Are you a fan of Korean dramas? Or maybe you love the tune, melody and even the dance moves being performed by your favorite KPop stars? Or you’re a self-professed Bogummy’s girlfriend or Asawa ni Gong Yoo? (Pls, Song Joong Ki’s mine! Period. No erase!) Or you just simply want to go out of the country and explore the beauty of Seoul, South Korea? Then what are you waiting for? I’m telling you, it’s all worth it!
Since some of my friends are asking me to publish my recent trip to Seoul, I decided to start by sharing these three easy steps for visa application. This was my first visa and I could say that it didn’t give me any hard time and headache during the whole process. As easy as counting from one to three – yep, you’ll get what you want!
I. FILL OUT THE FORM AND COMPLETE THE REQUIREMENTS.
You may find the form in three different document types in the official website of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Republic of the Philippines. I suggest that you download the .docx type so you may input and further edit all the information via Microsoft Word.
Requirements vary depending on your status, whether you’re an employee, a business owner, a student, a retired Senior Citizen, etc. For the full list of required documents, click here.
As an employee, here’s my list:
1. Application Form;
2. 1-piece of Passport size colored picture to attach on the application form;
3. Original Passport – should be valid for more than 6 months;
4. Photocopy of Passport’s Bio-page;
5. Original & photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years (if applicable);
6. Original Certificate of Employment – must include applicant’s position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR landline number (cellphone number is not allowed) and HR e-mail address;
7. Original Personal Bank Certificate – must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB;
8. Bank Statement – original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months;
9. Copy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316;
10. Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (if applicable).
- Do not leave any box empty in the application form. Instead, write “N/A” for those items that are not applicable;
- Make sure to complete the requirements. For those who are newly hired and no available ITR yet, prepare ahead a letter of explanation;
- Bank certificate has a fee of around P150 (BPI) and bank statement is free. Request those papers at least 1-week before your application date;
II. SUBMIT THE DOCUMENTS AT KOREAN EMBASSY.
The embassy is located at McKinley Town Center, 122 Upper McKinley Rd, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila. If you’re coming from north and passing through C5, it is situated just before turning right to Venice Grand Canal Plaza. Fill out the log sheet at the security gate and fall in line in the 1st screening, which will be found right at the entrance of the building. Arrange all your documents in order based on the list of the requirements. You will be given a queue number and window assignment. The processing starts at 8:30 in the morning. I was there at quarter to 8 and the venue is already filled with applicants. Maybe because it’s Monday – something I’m not sure of. I was done at around 10:00 am.
- Personal appearance is not necessary – you may opt to hand it over to a friend or relative or may also bring theirs together with your documents;
- No visa fee for a stay of 59 days or less. A fee of P1,800 will be collected if you’re planning to stay in South Korea for 60 to 90 days;
- Application is being done every morning only, starting at 8:30 from Monday to Friday.
III. CLAIM YOUR VISA.
Upon application, you will be given a claim stub that indicates the date when your visa becomes available. You just need to keep the stub and present it to the same counter where you submitted your documents for 1st screening. The personnel will give you a queue number. Days before the claiming, you may actually check the status of your application through the Korean Visa Portal. Click “English” on the upper right corner of your window and “Check Application Status” on the left menu button. Information needed are passport number, name and birthday.
Processing Time is 3-working days for those who have been to OECD member countries within 5 years as tourist and 5-working days for those who have not been to OECD member countries within 5 years.
- Personal appearance, again, is not necessary – you may opt to hand it over to a friend or relative or may also bring theirs together with your claim stub;
- Claiming is being done every afternoon only, starting at 1:30 from Monday to Friday.
As bonus information, Korean Embassy has a promo for multiple entry visa application for those who have a BPI or BDO gold credit card. Present your documents together with your latest Billing Statement and a photocopy of the front of your credit card. For applicants who are receiving their statements through email, you should visit the bank to acquire the original copy. Printed copy will not be accepted. Original card should also be presented to the visa officer. Submission of Bank Statement and ITR is not needed anymore if you have a gold card from the said banks. Nonetheless, I still secured to complete the requirements above.
Now tell me, guys…
Who wouldn’t be happy with this?
If you have further questions or clarifications, feel free to ask me by commenting below or drop a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is really my pleasure to help you. 🙂
For those who wanted to share more tips and relevant facts about Korean visa application, I encourage you to share it below for the benefit of other readers.