Yaaas! Finally, I can share to everyone the good news. Our visa application was granted and we are off to Korea this December to experience winter (second time for me 😉 ).
So for some of you who would like to bring your family (parents and siblings) to Korea, let me share to you how I applied for our visa and the requirements I submitted.
(Please note that these requirements are based on my family’s scenario: I have a younger brother who is a college student, my Mom is a housewife, my Dad has retired/senior citizen and I am the only person working.)
First things first: Requirements. The list of requirements per applicant type are stated in the embassy’s website which you can access here. For easier comparison, I have enumerated below the list of requirements I submitted for each of my family members. From experience, there is no need to produce multiple copies of the same documents for each applicant (i.e., COE, Bank Certificate and Bank Statement, ITR, Marriage Certificate) if they are provided by one person only. Just include them in the requirements of the owner of the documents.
Tourist Visa Requirements:
P.S. I forgot to include the bank statement and bank certificate of my Dad but we also submitted those. Since my Dad has SSS pension and savings, we were able to get the bank documents. We also included his Senior Citizen ID. As for my Mom, we did not include bank documents anymore and I just said that she is a housewife. In any case, you can still submit the bank documents of your Mom. It may add to your capacity to travel.
So once you have completed your requirements, it is now time to have your visa processed. I have written down what you should expect and do once you are at the embassy.
Schedule starting June 1, 2015:
8:30 am to 11:00 am – Visa Application
1:30 pm to 4:00 pm – Releasing of Passports
3 working days (for those who have been to OECD member countries within 5 years as tourist, including Korea)
5 working days (for those who have not been to OECD member countries within 5 years)
59 days (or less) stay in Korea — GRATIS
60 to 90 days stay in Korea — PHP1,800.00
Step by Step Process:
PART 1. VISA APPLICATION
- Proceed to the Korean Embassy to submit your requirements. Visa application is from Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 11:00 am.
- Secure a visitor pass by presenting a valid ID to the guard.
- After securing a visitor pass, have your bags checked then proceed to the staff table located at the entrance of the building.
- Have your requirements checked by the staff and wait for your queue number to be issued. It should contain your number and the window where you should pass your requirements. Make sure that your requirements are arranged according to how they are written in the embassy’s website and they should be separated per person. Do not staple them yet.
- Wait for your number to flash on the screen and proceed to the window.
- Submit your requirements to the staff-in-charge. Wait for him/her to thoroughly check your requirements.
- If your requirements are complete, the staff will issue a claim stub with the number of passports you submitted, the control number and date of releasing. If not, you may need to comeback when you have all the additional requirements they will require.
- You may leave the embassy after getting the claim stub. And wait patiently. And maybe pray. 😉
PART 2. VISA RELEASING
- Go back to the embassy on the scheduled date of release stated on your claim stub. Visa releasing is from Monday to Friday, 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm.
- Again, present your valid ID to the guard to secure a visitor pass. You also need to show your claim stub to verify that you have a confirmed appointment. On the back of your claim stub, write your complete name and contact number.
- Proceed again to the staff at the entrance and present your claim stub. The staff will collect your stub and issue you your queue number. He/She will also issue a piece of paper where you will write down all the names of the passports you will be claiming.
- Wait for your number to be called and present your number to the staff at your designated window and claim the passports. Make sure that either it has the visa stamped on it or if unfortunate, a paper was inserted indicating the reason why the visa was not granted. There may be times that the processing of the application was not yet done or they may require you to submit additional documents. You need to comeback to the embassy to provide those.
- There. You may now start preparing your itinerary if your visa was approved. If it was denied, you may wait for another six months to reapply. (Never give up if visiting Korea is really your dream. I applied a few years back and was also denied. I reapplied last year and I got a visa and traveled to Korea. This year I applied again with my family and I am visiting Korea for the second time).
- Application Form – Make sure to print the correct form. Check the embassy’s website from time to time if there are any changes. Recently, they changed the form from a single-paged application form to multiple pages with more required details. Write legibly. Make sure that all the information are correct and accurate. Do not leave any blanks. Write N/A if not applicable. Do not forget to sign the forms, especially if the other applicants are not coming with you during the application.
