Comprehensive Application Guide in Securing a Korean Visa for Philippine Passport Holders

Guidelines on How to Apply for a South Korea Tourist Visa


Korea is one of the most sought after travel destinations in Asia today. With its fascinating beauty set in four distinct seasons, Korea is indeed a country to behold as there’s plenty to discover and experience in this culturally diverse nation.

A valid Korean visa is what you need as your entry pass in the inviting country. Asian countries like Cambodia, China, Egypt, India, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam including The Philippines are required to secure one. Although Korea is so strict when it comes to issuance of visa, the application process is simple and easy, given that you have all the necessary documents and meet the benchmarks the embassy sets.

South Korea Visa Application Guide

Before, applying for a Korean visa can be made straight at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Manila. But due to the increase of applicants securing their visas from 90,000 in the year 2015 which has doubled in a span of two years at around 160,000 in 2017 and the inconvenience of waiting for hours in a long line just to file a visa application, the Korean Embassy decided to have these forms be filed in an accredited travel agency instead of coursing them directly at the consulate office. In line with this, the embassy designated 35 travel agencies to process Korean visa applications with the exemption of applicants for spouses and children of Korean nationals, those with visa issuance number, government employees and applicants with humanitarian mission in Korea.

Scope of this Visa Application Guide

The Embassy of the Republic of Korea
How to apply for a South Korea tourist visa?
1. What South Korea visa should I apply for?
2. Prepare all the necessary documents for your visa application
     2.1 Basic Application Requirements for Tourist Visa
     2.2 Supporting Documents if invited for a short visit in Korea
     2.3 Additional Requirements per Employment Status
        a. For Employees
        b. For Self-Employed/Businessmen
        c. For Students
        d. For Spouses/Housewives/Househusbands
        e. For Retirees/Senior Citizens
3. Submit documents to an embassy designated travel agency
     3.1 Directory of Embassy Accredited Travel Agencies
        a. Schedule of Visa Fees
        b. Visa Application Processing Time
4. Track your application status online
5. Claim your passport and visa
Applying for a Multiple-Entry Visa?
Application for Visa-Free Entry of Frequent Visitors to Korea
      a. Basic Requirements
      b. Eligibility for Visa-Free Entry Policy
Validity of Visa
Period of Stay in Korea
Important Notes
Frequently Asked Questions
      1. Do I need to purchase airline tickets and book a hotel in advance to support my visa application?
      2. Is there a required amount of fund I have to show on my bank account to be granted a visa?
      3. Is filing my visa application through a travel agency necessary?
      4. Which travel agency do you recommend to process my visa application?
      5. Can I appeal if my visa application got denied?

The new visa application process was initiated on July 1st and is now in effect. However, the Korean Consulate in Cebu isn’t affected by these changes as application procedures are still the same whether walk-in or not. So, read on to learn how to apply for a South Korea tourist visa in the Philippines.

In this comprehensive guide, get to know all the requirements and the new process on how to file your visa application in an embassy-accredited travel agency including cheat sheet, some helpful tips and frequently asked questions that are based on personal experience.

The Embassy of the Republic of Korea

First things first, do take note of the contact details and address of the Korean Embassy in Manila and the Consulate Office of the Republic of Korea in Cebu as you will need it when securing your documents.

Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Manila

Address: 122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Philippines
Email Address: ph04@mofa.go.kr
Telephone: +63-2 856-9210 loc. 270/500

Consulate of the Republic of Korea in Cebu

Address: 12th Floor ChinaBank Corporate Center, Lot 2, Samar Loop cor. Road 5, Cebu Business Park, Cebu City, Philippines
Email Address: phi_cebu2015@mofa.go.kr
Telephone: +63-32 231-1516

How to apply for a South Korea tourist visa?

Learn the procedure on how to file your visa application in the Philippines in 5 simple steps.

