How to Apply for a South Korea Visa: Requirements & Process in the Philippines

What’s the Korean visa application procedure for Filipino tourists? Here are the basic steps: consider the processing time, prepare the requirements, and submit your application to an accredited travel agency or the Consulate in Cebu. Other topics covered in this Korean visa guide are how to check your application’s status and how to get a multiple-entry visa.

South Korea flag. Credit: William Warby / Cropped from original

Highlights

  • Philippine passport-holders who would like to visit South Korea as a tourist must have a valid visa.
  • The basic Korean visa requirements for Filipinos include an accomplished application form and a valid passport.
  • Employees, business owners, students, housewives, and retired senior citizens also need to submit documents that are specific to their occupation.
  • Family members who plan to travel together should prepare their birth certificate and/or marriage certificate.
  • Those who lack a particular document like the ITR or need to explain something about their background may write a cover letter. A sample is linked below.
  • Once you finalize your requirements, contact an accredited travel agency that will process your Korean visa application for a fee. Those in Cebu may opt to do a walk-in application at the Consulate.
  • The Korean visa processing time for tourists is 10-15 business days and is subject to change.
  • To check the status of your Korean visa application, refer to the instructions that we have below. Through an official online portal, you can see if your application has been received, denied, or approved. Moreover, you’ll know if you were issued a single-entry or a multiple-entry Korean visa.
  • If, at this point, the Korean visa application procedure in the Philippines seems complicated or intimidating, keep calm. You’ll get through this! In the meantime, you can check out the awesome tours and transportation cards from WAUG — Korea’s #1 travel activity booking platform! Get a discount on your first booking when you download the app and sign up here.

Explore more: Top Things to Do in Seoul

UPDATE: May 26, 2020

The Embassy of Korea in the Philippines has resumed processing of F visa applications, specifically for Filipino spouses and children of Korean nationals. Those who are eligible to apply for a Korean visa must submit these requirements and comply to the ongoing inbound travel procedure.

1. Is South Korea Visa-Free for Filipinos?

Let’s start here. Generally, Filipino tourists are required to obtain a visa to travel to South Korea. Most likely, you will need to undergo the application process. However, in case you find yourself under the following scenarios, then consider yourself exempted:

1.1. For Filipinos in Transit

If you are a Filipino who will travel TO any of the following countries and will transit through South Korea, or if you will travel FROM any of the following countries and will transit through Korea to go back to your country of origin or another destination, you may get a visa-free entry if you meet the other conditions:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • United States, including Guam and Saipan
  • Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

For US visa-holders: You will get a visa-free entry if you will transit through Korea and Saipan to reach the States. However, if you will depart from the US and enter South Korea via Saipan, you are required to have a Korean visa.

For holders of an e-Visa: If you have an e-visa to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the USA, a visa sticker must be attached to your passport to get visa-free entry. If no sticker is attached, you can only enter South Korea with no visa if you depart from any of the 4 countries and are bound to your country of origin or another destination.

In addition, you must have a confirmed onward flight ticket for departure within 30 days after entering Korea, have no criminal offense (e.g. overstaying) in the countries mentioned above, have not been denied entry into Korea, have not been fined more than ₩5,000,000, and have not been forcibly evicted or deported for violation of law in the past three (3) years before your date of entry. Moreover, you must have not stayed for more than 3 days in the immediate previous point of departure (or stopover, if any), unless you are returning to that same country.

1.2. For Filipino General Transfer Passengers

If you will travel to the Philippines (country of nationality) or another country and will make a transfer at Incheon International Airport (ICN), you may get a visa-free entry to Korea if you sign up for the Korea Transit Tour Program.

Conditions for Admission: You must stay in the Seoul metropolitan area within 72 hours and possess a transfer ticket.

Eligibility & Period of Stay: Tourist/Transit (B-2), up to 72 hours only

The Korea Transit Tour Program is free, however meals and admission fees for sites that require payment must be shouldered by the participant. You will be required to be with your Korean tour guide at all times and have your passport and boarding pass (or e-ticket) on you.