- Original Passport – Make sure that it is valid for more than six months. This rule is also mandated by most foreign countries. So have your passport renewed beforehand if your are anticipating an international travel in the near future.
- Passport Photo – Make sure that it is passport sized and in white background. Paste it in your application form
- Photocopy of the passport bio-page – Make sure that the copy is clear.
- Original and photocopy of valid Visas. – If you have a valid visa in an expired passport, make sure to also bring that passport along with your latest passport. Photocopy all your visas and arrival stamps, including your Korean visa, if issued before. I also photocopied my expired passport containing my previous visa for record purposes and to match the passport number indicated in my visa.
- Original Certificate of Employment – This document is very important as it may guarantee the embassy that you will return to the Philippines and not seek employment in Korea. Have the HR of your company provide all the information indicated by the embassy.
- Original Bank Certificate – The rate per bank differs and also the processing time. Make sure to indicate in your request all the information needed by the embassy.
- Original Bank Statement – This requirement was just implemented this year and I think this is also to make sure that you really have enough funds to support your travel. The bank statement should be for the past three months.
- Photocopy of ITR – Make sure to submit your latest ITR or Income Tax Return or BIR form 2316 (from last year). Please take note that for example, your ITR for 2014 will be issued usually during the first quarter of 2015. Hence, your latest ITR is your ITR last year.
- Photocopy of NSO birth certificate – You only need this requirement if you are applying as a family. This is in order to verify that you are family members. Should be submitted only by the children.
- Photocopy of NSO marriage certificate – You only need this requirement if you are applying as a family. This is in order to verify that you are family members.
- Original School Certificate – Students can get this from the school registrar or from the college secretary. It should indicate that you are currently enrolled, your student number, level and course (for college students). Processing time may vary per school. In UP, it took us three working days to get my brother’s school certificate.
- How much money do I need in the bank? The exact figure wasn’t really stated by the embassy. Based from the blogs that I read, 50k should be okay. In my case, I provided a higher amount since I will bear the cost of the travel for my whole family. I think at least it should match the travel cost that you will indicate in the application form. It is also best to at least keep that amount in your bank account for six months as it will be reflected in your ADB (average daily balance) and in your three months bank statement.
- How soon should I process my application? I suggest applying at least 1-2 months ahead. This will give you ample time to secure additional documents or requirements if they will be requested by the embassy. Please note that single entry visas are valid for three months and you are only allowed to stay in Korea for 59 days unless you chose to get a visa for longer stay and with additional cost. Again, it will really depend on you and how confident you are with your requirements. I heard from the other applicants that they only got their visas one week before travelling. I just don’t like taking risks like that and I prefer to book hotels ahead of time and have ample time to plan my itinerary.
- Should I buy my plane ticket and book a hotel before applying? Airline ticket and hotel reservations are not part of the requirements in the application. So it will really depend on you. Last year, I bought my ticket during the seatsale in May and applied for my visa in September.
- How can I get a multiple-entry visa? I am not really sure about this because there is no item in the application form that will ask you about this. I read in a blog that you may include a letter of request for multiply entry visa. Some of my friends who were frequent visitors of Korea got multiple-entry visa on their third or fourth application. My boss also got multiple maybe because he has visas from several OECD countries. Again, these are just from experience or from what I read from blogs. You may inquire with the embassy the specific requirements.
There you go. Please bear in mind, that these are just based on my experience from applying for visa for my family last September. Also, please take note that I am not connected with anyone from the Korean Embassy (though I wish I am connected with one of the Korean Idols, i.e., Bigbang. haha!). If you have any questions, please send me an email and I’ll try my best to provide an answer or you may contact the Korean Embassy. I tried calling them several times to clarify requirements that are not stated in the website and they provided me with the information I needed. Just please make sure to read the website thoroughly first before calling them. Good luck!
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Republic of the Philippines is located at 122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig city 1634, Philippines.
- Tel : (63-2) 856-9210
- Fax : (63-2) 856-9008
- E-mail :
- Hours of Operation : Monday~Friday 08:30~17:00