1. What South Korea visa should I apply for?

Like many other countries, the government of South Korea also offers many types of visas which are divided into categories. These include visas for diplomats, government officials, tourists, study, work, family visits, military and other visas for different purposes. However, this how-to guide will only focus on tourist/business visa specifically for employees, businessmen, students, spouses, and retirees. If you have a different intent of travel in Korea other than what is stated here, you may personally contact the Korean Embassy with the above information.

2. Prepare all the necessary documents for your visa application

All you have to do is prepare the necessary requirements for your South Korea visa application. Do note that most of these documents you need to submit along with your application form must be original and authenticated by institutions where you had them.

Application for a Korean Visa

Basic Application Requirements for Tourist Visa

1. Application Form
Fill out your visa application form, it's recommended to use a black ink pen and correctly answer the items in block letters. Complete all the needed information and if an item is not applicable to you, do not leave it blank instead put just N/A. You can fill in your application form handwritten or computerized so long as it is duly accomplished. You can download the softcopy of the visa application form here and print it out on an A4-size paper.

ALSO: Read on our Cheat Sheet on How to Fill Out the South Korea Visa Application Form

2. One (1) Passport-Size Colored Picture
It should be your latest and studio taken photo that is good enough to see your face features.
3. Original Passport
Please note that your passport should be valid for more than six (6) months. If not, it's necessary that you have to renew first your passport before filing your visa application as neither the travel agency nor the embassy will accept your documents if the validity isn’t within the required.
4. Photocopy of Passport Bio-Page
A photocopy of your valid passport's bio-page which can be found on page 2 of your travel document. Your copy should be clear and it does not matter if it's printed in colored or black and white. If you were to ask me though, I submitted a colored copy of the document so I might as well recommend it.
5. Original & Photocopy of Valid OECD Visa/s and Arrival Stamps
If applicable, get all your valid visas and arrival stamps to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries for the past five (5) years be photocopied. The list of the OECD countries is stated below for your reference:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Chech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States

Supporting Documents if invited for a short visit in Korea

1. Invitation Letter & Photocopy of Inviter's Passport or Identification Card (if invited by a Korean national)
A printed copy of the Invitation Letter and the Korean inviter's Passport or Identification Card. It doesn’t matter if they’re original or not as authentication in these documents isn't required. But if you want to be sure with your visa application, have your documents sent to you through snail mail and include them in your requirements instead.
2. Invitation Letter & Photocopy of the Korean Company's Business Permit (if invited by a Company in Korea)
A printed copy of the Invitation Letter and Business Permit of the Korean company. Again, it doesn’t matter if the documents are authenticated or not so long as it can support your visa application and most especially they aren’t falsified. I submitted only the scanned copies of my documents when I applied for my visa as I don’t have enough time to wait for my documents sent from Korea so it's up to if you want to submit the original ones or not.

Additional Requirements per Employment Status

Other than the basic requirements, below are the additional documents you have to secure to support your visa application. This is to prove that you can fund your travel to Korea and you have a stable job and strong economic ties in the Philippines.

For Employees

1. Certificate of Employment
Must be the original copy that contains the applicant's position, date hired, compensation, the company/office address, and HR department's email address and landline number. These are all important information that must be included in your Employment Certificate. Do note that mobile number is not allowed so better have your HR know about it where you will be getting your document.
2. Original Personal Bank Certificate
The bank certificate must include the account type, current balance, account opening date and the ADB (Average Daily Balance). Getting the document in your bank branch is easy. You just have to request for it with the reason that you will be using the document to support your Korean visa application. It should be addressed to the Embassy of the Republic of Korea so be sure you have a copy of their details when visiting your bank.
3. Certified True Copy of Bank Statement
Original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook covering the transactions for the last three (3) months. You can request your bank statement along with your personal bank certificate at the same time within a day. A fee of about Php100-Php200 will be collected for both documents and varies per bank.
4. Income Tax Return (ITR)/Form 2316
A photocopy of your ITR or Form 2316 that you can get to your employer. If you are a frequent tourist to any OECD member country within 5 years, you are exempt from submitting an ITR.
5. Photocopy of PRC Card or IBP Card
If applicable, submit a printed copy of your PRC/IBP issued card.