The transit tour program will be conducted in English and goes around Gyeongbokgung, Insadong, Myeongdong, and more locations. Reservation is on a first-come, first-served basis and may be done online by visiting VisitKoreaForMe.com or Airport.kr. You can also book your slot on-site at ICN’s Transit Tour Info Desk. For inquiries, send an email to transit-tour@airport.kr

1.3. For Filipinos Traveling to Jeju Island

The Special Entry Arrangement to Jeju-do is an exciting privilege to those who would like to visit the famous Handam Beach, Hwanguji Coast, and Saeyeon Bridge. Filipinos are technically eligible for a visa-free entry to the island, however some constraints on logistics (like having no available direct flights from the Philippines to Jeju) make it infeasible at the moment. Furthermore, the Embassy also announced that only certain tour groups will be allowed visa-free entry when the guidelines are finalized in early 2020. You can find more information about the policies in our article here. (If you will apply for a Korean visa to visit Jeju Island, click below to find the best activities that you can add to your itinerary!)

1.4. For Everyone Else

If you are not an eligible tourist in transit, a general transfer passenger who signed up for the Korea Transit Tour, or a qualified traveler to Jeju Island, then you will have to apply for a Korean visa in the Philippines. (But let’s put it this way so as not to make it sound disappointing: you will apply for a tourist visa to have more flexibility in traveling than those who get a visa-free entry to Korea for a limited time!)

2. How to Apply for a Korean Visa in the Philippines

Here’s a quick summary of the South Korea visa application process for Filipino tourists: 

  • Consider the processing time and the dates of your travel.
  • Prepare the Korean visa requirements.
  • Submit your application to a designated travel agency or the Consulate in Cebu.

The procedure is pretty simple (yep, it actually is!), but along the way, you may encounter some difficulties, i.e. when you fill out the application form or if you have to write a cover letter to explain why you have no ITR to submit. To help you get through these snags, we’ve listed some tips and links to sample documents below. 

But before moving further, take note that the Embassy will deny issuance of visa for all Korean visa applicants who will provide false statements, submit forged requirements, and/or alter their original documents. In the past, they have caught a number of applicants in the Philippines who submitted fake travel documents, such as tourist visas and arrival stamps to Japan. The Embassy coordinates with the local authorities for these unlawful actions, so make sure to supply only true and verifiable information at any point of the Korean visa application process.

3. How long does Korean visa processing take?

Now let’s get to business! Knowing how long it takes to process Korean visa applications is very important, especially for seat-sale hoarders who tend to forget about their upcoming trip (wink)! For the longest time, the lead time was 3-5 working days for applications submitted to the Embassy in Manila and around 7 days for the Consulate in Cebu. However, in the last quarter of 2019, many were surprised when both the Embassy and the Consulate made significant adjustments to the processing time, to the point that it reached an average of 28 business days or more than 1 month to get a result. (The Express Visa or the optional expedited processing service was also restricted to certain individuals.) Naturally, those who delayed their application (like 2-3 weeks before their flight!) panicked, and most had to let go of their anticipated winter trip. 

Those of us who plan to visit Korea in 2020 onwards will best learn from this situation: if you are eyeing a specific date to travel, check the Korean visa processing schedule regularly. Here are the latest announcements, as of the publication time of this blog post:

Korean Visa Processing Time in Manila

For February through April of 2020, the Embassy of Korea in Manila has set their lead time to 10-15 working days or 2-3 weeks. This does not include the additional time that your chosen accredited travel agency needs to submit your requirements and collect your passport.

Korean Visa Processing Time in Cebu

Starting February 1, 2020, Korean visa applications in Cebu will take 15 business days or 3 weeks to process. Add in the time that your preferred travel agency needs if you will not do a walk-in application at the Consulate.

To get the latest South Korea visa processing announcements from the Embassy in Metro Manila, click here. For updates from the Consulate in Cebu, check here.

4. When should you apply for a Korean visa? 

Aside from the processing time, it is also wise to consider the validity period of the tourist visa to be issued to you. This will give you the estimate dates for when you can submit your application.

