While planning my trips to the United States and Canada, I realized that I could time my return flight to coincide with my parents’ attendance at the 2016 Rotary International Convention in Seoul. An extended and all-expenses paid week-long vacation in South Korea? Yes, please! Surprise, mom and dad! Haha no seriously I told them about this ahead of time.
As resident visa expert in our household (a.k.a. the designated person to handle visa applications / dakilang utusan) and also having previously secured a single-entry visa to South Korea for myself back in 2014, I was already familiar with the application procedure. For this post I will be sharing with you the procedure for tourist visa applications of employees and professionals.
1. Application Form. You can find hwp, docx and pdf versions of the application form on the embassy’s website but you can also download a copy here. Fill out the form using Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat Pro, and then print it on A4 size paper. Alternatively, you can print it first and then fill out the form by hand, using BLOCK letters (All CAPS).
2. One (1) Passport size colored picture, taken within the last six (6) months. Glue your photo on the first page of your application under item 1.
3. Original Passport, valid for more than 6 months, and with at least 1 empty page
4. Photocopy of Passport Bio-page (page 2 of your passport)
5. Original & Photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years (If applicable). In this portion I also included a photocopy of my expired Korean visa. Check out my post for more information on OECD member countries.
6. Original Certificate of Employment, which must include the applicant’s position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR landline number (cellphone number is not allowed) and HR e-mail address. It is expected that the Certificate of Employment is printed with the company’s letterhead and logo.
7. Original Personal Bank Certificate, which must include account type, current balance, account opening date and Average Daily Balance (ADB)
8. Original Bank Statement or Certified True Copy of Bank Statements/Passbook for the last 3 months. Certified True Copy means that you presented the printout of your bank statement or passbook to your bank, and that the bank certifies that its contents are true and identical to their bank records.
9. Photocopy of your ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316. Applicants who have previously traveled to OECD member countries are exempted from submitting ITR.
10. If you have a BPI or BDO Debit/Credit Card, you will be exempt from submitting a Bank Certificate and an ITR, AND also be qualified to receive a Multiple-Entry visa! Add a Photocopy of your BPI or BDO Card to your application. Please remember to photocopy only the front of the credit card, for your security. This promotion is valid until December 31, 2019.
Qualified BPI Debit/Credit Cards:
- BPI Gold Master Cardholders: multiple-entry visa to Korea valid for 3 year.
- BPI SkyMiles Platinum Master Card and BPI Amore Visa Platinum cardholders: multiple-entry visa to Korea valid for 3 -5 years.
- Gold BPI Express Teller Debit Cardholders: multiple-entry visa to Korea valid for 3-5 years.
Qualified BDO Credit Cards:
- BDO Gold Cardholders: 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)
- BDO Elite Cardholders: multiple-entry visa to Korea valid for 3-5years
(Platinum Visa Credit Card, Titanium/Platinum and World Elite MasterCard Credit Card, Gold/Platinum/Cathay Pacific and American Express Charge Cards issued by BDO, Diamond UnionPay Credit Card, Diners Club Premiere)
11. If you have #10, submit your latest original Credit Card Account Statement. Secure a copy of the original Statement because the embassy will not accept printouts of the Account Statement you printed online or that you received via email.
10. Photocopy of your PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable)
11. If you have been personally invited by a Korean or a Company in Korea, you must also present the original Invitation Letter and a Photocopy of your Invitor’s Passport or Identification Card OR the Photocopy of the Korean Company’s Business Permit, whichever is applicable.
As always, I would recommend that you try to print all of your personal documents using the paper size of the Application Form, which in this case is A4. This is what the Embassy of the Republic of Korea prefers, so use A4 as much as possible. Of course there are some documents you can’t control, such as the Bank Certificate, which BDO prints on Letter size paper. That’s alright as long as the rest of your application looks clean and presentable.
Arrange your documents in the order stated above. This is the order preferred by the Embassy, and your consular officer will secretly thank you for not wasting his/her time rearranging your files.
How to File your Application:
When you are done, make your way to the Embassy of the Republic of Korea at 122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, anytime between 8:30 AM – 12:00 NN, Mon-Fri. There is no parking outside of the embassy, so if you don’t have a driver, you could opt to take a cab, Uber or Grab to the embassy, or you could bring your car and park at Jollibee Petron or at SM Aura.
Bring one (1) valid ID which you will turn over to security upon sign-in. You will be directed towards the door where another security officer will inspect your bag. Afterwards, the guard will let you through and ask you to walk towards the building next door. Get a queue stub by presenting your documents and current Passport to the security guard seated by the door. Wait for your turn!
The consular officer will return any document that they don’t need, and then give you a piece of paper which you will present when you return to pick up your passport.
■ Processing Time:
3 working days (for those who have been to OECD member countries within 5 years as tourist)
5 working days (for those who have not been to OECD member countries within 5 years)
■ Visa Fee: 59 days (or less) stay in Korea — GRATIS
60 to 90 days stay in Korea — PHP1,800.00
If you have any questions, you may contact the Embassy directly at:
Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Republic of the Philippines
Address : 122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City 1634, Philippines
Tel : (63-2) 856-9210
Fax : (63-2) 856-9008
Hours of Operation : 08:30~17:00 (Mon-Fri)