For Self-Employed/Businessmen

1. Photocopy of Business Registration issued by SEC/DTI
A printed copy of SEC or DTI issued business registration.
2. Photocopy of Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit
A photocopy of your Business Permit and or Mayor’s Permit.
3. Original Personal Bank Certificate
The bank certificate must include the account type, current balance, account opening date and the ADB. It should be addressed to the Korean Embassy in Manila or Korean Consulate in Cebu.
4. Certified True Copy of Bank Statement
Original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook covering the latest transactions for the last three (3) months.
5. Income Tax Return (ITR)/Form 2316
A photocopy of the ITR or Form 2316 of your business. I am sure you have your own personal copy of ITR filed and stamped by the BIR with corresponding payment receipt from an authorized bank which includes the net income and total revenue of the business. Note that if you are a frequent tourist to any OECD member country within 5 years, you are exempt from submitting an ITR.
6. Photocopy of PRC Card/IBP Card
If you have one of these IDs, submit a printed copy of your PRC or IBP issued card.

For Students

1. School Certificate
Must be the original copy of your school certificate.
2. Photocopy of Valid School ID
3. Photocopy of PSA-issued Birth Certificate
4. Parents’ Documents
     a. If parents are employed.
  • Certificate of Employment
     Must be the original copy containing your parent’s position, date hired, compensation, company address, and HR’s email address and landline number.
  • Income Tax Return (ITR)/Form 2316
     Photocopy of your parents’ latest ITR or Form 2316.
     b. If parents are self-employed.
  • Photocopy of Business Registration issued by SEC/DTI
  • Photocopy of Business Permit/Mayor’s Permit
  • Income Tax Return (ITR)/Form 2316
     Photocopy of ITR or Form 2316 with corresponding payment receipt from BIR authorized bank.
     c. Original Bank Certificate
     Bank certificate must include the account type, current balance, account opening date and ADB. It should be addressed to the Embassy of the Republic of Korea.
     d. Certified True Copy of Bank Statement
     Original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook covering transactions for the last three (3) months.
     e. Copy of Parents’ Marriage Certificate issued by PSA
     Original and photocopy of your parents’ Marriage Certificate from Philippine Statistics Office.

For Spouses/Housewives/Househusbands

1. Spouse’s Documents
     a. If spouse is employed.
  • Certificate of Employment
     Original copy containing your spouse’s position, date hired, compensation, company address, and HR department’s email address and landline number. Mobile number isn’t allowed.
  • Income Tax Return (ITR)/Form 2316
     Copy of your spouse's ITR or Form 2316 which he/she can secure through employer.
     b. If spouse is self-employed
  • Photocopy of Business Registration from SEC/DTI
     A printed copy of your SEC/DTI issued business registration.
  • Photocopy of Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit
     A copy of the Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit.
  • Income Tax Return (ITR)/Form 2316
     A photocopy of ITR or Form 2316 of the business duly filed and stamped by the BIR with corresponding payment receipt from an authorized bank.
     c. Original Personal/Spouse’s Bank Certificate
     d. Certified True Copy of Personal/Spouse’s Bank Statement
     e. Photocopy of PSA Marriage Certificate

For Retirees/Senior Citizens

1. Original Personal Bank Certificate
Bank certificate must include the account type, current balance, account opening date and ADB. It should be addressed to the Korean Embassy in Manila or Consulate of Republic of Korea in Cebu.
2. Certified True Copy of Bank Statement
Original copy of bank statements/passbook covering the last three (3) months.
3. Photocopy of Senior Citizen’s ID
4. Other Supporting Documents
     a. If bank documents to be submitted along with the visa application are named to another family member, it’s required to submit proof of relationship.
  • Copy of Marriage Certificate for Spouse
  • Copy of Birth Certificate of Children; among others

If you now have all the important requirements, it is necessary to organize your documents as listed above. In the previous application procedure, the embassy pay focus on the arrangement of the documents so I am still recommending it even though travel agencies will be the one to take care of your visa application. You have to arrange them in the same manner as the usual as this will save time and speed up the process.

