For a lot of countries like the United States of America, they enjoy the privilege of having to travel around the world and enter to another country without requiring them to get a visa or have a visa approved upon arrival at the very least. But for developing countries such as the Philippines, we have to go through extensive effort going to our destination’s embassy and provide documents to prove that, “hey we are just visiting, I ain’t gonna stay!”. Sad but yes it’s for real that we have to go through this to more than 60% of the countries that exist in the world.
For this first issue of Visa 101 I’ll be sharing with you my third country that I’ve applied for a visa, Anneyong Hanguo! Hello Korea!
There are two things that you have to consider when applying for a visa for South Korea, If you have a valid visa for a OECD Country or None. If you have a visa from an OECD member country the process only takes about three working days, otherwise it will be a full five day process.
For Applicants with valid OECD country visa
- Application Form (download here)
- Passport (valid for minimum 6 months) update: starting December 23, 2013 the embassy will only accept electronic or machine readable passports.
- Photo copy of your passport
- Photo copy of your valid visa (and stamps if applicable)
- Certificate of Employment
For those who does not have a visa to any OECD country here’s what you’d be needing these additional requirements, which ever applies to you.
- ITR (Income Tax Return)
- Bank Certificate
- DTI or SEC Registration
- Mayor’s/Business Permit.
You can see the official announcement of the Korean Embassy for the requirements here:
Once you are ready with your documents bring them to the Korean Embassy at McKinley Hill in Taguig City. The embassy accepts visa applications from 09:00 AM – 11:00 AM ONLY! Upon submission of documents you will be given a slip with a date when you have to come back and pickup your passport, however it is not a guarantee that you will be granted a visa it is actually the date that you’d know if you are approved or denied. Pretty nerve racking ey!? Well I’d be the first one to say that it is, I had to endure more than three days of waiting even if I have a valid OECD visa because of the holidays.
Ultimately, all the nervousness and cramming for requirements was all worth it! Korea was indeed wonderful. If you have any questions that has not been answered in this article do put it on the comment section so I could answer it to the best of my knowledge 😉
How to get to the Korean Embassy
Address : 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 : firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com (Consular Section)
Hours of Operation : Monday~Friday 08:30~17:30 (Visa applications are accepted between 09:00 -11:00 only)
Option 1. From Ayala Station of the MRT take a bus going to Market! Market! these buses can be found in their temporary terminal at the gas station just off of the north bound exit of the MRT. From Market! Market! you can just walk for about 5 – 10 minutes going south through the side of SM Aura. If you are not so much into walking, just take a jeep going to FTI and ask the driver to drop you off the Korean Embassy.
Option 2. From the Ayala Station of the MRT you can take a Habal-Habal for just around 50 pesos. A word of caution though, these are not government sanctioned vehicles so in other words “Colorum” and could be dangerous as it speeds through the busy streets of Bonifacio Global City
Disclaimer: rules and policies may change as per Korean Embassy, please do check the Korean Embassy website for more information.
This post is part of my four day backpacking trip to Seoul, South Korea series
Part 1: Arrival, Coffee Prince and Seoul N Tower
Part 2: The Palaces and Coffee Shop Experience
Part 3: The Jimjjilbang Experience and Nandaemun
How to Apply For A Korean Visa