Typically, single-entry Korean visas are valid for use for up to 3 months from the date of issuance. So, for example, if I want to go on a trip to Busan on April 30, 2020, then the earliest that I can apply is January 30, 2020. The deadline that I will give myself (or the latest date that I would submit my application) is on March 23, 2020 to give ample time for the following:

  • Visa processing (15 working days maximum)
  • Public holidays (Holy Week)
  • Internal processing time set by my preferred travel agency in Makati (7 business days)
  • Grace period, or some extra days that I might need

Another example: If you want to experience winter in Korea by traveling on January 10, 2021, then the earliest that you can apply for a tourist visa is on October 10, 2020. Let’s say you did your research and found that the Korean visa processing will take a maximum of 30 business days (again, this is just an example!) and your travel agency requires an additional 10 working days, then the latest that you want to submit your requirements is on November 6, 2020. By setting this deadline, you can expect to have your passport back on January 8, 2021 if all things turn out well. (Better yet, apply for a Korean visa at an earlier date to be on the safe side.)

5. South Korea Visa Requirements for Filipino Tourists

What are the Korean visa requirements that you need to prepare if you were to apply in the Philippines? There are several, and I like to categorize them into four: 

  • General Documents – basic requirements for all applicants
  • Occupation-Specific Documents – set of requirements that differ for employees, professionals, business owners, and students
  • Financial Documents – mandatory files that demonstrate your personal financial capacity (or your immediate family member’s, if applicable) 
  • Other Documents – should only be submitted if necessary

Below is the list of requirements per category:

5.1 General Requirements for Korean Visa Applicants

All applicants in the Philippines must prepare these documents:

  • Application Form
  • One (1) Passport-size Colored Photo
  • Original Passport
  • Copy of your Passport Bio-page
  • Original & Photocopy of Valid Visa/s and Arrival Stamps to OECD-member countries for the past 5 years, if applicable

Application Form & Passport-size Photo

To get the form download link, you may refer to this article: How to Fill Out: Korean Visa Application Form [Sample Included!] 

The guide also provides direction on how to accomplish important items in the application form, such as your intended period of stay, address in Korea, estimate travel expenses, source of funds, type of support, and travel history, among others.

Original Passport & Copy of your Passport Bio-page

Your DFA-issued passport must be valid for at least six (6) months from your intended date of departure. For example, if you plan to leave for South Korea on October 1, 2020, then your passport should at least be valid until April 1, 2021. Most likely, you will not be able to get past Immigration if you do not meet this rule. (Filipinos can renew their passport 1 year before it expires.)

Moreover, you’d also need to submit a copy of your passport’s bio-page, which has your photo, name, and other details. It’s on the second page of your Philippine passport.

Visa & Arrival Stamp to any OECD-member Country

If you have traveled to any of the following OECD-member countries in the past 5 years, you must prepare an original and photocopy of your valid visa and arrival stamp for each country (If these are found in your old original passports, submit your old passports as well.):

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

5.2 Occupation-Specific Requirements for Korean Visa Applicants

For the next step, prepare the set of documents that applies to your occupation:

For Employees & Professionals

  • Original Employment Certificate 
  • Copy of PRC and/or IBP ID, if applicable

For the Employment Certificate (COE): The COE should indicate your position, hiring date, salary, office address, your HR’s email address, and HR’s landline number. (Mobile number is not accepted)

For the PRC and IBP ID: If you have a card from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC card) or the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Card (IBP card), submit a copy.

For Business Owners

  • Copy of Business Registration From DTI Or SEC
  • Copy of Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit
  • Copy of PRC and/or IBP ID, if applicable

For the Business Registration and Permit: Submit a copy of your DTI or SEC registration. You must also present a copy of your local business permit as part of the Korean visa requirements.

For Students

  • Original School Certification
  • Copy of School ID

For the Original School Certification: Korean visa applicants who are still studying must submit an original School Certificate, which can be requested from your registrar. Registration Forms are not allowed.

For the School ID: Make a photocopy of the front and back sides of your valid student ID.

For Retired Senior Citizens

  • Copy of Senior Citizen Card or retirement documents

5.3 Financial Requirements for Korean Visa Applicants

Aside from the General and Occupation-Specific, applicants must also prepare the following:

  • Original Bank Certificate
  • Bank Statements
  • Photocopy of Income Tax Return (ITR) or BIR Form 2316

For Employees, Professionals, & Business Owners

You are required to submit your PERSONAL bank certificate, bank statements, and ITR or BIR Form 2316.