3. Submit documents to an embassy designated travel agency

With all of your requirements ready for submission, here is the full list of the accredited travel agencies along with their contact info and office address. These agencies are carefully selected by the embassy so you don’t have to worry about your visa application as most of them are pioneers in the industry.

Directory of Embassy Accredited Travel Agencies

List of travel agencies designated by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines.

1. Aboex Travel and Tours
077 722-2141 | 02 246-1518
Unit 14 Upper Ground Globe Tower Plaza 1, Pioneer Street, cor. Madison Street, Mandaluyong

2. Adventure International
02 884-9400
G/F 3rd & 4th Floor Eurovilla 2, Rufino Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City

3. Blue Horizons Travel and Tours Inc.
02 988-5000
23 Floor Pacific Star Bldg., Makati Avenue cor. Sen Gil Puyat, Makati City

4. Budget Tavel and Tours Inc.
02 523-8120
Suite 3, Metropolitan Tower, Mabini Street, Malate, Manila

Alabang Branch
02 850-5505 to 56/59/63
Unit 4018 3/F Alabang Town Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

5. Castro Travel Philippines Inc.
02 810-0079
2nd Floor Tuscan Bldg., 114 VA Rufino Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City

6. City Travel and Tours Corporation
02 812-9111
LG8 Cityland 10 Tower 1, H.V. Dela Costa Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City

Pampanga Branch
045 322-3767 | 045 405-0317
Unit 201, 2F Diamond Spring Hotel Bldg., McArthur Highway, Balibago, Angeles City

7. Come On Phils. Golf and Travel Agency Inc.
02 810-1959
U-PXA 03A Hobbies of Asia 8, Diosdado Macapagal, Pasay City

8. Constellation Travels Inc.
02 224-1730
5th Floor, Merry Land Plaza, 1157 Chino Roces Avenue, San Antonio Village, Makati City

Iloilo Branch
033 514-1066
G/F Door 2, Manfred's Building, 22 Gen. Luna Street, Iloilo City

9. First United Travel Inc.
02 818-7181 | 02 819-3919
Garden Level Corinthian Plaza, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City

Bulacan Branch
044 892-0746 | 044 766-1939
2/Floor, Abary Square Bldg., 1773 Ano Street corner F. Vergel De Dios Street, Poblacion, Baliuag, Bulacan

Subic Satellite Office
047 251-4134
BLDG. 896 Rizal Highway corner Manila Avenue, Subic Bay Freefort Zone, Subic

Cebu Branch
032 266-8816 | 032 266-1841
Unit 118, The QC Pavillon, Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City

10. Getaway Tours International Inc.
02 524-2202 | 02 524-2252
576 San Andres Street near corner Adriatico Street, Malate, Manila

11. H.I.S. Philippines Travel Corp.
02 915-0351 | 02 822-4496
2/F Serendra Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City

Corporate & Sub-Agents
02 718-5002
14F Picadilly Star Building, 4th Avenue corner 27th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

12. HankookCeb Corp.
032 238-2595 | 070 4645-7283
Trans Asia Building Room 301 cor. MJ Cuenco Avenue, Osmena Boulevard, Cebu City

Makati Branch
02 776-0253
Unit 201 Buma Building, Metropolitan Avenue, San Antonio, Makati City

13. JTB Asia Pacific Phil. Corp.
02 894-5528
18th Flr. RCBC Savings Bank Corporate Centre, 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

Pasay Branch
02 994-8954 | 0949 994-0249
259 (EM) 2F South Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, MOA Complex, Pasay City

Quezon City Branch
02 932-5600 | 0999 224-5669
4th Floor Japan Town Retail 2 Level 4, Ayala Mall, Vertis North, Quezon City

Cebu Branches
032 260-8024
Unit 2L 170, J Centre Mall, A.S. Fortuna Street, Bakilid, Mandaue City, Cebu City

