Monday, June 27, 2011

How to Apply for Visa: Guide and Tips for South Korea Trip

We submitted the requirements on applying a tourist visa for South Korea. The office is located in:
South Korea Embassy, Philippines
122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Philippines 1634
Phone: +63-2-856-9210 

  • We have printed the form found on their site. (Back-to-back printing is accepted.)
  • We pasted/glued (do not staple) a passport sized photo on it.
  • Included papers are: original Bank Certificate (6-digits), Employment Certificate and photocopy of the front page of my valid passport.
  • If you have OECD (i.e. Japan, Australia) stamps, make sure to have a photocopy as well (actual visa and arrival stamps).  
I did submit a copy of my returned ticket but it was not accepted. Based on their updated version of the requirements, instead of Bank Certificate you can submit land title or car registration – but this is not true! The consul officer still asks for an original bank certificate.

We were able to get our queue number by 8am, and the office started at 8:30am [on 2011 experience]. Behave and follow the rules posted on the walls. We finished in less than an hour. I suggest to be there early so that you can still submit documents to patient Unnie.  Take note that visa processing is for free and lasts for 5 days for first time applicant on Window 1 or 2.  If with OECD stamps, it will only take 3 days on Window 3.

Korean Visa application form be downloaded from: 

Tips and Guide

In case you have concerns, may the following how-to guide, tips or experience help you while filling up the form for Korean Visa:
  • If you are still students applying for visa, make sure to include your sponsor details (bank certificate, COE of your dad or mom, original and photocopy of copy birth certificate to prove your relationship)
  • If you are employed, ITR(Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 Copy and Company Alphalist (Form 1604 CF with BIR received stamp / please highlight your name).  Need to request your HR for the BIR transmittal letter that includes your name in lieu of the alpha list. [Reference: Item #9
  • For unemployed parents that you will be applying for visa, make sure to include sponsor details as well  (bank certificate, COE of your sister or brother, original and photocopy of copy of your parent and your birth certificate to prove your relationship)
  • Place N/A for any other blanks on the form
  • On page 1, 1.7 National Identity No. - place N/A
  • On page 2, Passport Type = Regular
  • Korean Visa requirement for Unemployed:  If you declare that you are unemployed, please have a decent bank certificate, bank statement.  On Page 10, 10.1 Funding Details, the estimated cost define should be within your financial statements.  10.2.a I have defined "myself and my <relative>", 10.2.c I have defined "shared expense on accommodation and food only".
  • On page 3, if Unemployed, make sure to include details of your sponsor (bank certificate, COE of your sponsor, original and photocopy of copy birth certificate to prove your relationship). 
  • Details of Visit = Tourism,
  • Page 4, 9.4 Hotel address in Korea should meet the budget that you will declare in 10.1, and should also co-inside with your financial statements (ITR, bank statement, bank certificate).  If you only have less than 25K php in bank, please do not use 4-5 star hotels address.  No need for actual booking in or other reservation websites. 
  • On page 4, Funding Details, we defined 600 USD for 6 days (to be safe not use less than 300 USD, as they maybe too low.) | Although, I was able to spend 270 USD for 5 days (excluding air fare and accommodation).
  • Part of my personal rule, for bank certificates use more than 100k just to be safe.
  • Original Bank Certificate (must include account type, current balance, account opening date, 6 months average balance).  What's important here is that to establish that you have enough savings for a long time, and not just a quick money that you suddenly deposited on your account.
  • Bank Statement (original or certified true copy of bank statements/pass book for the last 3 months)
  • Regarding the type of bank - savings, time deposit even cheque account is acceptable.
  • Copy of Income Tax Return (ITR)
  • Additional requirement for first time visitor as of March 26, 2018 is to submit 2316 Form
  • Notice: Those who applied on agency, the name of the agency should be stamped in front of the form.
  • For those who are equity traders, you can check this entry on how to request certificate from COLfinancial
  • Visa Denied stories, you can read further on  

Issue DateTypePeriod of Sojourn

For more detailed inquiry, don't hesitate to call the Embassy.

How to search the results of your visa application online

  • Click on Check Application Status link.
  • Even if you have regular passport, which searching keep the default selection of type: Diplomatic Office
  • Select: Passport No. from the dropdown field
  • Fill-up the passport no.
  • Name in English should be LAST NAME FIRST NAME
  • Date of Birth should be YYYY-MM_DD
  • Click on Search.

The result will be showing only if Received|Approved. It will not display if single or multiple.


The releasing time is in the afternoon 1:30pm-4:00pm. Make sure to write down the name of the applicants (Last Name, First Name), passport number and 1 contact number (representative) on the receipt paper upon claiming.

Reasons for denied Korean visa

Beware not to fall on any of the following to enjoy your trip.  If you wonder what are the possible reasons for getting denied results in Visa application, here is an excerpt from the paper slip from the embassy.
  • Your passport is invalid.
  • You are prohibited to enter Korea as per Korean Immigration Law Article No. 11 Sec 1 (Prohibition of Entry)
  • Our record shows that you have previously violated the Korean Law.
  • You failed to qualify to the visa category that you have applied for. [Do not mix student and tourism, if you really  mean to be a "tourist" if you will not study there].
  • The documents you have submitted cannot be verified. [Make sure that the company or HR telephone numbers posted in your COE are accessible.]
  • You failed to prove the purpose of entry to Korea. [Mention your intention like travel/holiday vacation for limited days.]
  • You failed to prove strong economic and family ties to the home country. [Make sure that your bank statements are funded for a long period.  This is the reason why they also require that your bank certificate provide the average daily balance (ADB).  It is for them to see that the fund was saved long enough, not just a quick/fast money that was transferred in the recent couple of days/weeks prior to the application.]
  • Your host (inviter) is not qualified to invite you.
  • You failed to prove the relationship with your host (inviter).  [Same case if we consider "the host (inviter)" like your "sponsor", what they normally accept as sponsor is either a parent, sibling, or husband/wife.  You will normally use birth certificate or marriage contract to prove your relationship.  With that, sponsoring a girlfried/boyfried-level might be difficult case since there is no official certificate that you can use.  I do not generalize this case, but I'm not sure of the probability that you'll pass/fail the screening.  You may do further research if that your case by posting your inquiry/situation in forums, so you can hear other public opinion.]
  • According to the Philippine Law, you failed to give prima facie (at first glance) evidence of your marriage validity.
  • You failed to give the correct information about your spouse.
  • You and your spouse failed to prove keeping a normal marital life.
Applications may apply again after six (6) months with the same purpose, unless there are emergency/humanitarian reasons or application for different purposes.

[Reference: Search for "denied korean visa" to view the sample paper slip] 

Sample Itinerary

If you received your approved visa, congratulations!  You have completed Step 1.  Next, proceed and find your accommodation and start building your itinerary.  Listed below are sample itineraries:

Text Updated: 2018 March