However, if you have traveled to any OECD-member country in the last 5 years as a tourist (excluding Japan) and have a valid visa and arrival stamp to present, you are exempted to submit a copy of your ITR or BIR Form 2316

For Students

Submit your parents’ bank certificate, bank statements, and copies of their ITR or BIR Form 2316.

If your parents are applying for a Korea visa with you, they are exempt from submitting their ITR or BIR Form 2316 provided that they have traveled to any OECD-member country in the last 5 years as a tourist (excluding Japan) and have a valid visa and arrival stamp to present.

For Housewives

Submit your spouse’s bank certificate, bank statements, and a copy of his ITR or BIR Form 2316.

If your spouse is applying for a Korean visa with you, he is exempt from submitting his ITR or BIR Form 2316 provided that he has traveled to any OECD-member country in the last 5 years as a tourist (excluding Japan) and have a valid visa and arrival stamp to present

For Retired Senior Citizens

If the financial documents to be submitted are named under your immediate family member, submit a proof of relationship, e.g. a copy of your marriage contract (if the account holder is the spouse) or birth certificate (if the account holder is your child).

For BPI and RCBC Credit Cardholders*

If you are an active Principal of an eligible credit card from BDO or RCBC, you are exempted to submit your bank certificate and ITR, provided that you furnish a colored photocopy of the front side of your credit card and your recent original or certified true copies of your credit card statements. This is one of the advantages of joining either BDO’s or RCBC’s multiple-entry visa promotion, which run for a limited period of time. You will find the full details in our articles below:

5.4 Other Requirements

Ensure to submit the documents listed below only if applicable:

If you will travel with your Spouse

  • Copy of NSO Marriage Contract

For the NSO Marriage Certificate: If you don’t have a ready copy, you may request for one here.

If you will travel with your Parents or Children

  • Copy of NSO Birth Certificate

For the NSO Birth Certificate: If you don’t have a birth certificate on hand, you can make an online request from PSA by clicking here. You may also do a walk-in application at the East Avenue Census Serbilis Outlet (offers same-day processing) or at any Census Serbilis Centers to get a copy.

If you were invited by a Korean National

  • Copy of Inviter’s Passport 
  • Invitation Letter

For the Invitation Letter: This must include the inviter’s name, address, occupation, reason/s for invitation, dates of travel, and sponsorship details (if applicable).

If you were invited by a Korean Company

  • Copy of business registration in Korea
  • Invitation Letter

References

More on the South Korea Visa Requirements

If you want a detailed description for each document that’s listed above, or a full summary of requirements for each applicant category (including Religious Workers, Foreign Nationals, and Filipinos with a Foreign Spouse in Korea), read this article: Korean Visa Requirements for Filipinos [2020]

South Korea Visa Application for Freelancers

If you are a freelancer, check out this guide that lists the unofficial procedure and alternative requirements that may help you in your application. 

South Korea Group Visa Application

If you will join a trip to Korea that is organized and sponsored by your company or school in the Philippines, you may submit a collective application with your colleagues and classmates (batch processing). This will entail a different set of documents and process, which are explained in this guide: How to Apply for a South Korea Group Visa

6. Is a Cover Letter required for Korean visa applicants?

Writing a cover letter for your South Korea visa application is completely OPTIONAL. However, if you are missing a particular requirement like the ITR, want to elaborate something about your personal or professional background, need to expound on who will fund your trip, or would like to submit more documents, a letter of explanation may help support your Korea visa application.

If you decide to write one, the cover letter must be written in English and addressed to the approving consular office (either the Embassy in Manila or the Consulate in Cebu). Moreover, you must write it in a way that’s short and sweet since visa officers don’t have the time to go over lengthy explanations. If you would like a template, read this guide: Sample Cover Letter for Korean Visa Applicants [No ITR] 

7. Korean Visa Application Processing via an Accredited Travel Agency

Once you finalize the requirements, you may contact any of the 35 travel agencies that are officially designated by the Korean Embassy. For a fee, they will process your application after checking and verifying your documents. They should also let you know the date when you can have your passport back.