032 261-5102
Unit 5/6, MDCT Building, 8th Floor, Block 20, Leyte Loop, Cebu Business Park, Cebu City

14. KP Joeun Consultancy Inc.
02 854-5514 | 02 451-1282 | 02 998-6639
Retail 9, Goldland Millenia Tower J., Escriva Drive, Ortigas Center, Pasig City

15. Las Palmas Tours and Travel Agency Inc.
02 711-7069
G/F Unit B2 Imperial Bayfront Tower, 1642 A. Mabini Street, Malate, Manila

Makati Branch
02 840-1363 to 65
UGI1 Alfaro Place 146 LP Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City

Pampanga Branch
045 435-1177 | 045 435-1977
Unit 2 1010 Alley Building, Consunji Street, Brgy. Sto Rosario, City of San Fernando, Pampanga

16. MNK Travel and Tours Corp.
02 687-4443
802 One Corp. Center, Julia Vargas cor., Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City

17. North Star International Travel Inc.
02 485-7272
19F Trident Tower, 312 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City

18. Party-On Travel and Tour Community Inc.
02 470-2000
Unit C2 17th Flr. Strata 100 Bldg., F. Ortigas Jr., Ortigas Center, Pasig City

19. Reli Tours and Travel Company
02 894-1214
3rd Floor Dusit Hotel corner Edsa, Pasay Road, Makati City

20. Sharp Travel Service Phils. Inc.
02 817-0071 to 4
Suite 504 Alexander House Bldg., Amorsolo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City

21. Swire Travel Philippines Inc.
02 817-1082
6th Floor Country Spacel Bldg., Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City

22. The Baron Travel Corporation
02 817-4926
3F PCCI Corporate Center, 118 L.P. Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City

23. TravelPros
634-0265 | 634-0266
5F SM Megamall Bldg. B, Edsa, Mandaluyong City

Quezon City Branches
939-6023 | 938-8742
Lower Ground Floor SM City Fairview, Quirino Highway, Greater Lagro, Novaliches, Quezon City

332-9678 | 921-9279
Unit 107 Ground Floor The Block SM North Edsa, Brgy. Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City

Taguig Branches
556-3007
Basement 1 SM Aura Premiere, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

889-7296 | 889-739
Flight Center 3rd Floor 367A-D, Market Market, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

Quezon Province Branch
042 652-2268
31 A-Square Town Center, Dona Tating, Poblacion 1, Tiaong, Quezon

24. TravelServices Inc.
02 706-8600
2F Trinity Insurance Center 7504 Bagtikan Street, San Antonio, Makati City

25. Uni-Orient Travel Inc.
02 243-3888
447 Juan Luna Street, Binondo, Manila

Makati Branch
02 818-9585
Unit 101 Ground Floor, Windsor Tower, 163 Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City

Pasig Branch
02 705-2222
Unit 2006 East Tektite Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange, Ortigas Center, Pasig City

Cebu Branch
032 253-1868
2nd Floor, Capitol Square, N. Escario Street, Cebu City

Besides the individual filing, visa application for a group of at least five (5) members will also be accepted in the following travel agencies so long as they will enter and exit Korea with the same flight. This applies particularly to sponsored tour through a company incentive or educational tour of below secondary and collegiate level.

1. Ark Travel Express Inc.
02 816-6416
146 Alfaro Place, L.P. Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City

2. Grand Hope Travel Inc.
032 234-076
Lower Ground Level, SM City-NRA, Cebu City

3. Hanatour Manila Inc.
02 403-3993
2/F Damon Building, Macapagal Avenue, 1011 Pasay, Metro Manila

4. Horizon Travel and Tours Inc.
02 521-2586
490 Potenciana Mansion, Sta. Monica Street, Ermita, Manila

5. International Journeys Inc.
02 400-0550
Unit 2, 3rd Floor, Altra Center, 1663 Jorge Bocobo Street, Malate, Manila

6. Island Resort Club Tour Services Inc.
02 78-9999
Unit 109-P, G/F Five Ecom Center, Pacific Drive, SM Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City

