Whether you’re heading to Korea to achieve your Koreanovela dreams, to enjoy the Korean winter, or experience the unique street food culture, getting a Korean Visa is one of the first few steps in the journey. Here’s how.
Step 1: Prepare your basic documents
The very first thing you have to prepare for the application process is your visa application form, which can be downloaded here or obtained from the Embassy in person. Make sure not to leave anything blank and write N/A for items that do not apply.
Next, it’s important to make sure that your passport is valid for more than six months from the date of your application. Photocopy the bio page of your passport, which is located on the second page. You must also photocopy valid visa/s and arrival stamps for OECD member countries (except for Korea) that you’ve visited in the past five years.
A side note on OECD:
OECD, or the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, has 34 member-countries and was created to help different governments face challenges in economics and governance in today’s globalized world. Among these countries are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States. A full list can be found here.
is important because OECD visas can really expedite the process of your Korean Visa application. For instance, there will be no need to pass bank certificates (as stated in Step 2) and a special window in the Embassy will be dedicated to processing your documents.
You also have to submit one passport-sized colored photo of yourself, which should be 5 cm by 4.5 cm on a plain white background, pasted on your printed application form.
Step 2: Prepare your supporting documents
The supporting documents you need to prepare will depend on your employment status.
If you’re currently an employee, you have to submit the following:
- Original copy of Employment Certificate,
- Original copy of Personal Bank Statement for the past three months
- Original copy of Personal Bank Certificate with the average balance of the past six months.
- Photocopy of your Individual Income Tax Return.
You can also browse through the Korean Embassy’s website for more information.
Step 3: Submit your documents at the Republic of Korea Embassy
Once you’re done with the first two steps, you’re all set to go to the embassy, which is located at:
122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
There is no need to make an appointment, but make sure to go between 9 and 11 am from Mondays to Fridays.
First-time travelers will be directed to either Window 1 or 2, while holders of OECD-member visas will be asked to line up at Window 3. The processing is free for Philippine passport holders who are staying in Korea for 59 days or less, while there are specific fees for those who want to stay anywhere from 60 to 90 days in Korea, depending on whether or not they want single or multiple-entry visas.
After reviewing your documents, embassy officers will hand you a claim slip with a tentative release date for your passport. For holders of OECD-member visas, this can take around three working days, while first-timers will need to wait an average of five working days, subject to the Consul’s decision.
Step 4: Claiming your passport
Releasing time for passports is from 2 to 4 pm, Mondays to Fridays.
Et voila! Have a good trip!