Applying for a Korean tourist visa in Manila

w00t! I just concluded a trip to chilly South Korea which I haven’t been to previously.My sister (who holds a Korean passport) was actually discouraging me from going because February is the coldest month of the year but the more I was challenged to go!

Before starting with the travelogue, let me just tell you what a hassle it was compiling requirements for the needed South Korea visa. I was granted an SK visa a long time ago when the Korean embassy still held office at the Pacific Star Building in Makati but I did not get to use it. Am glad they did not take this against me and approved me for another one.

korean embassy

The Korean visa application process at the new Korean embassy building in McKinley Hill was the most efficient and hassle-free there is. The guards at the entrance were very friendly and even helped me find a parking spot. The receiving officer did not ask me any questions. It helps if the documents you submit are complete and they also give weight to those who have been to OECD countries the past five years (in my case, I went to Japan & Australia in 2011-2012).

Here’s a step-by-step of the whole process to guide first-time applicants:

1. First, compile all the needed documents. There’s a list towards the end of this post.

2. When complete, go to the Korean Embassy in McKinley Hill. It’s near the Venice Piazza, building is located before the turn to the C5. Embassy is open to receive applications from 9am to 11 am on Mondays to Fridays, except during Korean national holidays.

3. Register at the entrance before proceeding to the embassy proper. The guard on duty will require you to leave a valid ID and exchange this for their own identification tag.

4. It’s best to download the visa application form at the embassy website so you don’t have to fill it up at the embassy itself. When you are inside the premises, a guard will review and receive your documents. He will give you a number and you wait for the number to be flashed on the screen in the counter assigned to you.

5. When it’s your number’s turn, the visa officer behind the counter might or might not ask you questions regarding your application. Afterwards, he/she will give you a slip of paper which indicates the date of your return to the embassy. It is not an assurance of getting a visa, they might ask you more documents once they have reviewed your application.

Tourist visa application is FREE when you’re planning to stay in Korea for only 59 days or less. For a 60 to 90-day stay, the visa fee for Philippine passport holders is P1,350.00

Here’s the basic requirements for applicants for the Korea visa:

1.Application Form
2.1pc. Passport size colored picture
3.Passport Original( 6 months valid)
4.Copy of Passport – first page
5.Personal Bank Certificate- Original

ADD: Employment Certificate – original, if you are employed in a public or private entity in the Philippines plus Income Tax Return or Form 2316

If you are a businessman, submit first five requirements above PLUS Business Registration from SEC or DTI (Copy) , Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit(Copy), and income tax return

If you are a student, submit first five documents PLUS School Certificate (Original), Copy of School ID, Copy of Birth Certificate, Parents’ Documents : Bank Certificate Original & Employment Certificate Original (or DTI, SEC, Mayor’s Permit)

Whether you’re a Filipino citizen who is employed, engaged in business or enrolled as a student and you are a frequent traveller, submit the 5 basic requirements listed above PLUS Original & Copy of valid visas and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years

OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development) member countries include: the United States, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom. See full list here.

Korean Embassy in Manila:

122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City

Tel : (63-2) 856-9210

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