7. Marsman Drysdale Travel Inc.
02 887-000
19th Floor Robinsons Summit Center, Ayala Avenue, Makati City

8. Pan Pacific Travel Corporation
02 243-6666
353 E.T. Yuchengco Street, Binondo, Manila

9. Rajah Travel Corporation
02 894-0886
3/F 331 Building, 331 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City

10. Rakso Air Travel and Tours Inc.
02 651-9000
3/F Rico Bldg., 112 Aguirre Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City

Do note that regular visa which can allow a tourist to stay 59 days or less in Korea remains free of charge but since the embassy has accredited travel agencies to process visa applications for them, expect that they will collect a processing fee besides the actual fee for other types of visa. Also, the visa processing fee depends on the travel agency which ranges from Php700- Php1,500. To be sure, personally inquire the travel agency through their contact info for a quote as most of them don’t disclose the exact fees. For reference though, here’s the schedule of fees:

Schedule of Visa Fees

Philippine Passport Holders
Gratis (free of charge) for 59 days stay or less in Korea
A fee of Php2,000.00 for 60 to 90 days stay

The above fees provided by the Korean Embassy are for Philippine passport holders only. If in case you are looking for visa fees for US passport holders and other foreign nationals, take a look at the list below:

US Passport Holders
Visa fee of Php2,500.00

As per the embassy, visa application fees for other foreign nationals currently living in the Philippines vary.

Foreign Nationals
A fee of Php2,000.00 for Single-Entry Visa, and
Php4,500.00 if you are applying for a Multiple-Entry Visa

The processing time of your visa application differs per travel agency. As we do not have their set time frame on how they process applications, expect a much longer wait but for your reference, we will just provide the processing time followed by the embassy.

Visa Application Processing Time

Processing time may take 3 working days up to a (1) week as it varies on the type of visa you're applying for. Note that there is no expedite processing so do plan your visa application and travel to Korea accordingly to allow time if in case something unexpected circumstances happen.

3 working days ― for those applicants who have been to any OECD member country within 5 years as a tourist and have been to Korea already
5 working days ― for applicants who have not been to OECD member countries within 5 years and those who are securing a tourist visa for the first time
7 working days ― for visa applicants in Cebu whether you have been to or not in any OECD member country

4. Track your application status online

You can track the status of your application 2-3 days after your filing through this link. Just go to the website and select the English option on the upper right of the web page. In search, tick the 'Diplomatic office' in the Type of Applications and fill in the needed information as your Passport No., Name, and Date of Birth, and then click 'Search' to check your application status.

Take note that if you can’t access your details and visa application, this means it's still on process so better follow up at your travel agency.

5. Claim your passport and visa

The long wait is over as it's time for you to claim your passport at the travel agency where you had your visa application processed and not in the embassy like before. Hopefully with the visa attached to your passport. More likely, even if you haven’t scanned your travel document yet, if it has a barcode usually attached on the back of your passport, your visa application has been approved. Make sure that your visa has your correct personal information particularly your complete name, birth date, sex and passport number. If you prefer your passport be mailed back to your home address, some travel agencies also have this service and can arrange it for you but again it will cost you yet another fee so it's best to pick it up and if in case your visa has error, the travel agency is there to further assist you.

Republic of Korea Tourist Visa

Applying for a Multiple-Entry Visa?

If you want to apply for a multiple-entry visa in Korea and if you’re a holder of one of these credit cards, you can secure this visa policy until December 31, 2019.

