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
- 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.
For additional requirements:
You may refer to this link for updated visa requirements for other categories.
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.
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!
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! :)