Dreaming of exploring the vibrant streets of Seoul, savoring mouthwatering Korean barbecue, or immersing yourself in the rich culture of South Korea? To turn these dreams into reality, you’ll need a Korean visa. If you’re a Filipino traveler eager to explore the Land of the Morning Calm, here’s a precise and informative guide on how to obtain a Korean tourist visa, along with valuable tips to boost your chances of approval.
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1. Determine Your Visa Type
The first step is to determine the type of visa you need. For tourism, you’ll be applying for a Korean Tourist Visa (C-3). This visa allows you to stay in South Korea for leisure and exploration purposes.
2. Gather Required Documents
Prepare the following documents:
- Completed Visa Application Form: You can download this form from the website of the Korean Embassy in the Philippines.
- Passport: Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended date of departure from South Korea.
- Passport-size Photos: Provide recent passport-size photos (around 35mm x 45mm) with a white background.
- Original NSO Birth Certificate: Request a fresh copy of your NSO (now PSA) birth certificate issued within the last year.
- Marriage Certificate (if applicable): If you’re married, provide your NSO/PSA marriage certificate.
- Bank Certificate: Obtain a bank certificate from your bank showing sufficient funds to cover your trip expenses.
- Bank Statement: Provide your bank statement for the past three months.
- Certificate of Employment: Your employer should provide a certificate stating your position, date of employment, and monthly salary.
- ITR (Income Tax Return): Include a copy of your ITR or Form 2316.
3. Draft a Cover Letter or Explanation Letter
A well-crafted cover letter or explanation letter can significantly boost your visa application. In this letter, explain your purpose of visit, your planned itinerary in South Korea, and your ties to the Philippines that assure your return. Mention your employment, family, and any commitments you have back home. This letter helps the consular officer understand your situation and intent, increasing your chances of approval.
4. Know the date where you lodge/submit your Korean tourist visa application in KVAC.
Due to the loads of applications that the embassy receives each day. They decided to put up the Korean Visa Application Center that caters all the application with no limitations. That is located on the ninth and 10th floors of the Brittany Hotel BGC at , 6 Mckinley Parkway in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
Your date of submission should be 3 months before your intend travel date to Korea.
5. Lodge the visa application
Arrive at the KVAC in Britany Hotel BGC, beside SM AURA, Be punctual, well-dressed, and polite during the visit. Present your documents and answer questions if necessary.
6. Pay the Visa Fee if necessary/ but korean visa for Filipino is totally free if intend to stay for 60days
As of my knowledge Filipinos need to pay PHP 2,000 for Filipino who wants to stay more than 60 days in Korea/ this fee will also apply in other visa categories that lamds in staying in Korea for a longer times.
In addition, KVAC has 900php processing fee for those who wants to stay in less than 60 days.
7. Wait for Visa Processing
After lodging your visa application on KVAC, your visa application will undergo processing. The processing time can vary but typically takes around 5 to 7 business days.
8. Collect Your Visa
Once your visa is approved, return to the embassy to collect your passport with the visa sticker. Verify the visa details to ensure accuracy.
Tips for a Successful Application:
- Complete Documentation: Ensure all required documents are complete, accurate, and up-to-date.
- Financial Preparation: Maintain a healthy bank balance for several months before your application.
- Clear Intent: Your cover letter should clearly state your intent to return to the Philippines after your trip.
- Itinerary: Provide a detailed itinerary of your planned activities in South Korea.
- Consistency: Ensure that the information you provide in your documents and during the interview is consistent.
- Courtesy: Be polite and respectful during the interview. Dress neatly and professionally.
Remember that visa requirements and procedures can change, so always check the Korean Embassy’s website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information. With careful preparation and a sincere application, you’ll be one step closer to exploring the beauty and culture of South Korea. Good luck!