1. BDO Gold Card (multiple-entry visa to Korea valid for 3 years)
  • Gold Visa Credit Card
  • Gold MasterCard Credit Card
  • Gold UnionPay Credit Card
  • Gold JCB Credit Card
2. BDO Elite Card (multiple-entry visa to Korea valid for 3-5 years)
  • Platinum Visa Credit Card
  • Titanium/Platinum and World Elite MasterCard Credit Card
  • Gold/Platinum/Cathay Pacific and American Express Charge Cards
  • Diamond UnionPay Credit Card
  • Diners Club Premiere
3. BPI Gold MasterCard (multiple-entry visa to Korea valid for 3 years)
4. BPI SkyMiles Platinum MasterCard, BPI Amore Visa Platinum, BPI Signature Card (multiple-entry visa to Korea valid for 3-5 years)
5. Gold BPI Express Teller Debit (multiple-entry visa to Korea valid for 3-5 years)

Instead of submitting your financial documents, you will just need to file your latest credit card statement and a photocopy of any of the credit card in the list issued by BDO and BPI. While you're exempt in submitting your ITR and Bank Certificate when applying, other basic requirements like Certificate of Employment and or Business Permits are still required. Please be reminded that eligible applicants are not automatically issued with a multiple-entry visa as it is still subject to the embassy’s approval.

Application for Visa-Free Entry of Frequent Visitors to Korea

If you’re a frequent traveler to Korea and have accumulated more than 4 times of visit within the last 2 years at the time of application or have visited the country more than 10 times in total will be exempted in getting a visa on your next travel providing that you have applied for a multiple-entry visa through the visa-entry policy of the embassy. This temporary visa is actually a multiple-entry visa with a validity period of a maximum of 5 years.

Basic Requirements
  • Application Form
  • Original Passport
  • One (1) Passport-Sized Picture
  • Arrival Stamps of Entry to Korea

Additional documents may still be requested to prove your intent of entry to Korea and again multiple-entry issuance for this visa-free entry policy is subject for approval even if you are eligible.

Eligibility for Visa-Free Entry Policy
  • Applicants who have made visits to Korea more than 4 times within the recent 2 years at the time of application and those who have visited more than 10 times in total with at least 1 visit must be within the recent 2 years.
  • Visa-free entry and transit pass to Jeju or re-entry records as a registered alien are included but with the exclusion of labor visas such as non-professional, crew and landing permit.
  • Applicants who have been deported in violation of domestic law and illegal stay within 3 years at the time of application are not eligible for this visa-free entry policy.
  • You can have your visa-free entry application be processed in any of the designated travel agency. The fee for this visa is waived but since you have to file it with the assistance of a travel agency, expect a processing fee for your application. For more details with regards to this visa policy, you may contact the embassy yourself or your preferred travel agency.

Validity of Visa

Depends on the type of visa, the validity is usually 3 months (90 days) from the date of issue. If your visa is issued on October 21, 2018, you can travel to Korea from the indicated date and anytime until January 21st of next year. The issue and final entry date are also indicated on your visa so be sure to check them out.

Period of Stay in Korea

The period of sojourn is contingent on the visa type but typically if you have the gratis visa, you can stay within and not exceeding to 59 days in Korea. Other visas can allow a tourist for a longer stay of about 60 to 90 days but this will require more requirements to prove your intent in the country.

For frequent travelers with a short-term general visa (visa-free entry), the maximum length of your stay in Korea should not exceed to 30 days. On the other hand, if you are a holder of multiple-entry visa as a tourist, you are allowed to enter Korea whenever you want as there’s no break period of stay. Just note that a total of 180 days of stay within a (1) year is only allowed so beyond that is not permissible.

Important Notes

  • Applicants who are frequent travelers as a tourist to OECD member countries within the last 5 years are exempted from submitting their ITR and Bank Certificate.
  • If you are a minimum wage earner and don’t have an ITR as you're exempted from filing your income tax, it’s recommended that you have to write a Cover Letter stating an explanation why you don't have an ITR and your purpose of your travel in Korea in order to support your visa application.
  • The Korean Embassy previously required the Company Alpha List as part of the requirements but since applicants are having a hard time securing the document with their employers, citing confidentiality concerns, its submission as a part of the requirements have been halted temporarily but may still be requested by the embassy to support your visa application.
  • The Consulate of the Republic of Korea in Cebu isn’t affected by the new visa application procedure so if you want to have you visa processed in the consulate office you may opt to. Just skip the step 3 of this application guide.
  • For family applications, proof of relationship is essentially required and should be filed together at once by one of the family members.
  • If you are a Philippine passport holder currently residing and or working overseas, please directly inquire the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the country where you are now as they may have different visa requirements and application process.
  • No one really can tell the exact reason why some have been denied with a visa as it's is dependent on many factors being considered by the consul officer who reviewed your visa application. Again, so long as you have all the required documents, you can fund your travel, and prove your purpose of entry in Korea and intent to go back after, there's no need to worry with your application.
  • Filipinos don’t need to apply for a temporary visa when traveling directly to Jejudo in which a stay of 30 days in the island is allowed visa-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need to purchase airline tickets and book a hotel in advance to support my visa application?

It isn’t necessary. Apply for your visa prior to booking your airline tickets and hotel accommodation as visa issuance still depends on the approval of the embassy or consular office where your application was filed for assessment. In the first place, they are not part of the requirements so better not book in advance as it will not help support your visa application.

2. Is there a required amount of fund I have to show on my bank account to be granted a visa?

I have emailed the embassy about this and they said that it does affect your visa application but still it’s contingent to many factors whether you have enough savings or few on your bank account. Moreover, on condition that you have submitted all the requirements, you can substantiate your intent to enter Korea and can fund your trip there as well as be back to the Philippines after, no need for you to worry as there’s a huge chance of your visa to be approved. But to give you an idea, my bank account only have Php37,000.00 when I applied for my visa and fortunately I've been granted one for my first visit to the country.

3. Is filing my visa application through a travel agency necessary?

 Definitely yes, as these travel agencies have been accredited as part of the application process and there's no way to course your requirements straight to the embassy unless you will be applying visa for Korean spouses and children, as a government employee, or you’re an applicant with visa issuance number, and with humanitarian mission in Korea. Be reminded that this new application process is effective only in Manila so for those applicants who will have their application processed in Cebu, the consulate office still follows the same visa application procedures. It’s just up to you if you want to opt for a travel agency's assistance or not.

4. Which travel agency do you recommend to process my visa application?

I haven’t tried filing my visa application in a travel agency but you don’t have to worry as all of them are carefully selected by the embassy. Travel agencies handle visa application differently but they undergo the same review and assessment by the embassy.

5. Can I appeal if my visa application got denied?

Sorry to hear that but you can’t appeal the result of the consul officer as the decision is already final. You can apply for your visa again after six (6) months from the date you received your visa result.

I know most of us have fears when it comes to applying for a visa. But don’t fret as getting one for your ultimate travel in Korea is simple and made easier through the assistance of travel agencies. If you have other questions not answered in this guide, drop them in the comments section and I will try to attend them to the best that I can. I am not an expert when it comes to South Korea visa policy as like you I am just a traveler sharing my personal experiences to help those who want to fly to Korea soon. It's better to also reach the Korean Embassy if you still have set of inquiries for the other visa types. If you have something to share apart from the tips and important notes that can help many applicants out there, your input will be very much appreciated. Also, if this guide has helped you to successfully get a South Korea tourist visa, we will be glad to hear from you as well.

Do share this comprehensive visa application guide as this might also interest your friends, family, and workmates. Again, for those who are preparing for their visa applications, best of luck chingu and make the most of your vacation in Korea soon!

행운을 빌어요. 화이팅! 곧 한국을 즐기세요!

4 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this visa application guide as it has helped me and my fam to get temporary visas for our late autumn and early winter vacation. We’re all excited to finally experience Korea this year. Again, thank you Annyeong Korya!

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    1. Gamsahaeyo chinguya! Likewise, thanks to you Dan L! It’s great to hear that our comprehensive guide has helped you with your South Korea visa application. Enjoy Korea with your family very soon!

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  2. Quite long but many thanks for this complete guide. How about a detailed itinerary of must-see attractions in the capital city? Please share if you have particularly tourist spots that are best enjoyed this fall season.

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    Replies
    1. Gamsahaeyo Kaye! I am actually writing a feature article about Seoul’s must-see tourist attractions so keep updated as I will be sharing it soon.

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