For easy reference, below is a list of the designated travel agencies according to their location. To get the complete address, contact numbers, estimate service fees, and more information, check out this more in-depth blog post: 35 Accredited Travel Agencies That Process Korean Visa Applications in PH

Travel agency for Korean visa applicants in ALABANG:

  • Budget Travel and Tours Inc.

Travel agency for Korean visa applicants in BULACAN:

  • First United Travel Inc.

Travel agencies for Korean visa applicants in CEBU:

  • Grand Hope Travel and Tours
  • Hankookceb Corp.
  • Pan Pacific Travel Corporation
  • TravelServices, Inc.
  • Uni-Orient Travel Inc.

Travel agency for Korean visa applicants in ILOILO:

  • Constellation Travels, Inc.

Travel agency for Korean visa applicants in LAGUNA:

  • TravelServices, Inc.

Travel agency for Korean visa applicants in LAS PIÑAS:

  • Reli Tours and Travel Company

Travel agencies for Korean visa applicants in MAKATI:

  • Adventure International Tours, Inc.
  • Ark Travel Express Inc.
  • Blue Horizons Travel and Tours Inc.
  • Casto Travel Philippines Inc.
  • City Travel and Tours Corporation
  • Constellation Travels, Inc.
  • First United Travel Inc.
  • Hankookceb Corp.
  • JTB Asia Pacific Phil. Corp.
  • Las Palmas Tours and Travel Agency, Inc.
  • Marsman Drsydale Travel Inc.
  • North Star International Travel, Inc.
  • Pan Pacific Travel Corporation
  • Rajah Travel Corporation
  • Rakso Air Travel and Tours Inc.
  • Reli Tours and Travel Company
  • Sharp Travel Service (Phils.) Inc.
  • Swire Travel Philippines Inc.
  • The Baron Travel Corporation
  • TravelServices, Inc.
  • Uni-Orient Travel Inc.

Travel agencies for Korean visa applicants in MANDALUYONG:

  • Aboex Travel and Tours 
  • Travel Pros
  • Reli Tours and Travel Company

Travel agencies for Korean visa applicants in MANILA:

  • Budget Travel and Tours Inc.
  • Getaway Tours International Inc.
  • Horizon Travel and Tours, Inc.
  • International Journeys Inc.
  • Las Palmas Tours and Travel Agency, Inc.
  • Pan Pacific Travel Corporation
  • Reli Tours and Travel Company
  • Uni-Orient Travel Inc.

Travel agencies for Korean visa applicants in PAMPANGA:

  • City Travel and Tours Corporation

Travel agencies for Korean visa applicants in PASAY:

  • Come on Phils. Golf & Travel Agency Inc.
  • Hanatour Manila Inc.
  • JOINENJOY (Island Resort Club Tour Services, Inc.)
  • JTB Asia Pacific Phil. Corp.

Travel agencies for Korean visa applicants in PASIG:

  • KP Joeun Consultancy Inc.
  • MNK Travel and Tours Corp.
  • Party-on Travel and Tour Community Inc.
  • Uni-Orient Travel Inc.

Travel agencies for Korean visa applicants in QUEZON CITY:

  • JTB Asia Pacific Phil. Corp.
  • Travel Pros

Travel agency for Korean visa applicants in SUBIC:

  • First United Travel Inc.

Travel agencies for Korean visa applicants in TAGUIG:

  • H.I.S. (Philippines) Travel Corp.
  • JTB Asia Pacific Phil. Corp.
  • Travel Pros

8. Korean Visa Application Processing in Cebu (Walk-In)

Aside from engaging the services of a travel agency, Korean visa applicants, especially those who reside in and near Cebu, may also do a walk-in application at the Consulate. Here are the details:

  • Address: 12th Floor, Chinabank Corporate Center, Lot 2, Samar Loop cor. Road 5, Cebu Business Park, Mabolo, Cebu City, Philippines 6000
  • Hours of operation:
    • For submission of requirements: Monday-Friday from 9am-11am only
    • For claiming of passports: Monday-Friday from 2pm-4pm 

An appointment is not needed to submit your Korean visa requirements at the Consulate (first-come, first-served basis), but you are advised to arrive before 10:30am to allow ample time for processing. Applications of family members must be filed at the same window and at the same time by one representative. 

