to provide a bank certificate and itr?

    1. Are you the previous commenter? Yes, you still need to present both docs.

  9. Hi.. the income tax return i have here was last 2013. Is it okay i will pass the my 2013 itr?

    1. Hi, not exactly sure coz its better if the latest sana.

  10. Helo mam,can i ask about what is the requirements for tourist vsa in korea?but i unemployed,bcuz i have a baby and me and my boyfrnd are not mariage,wat should i do?and by da way the itr,is it easy to register ?eventhough i dont have busines?hopefuly u wel answer ol of my question or just pm me at my facebook name Soo Shin.thank u :-)

    1. Were you employed before getting pregnant? If so, maybe you could ask the company for a copy of your ITR. If not, you need to register for a tax identifcation number (TIN) and file for your income tax return.

  11. Hello, is it okay to to have 2 different companies for my requirements? I switched jobs recently so my COE will be different from my 2013 ITR. Would also like to know if its required to be present during visa application. Will be applying for my whole family. Thank you!

    1. I suggest you ask company to provide certificate of employment. In terms of attendance, I dont think its necessary coz the last time we want there my sister wasn't present during application.

  12. hello, need some help po...i unemployed in the Phils. but i have
    part-time online job hnd register sa pinas but in korea..
    i want to travel in korea but as ive seen nid ng employment
    cert and ITR which both i dont husband is in korea
    OFW is it possible to apply as housewife? tourist visa lng
    short stay for feb 2015 holiday trip..thanks!

    1. Hi Kaye!

      Yes, you may present your hubby's docs instead. Click here for the docs needed for housewifes: