A Guide To South Korea Visa Application: Accredited Travel Agencies, Requirements, And More

7 min. read By eCompareMo on

Good news for Filipinos who love K-Pop, K-Drama, Samgyeopsal, and other forms of Korean culture, it is now easier for us to visit South Korea.

Just last week, on June 3, Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Han Dong-Man announced that they will cut down the required documents needed to apply for a South Korean Visa. This is in celebration of the Philippines and Korea’s 70th year of diplomatic ties.

“Any Filipino for visit to Korea [will be] entitled to get multiple-entry visa,” Han said.

According to Han, they can now grant multiples visas of at least five to ten years for qualified professionals and “business people”, those working in the media, and government workers. This, he said, will only require one single document that shows proof that you are working in this particular company, or own the business.

The Korean envoy noted that among all the other Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) countries, only the Philippines will be granted multiple-entry visas.

Strengthening Philippine-Korea Relations

This grant is not only limited to South Korean tourism. Han recognizes the strong diplomatic relations within the country and added that there will be more scholarship opportunities for Filipinos in South Korea.

“We are encouraging people-to-people exchange, not only tourists but also students. So, we are inviting many Korean students to study in the Philippines, and also, we are inviting many qualified, talented Filipinos, in particular, university students to get scholarship.”

South Koreans remain the top tourists in the Philippines, according to the Department of Tourism’s tourist arrival records for the first Quarter of 2019. As reported last month, there were a total of 519,584 South Korean tourist arrivals in the country, as compared to 2018’s count at 477,087 on the same period.

For Han, this number could only increase. He said South Korea will bring in more trade and visitors to the country, even aiming up to 2 million arrivals for 2019.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo supported this move by releasing a statement from Malacañang, “The Palace appreciates the kind words of ROK Ambassador to the Philippines Han Dong-Man when he announced that his country will start moderating visa requirements, as well as relaxing their application processes, among others, in favor of Filipinos.”

According to Panelo, The Republic of Korea (ROK) is the “seventh largest trading partner, fifth largest official development assistance partner, one of our foremost defense and security partners and top tourist source of the Philippines.”

Only designated travel agencies

Last year, the South Korean Embassy to the Philippines announced on their website that starting July 2018, they would only process visa applications in designated travel agencies.

Officially known as the Republic of Korea (ROK), South Korea released a document showing their list of accredited travel agencies to apply to, eliminating the need for a visa applicant to go to the embassy.

This makes the visa process for Filipinos eyeing to fly to South Korea simpler and faster, much like the visa process of Filipinos looking to go to Japan.

Also, since there are accredited travel agencies outside of Metro Manila—in Pampanga, Cebu, and Bulacan—it is now easier than ever for Filipinos dreaming of visiting South Korea to fulfill their dreams.

How do I apply for a visa to South Korea?

1. Identify your visa type

Are you an employee, businessman, or a student? Each of these comes with more specific document requirements.

2. Download the visa application form and fill it out.

3. Get together the visa requirements for your specific visa type.

In this guide, we’re going to focus on the three most common types of visas: Employee, Businessman, and Student. Check out the website for other more specific types of visas—like for those who have Korean relatives, are engaged or married to Koreans, or who are traveling to Korea to work.

a. For Employees

  • 1 Passport-sized photo (colored)
  • Your passport (Note: Should be valid for six more months)
  • Photocopy of the Passport’s bio-page
  • Original Certificate of Employment with the following information
    • Position
    • Date hired
    • Compensation
    • Office Address
    • HR landline
    • HR e-mail address
  • Original Personal Bank Certificate with the following information
    • Account type
    • Current Balance
    • Account opening date
    • ADB
  • Bank statement—original or certified to be true for the last 3 months
  • Photocopy of ITR or Form 2316

If applicable, you should also include a original and photocopy of valid visa or arrival stamps to any OECD member country for the past five years, copy of PRC or IBP Card

b. Businessmen

  • 1 Passport-sized Photo (colored)
  • Your passport (Note: Should be valid for 6 more months)
  • Photocopy of the Passport’s bio-page
  • Photocopy of Business Registration from SEC or DTI
  • Photocopy of either the business permit of the mayor’s permit
  • Original Personal Bank Certificate with the following information
    • Account type
    • Current Balance
    • Account opening date
    • ADB
  • Bank statement—original or certified to be true for the last 3 months
  • Photocopy of ITR or Form 2316

If applicable, you should also include a original and photocopy of valid visa or arrival stamps to any OECD member country for the past five years, copy of PRC or IBP Card

c. Students

  • 1 Passport-sized Photo (colored)
  • Your passport (Note: Should be valid for 6 more months)
  • Photocopy of the Passport’s bio-page
  • School Certificate (Original)
  • Copy of School ID
  • Copy of Birth Certificate
  • Parent’s documents
    • If parents are employed:
      • Original Certificate of Employment with the following information
        • Position
        • Date hired
        • Compensation
        • Office Address
        • HR landline
        • HR e-mail address
        • Photocopy of ITR or Form 231
    • If parents are self-employed:
      • Photocopy of Business Registration from SEC or DTI
      • Photocopy of either the business permit of the mayor’s permit
      • Photocopy of ITR or Form 2316
    • Regardless if the parents are employed or unemployed, the following must also be submitted:
      • Original Personal Bank Certificate with the following information
        • Account type
        • Current Balance
        • Account opening date
        • ADB
      • Bank statement—original or certified to be true for the last three months
      • Copy of NSO Marriage Certificate

If the parents of the student already have a valid visa, a photocopy of the visa should also be submitted. If the student will not be traveling with a parent, they must submit a photocopy of their parent’s passport or a valid ID.

(Read: Your Philippine Passport Can Now Take You To 66 Countries Without A Visa)

NOTE: Bring your old passport along with your most recent and valid one. This is most useful for those who have traveled within the last five years. More proof to show the embassy that you are not planning on overstaying in their country.

Frequently Asked And Answered Questions About Applying For A South Korean Visa

How much will it cost?

The accredited travel agencies as posted by the ROK embassy usually charge from P1,000 to P2,000, depending on the type of visa you applied for. Multiple entry visa applications may cost more.

What is the procedure if am going to be traveling with my family?

For those traveling as a family, the ROK Embassy noted that family applications should all be filed at the same time. Along with the regular requirements, family members are also required to submit documents that are proof of their relationship, such as a marriage contract or a birth certificate.

I was invited by a Korean friend. Is the application procedure different?

Individuals applying for a visa who were invited by Korean friends would have bigger chances of approval if they apply with a Sponsor or Guarantee letter from their friends stating their home address, and that they will cover the expenses from your trip. This should include their passport and other valid government IDs.

How long will my South Korean Visa be valid?

The validity of a South Korean visa is three months from the issue date.

Make sure that you apply for the visa at least three months before your trip, just to be sure you won’t be short of time. It’s best to buy a ticket only after you have gotten approved.

(Read: DFA Removes Birth Certificate Requirement For Passport Renewals)

Can I get a multiple entry visa?

The ROK is now looking into providing multiple entry visas for qualified Filipinos. This does not, however, guarantee that you will be approved. They just made it easier by asking for less document requirements.

How long till I can get my visa?

The visa processing usually takes seven working days, or only up to two working days for express visa processing. Note that the faster option may mean that you will have to pay extra. You can always opt to have your passport delivered to you via courier.

Where should I go once I get to South Korea?

Check out this sample itinerary to South Korea to see the best of the country in six days.

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