Moreover, you may also ask someone else to submit the requirements on your behalf, as long as they are complete. However, you are instructed to personally claim your passport since there are some instances when an interview with the Consul is required before the result of the Korean visa application is given.

For more information (and to contact the Consulate of Korea in Cebu), visit their website here

9. South Korea Visa Application Fees in the Philippines

Now let’s go over the fees. If you plan to travel to South Korea for 59 days or less, you will not have to pay a fee to the Embassy in Manila or the Consulate in Cebu! (Yep, it’s FREE!) However, if you plan to stay in Korea as a tourist for 60-90 days, you must pay the Korean visa processing fee of ₱2,000.

Note that if you will apply for a Korean visa via an accredited travel agency, expect to be charged for their service. (When I applied in 2019, I had to pay ₱700 to City Travel.)

Foreign nationals in the Philippines must pay the Korean visa processing fee of ₱2,000 to the Embassy or the Consulate.

10. Getting a Multiple-Entry Korean Visa in the Philippines

How do you apply for a South Korea multiple-entry visa in the Philippines? Good question. Technically speaking, though, Filipino tourists are unable to apply for a multiple-entry Korean visa. There are no standard guidelines (like the Embassy of Japan provides), no separate application or request form, nor any special requirements that must be submitted. This is because ALL approved applicants are automatically considered for a single-entry or multiple-entry endorsement. If the visa officer thinks you meet their conditions, then you will get the multiple-entry Korea visa even without requesting for it.

10.1 If you are BDO or RCBC Credit Cardholder

However, there are special promotions that the Embassy of Korea in the Philippines runs with banks like BDO and RCBC. The promos are separate for each financial institution, but the mechanics are quite similar as they both provide the following for eligible credit cardholders:

  • Exemption from submitting their ITR and Bank Certificate, in exchange for a copy of their credit card (front side) and recent credit card statements
  • Opportunity to be considered for a multiple-entry Korean visa with a validity of up to 5 years

Note that these are limited-time offers and are not permanent application guidelines (BPI cardholders also enjoyed a similar offer, but only until December 2019.) 

Here are the eligible cards:

RCBC Bankards

  • World Mastercard (including co-brands Balesin and The City Club)
  • Black Platinum Mastercard
  • Diamond Platinum Mastercard
  • Visa Infinite
  • Visa Platinum
  • JCB Platinum
  • UnionPay Diamond

RCBC’s promotion runs from January 1-December 31, 2020. 

BDO Gold Credit Cards

  • Gold Visa Credit Card
  • Gold Mastercard Credit Card
  • American Express® Gold Credit Card
  • Gold UnionPay Credit Card
  • Gold JCB Credit Card

BDO Elite Credit Cards

  1. Platinum Visa
  2. Titanium, Platinum and World Elite Mastercard
  3. American Express® Platinum Credit Card
  4. Cathay Pacific American Express® Credit Card (Standard and Elite)
  5. American Express® International Dollar Charge Cards
  6. Diamond UnionPay
  7. Diners Club Premiere
  8. JCB Platinum

BDO’s multiple-entry Korean visa promotion was first launched in 2015 but got extended until December 31, 2022. 

While possession of any of these credit cards will largely increase your chances to get a 5-year multiple-entry Korean visa, note that it does not automatically guarantee visa approval. You can read this article that shares the experiences of some Filipino travelers who joined the promotion.

10.2 For Everyone Else 

If you do not join BDO or RCBC’s credit card promos, does that mean you cannot get a multiple-entry Korean visa? Of course not! As mentioned above, these are all promotional offers and are not permanent guidelines. More importantly, all tourist applications that are approved will automatically be considered for issuance of a single-entry or multiple-entry visa, regardless if you joined the promotion or not. If you want some tips from Filipinos who were able to get a Korean visa without submitting an eligible high-tier credit card, you may read our separate article here: How to Get a Multiple-Entry Korean Visa in the Philippines 

11. How to Use the Korea Visa Portal to Check the Status and Result of Your Application

After clearing the basic stuff out, let’s now go over the steps to use the Korea Visa Portal. This will let you check the status and result of your Korean visa application online.

  • Click here to go to the Korea Visa Portal.
  • Set the page to English.
  • On the right sidebar menu, hover over Check Application Status and click Check Application Status & Print option.
  • Select Diplomatic Office and Passport No.
  • Provide your personal details.
  • Hit search.

If you do it right, you’ll be able to see any of the following status or result: Application Received, Under Review, Approved, or Denied.

If your search query returns the message No search data has been found, that means your travel agency has not submitted your Korean visa application yet or you did not follow the prescribed format when entering your name, passport number, and/or date of birth. You may refer to this blog post for proper guidance: How to Check: Korean Visa Application Status & Result

12. Is your Korean Visa Application Approved?

Congratulations! Now let’s get on with the fun part — creating your itinerary! Consider booking these top tours and travel essentials from WAUG:

Travel Essentials for South Korea

Restaurants & Cafes to Visit in Seoul

Tours & Activities in and around Seoul

Family-friendly Experiences

If you want to know more about the offers of WAUG for destinations like Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, USA, and more, use the app that you can download here.

13. Reminders when you get your Passport & Korean Visa

Once you claim your passport from your travel agency or the Consulate in Cebu, do the following steps:

Check for accuracy

Verify if the details found in your Korean visa are correct. If they misspelled or got any of your personal information wrong, inform your travel agency right away.

Confirm how long you can stay in South Korea

For most cases, travelers may stay in South Korea for up to 59 days if they have a single-entry Korean visa. Those who are issued a multiple-entry Korean visa can usually stay for up to 30 days. 

To confirm your allowable duration of travel (do this!), check the Period of Sojourn found on the third row of your Korean visa (it’s right in the middle!). Whatever is written there is your maximum period of stay. (If you don’t have a visa yet, click here to see a sample. Also, even if you find yourself wanting to stay in Nami Island forever, remember to leave when you must.) 

If you need to get a new passport

If, after receiving your South Korea visa, you’ll need to get a new passport due to loss or damage, make sure to notify the Embassy or Consulate.

14. Is your Korean Visa Application Denied?

If you learned through the Korea Visa Portal that you were denied a Korean visa, take note of the reason/s for rejection. (If there’s none displayed at the portal, expect to receive a slip that contains the reason/s when you get your passport back.) Some reasons why Korean visa applicants in the Philippines are denied are as follows:

  • Your intention/purpose of visit is unclear.
  • You can’t prove that you can financially support yourself.
  • You can’t prove your intent to return.

Review what went wrong in your application process and get the input of your travel agent. 

How soon can you reapply for a Korean visa if you got denied?

As a general rule, you may apply for a South Korea visa six (6) months after you got denied. While some Filipino travelers tried to appeal immediately to the Consulate in Cebu, know that this is not an official directive. However, if you think reapplying at the Consulate is worth a try, make sure to contact them first and/or inquire from a designated travel agency that has an office there. More to the point, write a letter to address the denial reasons and state the changes in your situation, if any. Also make sure to submit other supporting documents that will strengthen your application.

15. Got questions?

If you have any questions that pertain to your tourist visa application, the Embassy of Korea notes here that you are supposed to contact any of the designated travel agencies. To get their contact details, you may scroll up and find the View Directory button.

However, if you still want to direct your questions to the Embassy in Taguig or Consulate in Cebu, you will find their contact numbers and other details here.

16. Korean Visa Application Tips from Travelers in the Philippines

Finally, to help you plan out your visa application, I thought of sharing some helpful posts from this useful private Facebook group that’s dedicated for Filipino travelers to Korea. The group members are kind and very much willing to share their experiences. Here are some of them (to protect the privacy of the users and other parties, I blurred out the personal identifiable information):

16.1 Do you need to submit your old passport?

Here’s the annotated post:

Darlene: Good evening po, ask ko lang po, need po ba i-submit ang old passport (for proof of your previous travels) or kahit photocopy na lang po? And if i-submit po, ibabalik pa po ba nila? Thanks po.

Vanessa: Need to photocopy it then submit mo both (copy and the original passport). Ibabalik naman nila old passport mo.

Korean-visa-for-filipinos

16.2 Do you need to use N/A when filling out the Korean visa application form?

Edjay: Hello po, sa mga nagpasa ng application sa UHI Dusit, regarding po sa “N/A” format, kahit nag-tick na ng check sa “NO”, lalagyan pa rin ba dapat ng “N/A” tulad ng sample photo? Or okay lang kahit huwag na lagyan ng N/A? Salamat ng marami.

Olga: Ako po naglagay ng N/A kahit ni-check ko na ang NO.

Jobelle: Depende po iyan sa agency. Yung Reli sa Megamall hindi nagpapalagay ng N/A.

How-to-apply-for-Korean-visa

To answer this question, either way works. I’ve tried both approaches, and my applications were successful.

16.3 Writing a cover letter for your Korean visa application

Denver:  Hello. Has anyone tried writing a cover letter to explain the following (My family, fiancee, and I will apply for a visa but we have things that we want to explain in detail.):

  1. Guarantee/Support: Three siblings will support my mother, father, and another sibling, who is still a student.
  2. Why my sister and I have ITR’s from our previous companies and have COE’s from our present companies.

April: I know someone na hindi na po nagpasa ng ITR then in-explain na lang po niya sa cover letter na bago pa lang siya sa work (almost 8 months sa work, Jan 2019 nag-start) kaya hindi siya makapag-provide ng ITR. Last year ito, pero approved naman siya.

Korean-visa-status

16.4 Getting an update from the Korea Visa Portal and your Travel Agency

Tina: Hi guys! Matagal ba ang releasing? Kasi okay na visa namin as per Korea Visa Portal, pero up to now, wala pa din update sa agency. Almost 1 week na from the date of approval. Normal ba iyon? Agency is [name].

Jessica: Mine was approved on January 16. The next day, I already got my passport. It really depends on your agency [if they’ll update you].

Vanessa: [Agency name] Naku minsan hindi di sila tumatawag. Experience ko sa kanila pinuntahan ko pa para malaman kung kailan ko makukuha ang passport ko. Ayun, ang ending, nandoon na pala sa kanila.

South-Korea-visa

16.5 Korean Visa Approved!

Rio, who shares her Korean visa application details: No travel history (first time to travel abroad). Submitted bank certificate with current balance of 50,000 and ADB of 4,000. Also submitted ITR, COE, Employee ID. Employed for 2 years. 

Agency: JTB Travel and Tours (Vertis North). Fee: P6,000. Submitted: October 9, 2019. Application received: October 18, 2019. Approved: November 28, 2019.

Thank you, SKD. God bless us all.

How-to-apply-for-Korean-multiple-visa

16.6 Not today (Denied Korean Visa Application)

AJ: Hindi talaga para sa akin ang Korea? Yung OK na lahat — flight, accommodation, and tours — tapos biglang Denied. Ang babaw ng dahilan nila: hindi ko daw na-explain ang purpose ko going to Korea (number sa 7 sa application form). Lahat sinulat ko doon at hindi na nga din nagkasya yung mga bansa na napuntahan ko (kung ilang days, kailan ako aalis, address ng accommodation at number, nandoon naman). 

BDO Gold Card Holder. Nag-submit ako ng Bank Certificate at Bank Statement (3 months), Certificate of Active Account (BDO Credit Card), ITR, at DTI/Business Permit. Frequent traveler as in last 2019 every month nasa ibang bansa ako.

Salamat po sa lahat ng tumulong sa akin dati sa mga tanong ko.

Danny: I know the feeling!! But everything has a purpose… Try ulit after 6 months. God is faithful.

How-to-apply-for-Korean-visa-without-bank-statement

Final Thoughts

We wish you well in your Korean visa application! Always remember to supply true information, consider the visa processing time, and prepare your documents well. Finally, stay optimistic and trust the process! 

If you have any questions (or would like to share your own experience!), you can do so in the comments section so other readers of this blog may learn from you as well.

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WAUG

대한민국 No.1 여행 액티비티 예약 앱! South Korea's No. 1 Travel Activity Booking App!

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