IMPORTANT! Starting July 1, 2018, the Korean Embassy will be implementing a new application process, which requires applicants to file at any of their designated travel agencies instead. The company alphalist is also no longer required. For the new application process, read this instead: NEW KOREAN VISA APPLICATION PROCEDURE.

South Korea is a dream destination to many Filipinos. Thanks to the advent of K-Pop, the rise of koreanovelas, and the flourishing of the Korean diaspora in the Philippines.

I have made good friends with a number of Koreans over the years: classmates, workmates, bosses. And all of them have brought with them great tales about their homeland, putting South Korea on my travel map. But it wasn’t until this month that I was finally able to make this trip a reality.

Visa applications can be intimidating to many, especially first-timers. While you may hire a travel agency to do this, I strongly advise you against it because you can easily do it yourself. The truth is, it is a very simple process. Getting a Korean visa is easy, fast, and FREE.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to acquire a tourist visa from the Korean Embassy on your own.

List of Korean Visa Requirements

Below are the basic requirements.

  1. Duly accomplished application form. Download here. You can also find it below.
  2. 1 passport size colored photo
  3. Passport (must still be valid for at least 6 months)
  4. Photocopy of the passport Bio page (Page 2)
  5. Photocopy of all your OECD Visas (If You Have Them). Only if you have them. If you don’t, skip this part. If you have visas to any member country of the  Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), you will need to submit the ORIGINAL copy and a photocopy of all of them. (Past Korean visas are not counted.) To see all the OECD member countries, visit this website.
  6. If invited by a Korean: an Invitation letter and a copy of the inviter’s passport. (Ignore if not applicable.)

Korea Visa Application Form

.

In addition, you will need to prove that you can support the trip. Here are the additional documents you need to secure according to your employment status.

For Employees

  1. Certificate of Employment. Must be original; and must have the address of the employer, the landline number and email address of employer’s HR department, applicant’s position, date hired, and compensation. Mobile number is not allowed.
  2. Original Personal Bank Certificate. Must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB.
  3. Original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook covering the last 3 months.
  4. ITR (Income Tax Return, Form 2316) and Company Alphalist (Form 1604 CF with BIR received stamp). Highlight your name on the Alphalist.
  5. Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable only)

For Self-Employed

  1. Photocopy of Business registration form from DTI or SEC
  2. Photocopy of Business permit or Mayor’s permit
  3. Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 with corresponding payment receipt from BIR authorized bank
  4. Original Personal Bank Certificate. Must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB.
  5. Original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook covering the last 3 months.
  6. Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable only)

For Housewives

  1. Your own or your husband’s original Bank Certificate. Must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB.
  2. Your own or your husband’s Bank Statement. Original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months.
  3. If husband is employed
    – Husband’s Original Certificate of Employment. Must be original; and must have the address of the employer, the landline number and email address of employer’s HR department, applicant’s position, date hired, and compensation. Mobile number is not allowed.
    – Copy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 Copy AND Company Alphalist (Form 1604 CF with BIR received stamp). Highlight your name on the list.
  4. If husband is self-employed
    – Copy of husband’s Business Registration from SEC or DTI
    – Copy of husband’s Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit(Copy)
    – Photocopy of husband’s ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 with corresponding payment receipt from BIR authorized bank
  5. Photocopy of NSO Marriage Certificate

For Students

  1. Original School Certificate
  2. Photocopy of School ID
  3. Photocopy of NSO Birth Certificate of applicant
  4. If parents are employed
    – Parents’ Original Certificate of Employment. Must be original; and must have the address of the employer, the landline number and email address of employer’s HR department, applicant’s position, date hired, and compensation. Mobile number is not allowed.
    – Copy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 Copy AND Company Alphalist (Form 1604 CF with BIR received stamp). Highlight your name on the list.
  5. If parents are self-employed
    – Copy of parents’ Business Registration from SEC or DTI
    – Copy of parents’ Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit(Copy)
    – Photocopy of parents’ ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 with corresponding payment receipt from BIR authorized bank
  6. Parents’ Original Bank Certificate. Must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB.
  7. Parents’ Bank Statement. Original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months.
  8. Copy of parents’ marriage certificate.

Important Notes

  • UPDATE REGARDING THE ITR! (March 2018): The embassy has announced that starting 26 March 2018, first-time travelers who have NOT traveled as tourists to any OECD country within the last 5 years MUST submit the following:

    For Employees, ITR with BIR Received or BIR Certified True Copy Stamp, and Copy of Alphalist with BIR Received Stamp (Form 1604 CF). You must highlight your name on the alphalist

    For Self-Employed, BIR Form with Corresponding Payment Receipt from a BIR-authorized bank.

  • Frequent travelers who have been to OECD member countries within the past 5 years are also exempted from submitting ITR. I’m not sure how many OECD visas it takes to qualify as a frequent traveler.
  • If you’re a freelancer, read: Korea Visa FAQs
The guards at Gyeongbokgung Palace gate
The guards at Gyeongbokgung Palace gate

How to Apply for a Korean Visa

1. Complete all the requirements.

Make sure you have gathered all the requirements listed above.

The list follows a certain order. The basic requirements first, then photocopy of OECD visas, then the financial/employment documents, and lastly the invitation letter or cover letter if you have it.

You will also be given the list when you enter the embassy, so you can rearrange the docs on the spot.

2. Submit the documents to the Korean Embassy.

Now that you have all the required documents, it’s time for a visit to the embassy. You just need to go to the embassy or consulate, get a number, and wait several minutes.

Here are their addresses:

KOREAN EMBASSY IN MANILA
122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig city 1634, Philippines
Email Address: ph04@mofa.go.kr
Contact No.: (63-2) 856-9210 visa local no. 270, 500

At the Embassy in Manila, this is how the process goes:

  1. Register and leave an ID at the guard’s station before entering the consular center.
  2. Once inside, get a number from the personnel stationed by the door. He will check if you have all the docs. If he’s satisfied, he will give you a number.
  3. Wait for your number to be called. Note that there are separate windows for those with and without past OECD visas.
  4. Once called, the staff will double check the requirements and ask you questions. After that, they will give you a slip of paper with the DATE OF RELEASE in it.
  5. Smile. You’re done.

IMPORTANT! Schedule of application in Manila: Monday-Friday 08:30am-11am only

However, come as early as you can. When there are too many applicants, the embassy stops accepting applications earlier than usual.

Visa Fees:
FREE for stays shorter than 59
P1350 for 60-90-day stays

Processing time:
3 working days – for those applying in Manila with OECD tourist visas within the past 5 years.
5 working days – for those applying in Manila without OECD visas

3. Claim your visa on the scheduled date of release.

Return to the embassy on the date indicated in the form given to you.

Releasing of visa schedule: Monday-Friday 1:30pm-4pm

Before leaving the counter, double check that your name, passport number, and other details are CORRECT to avoid troubles in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How early can I apply for a South Korea Visa?

You can enter Korea at any time within the next 3 months (90 days) of the issue date. So if your visa is issued on July 1, you can enter anytime before October 1.

So that means, you can apply as early as 3 months (90 days) before your departure date.

How long would I be allowed to stay in Korea?

59 days, if you’re granted a regular tourist visa.

You can apply for a longer stay but you must be able to justify that.

Do I need to book flights and hotels before applying?

No. They’re not required. I’ve tried submitting these before, but they removed it from the pile.

Do I need a travel agency for this?

The Korean Embassy is set to implement a new application system that would require applicants to course their application through any of their accredited travel agencies. However, that is not in place yet.

For now, you can still work on the application yourself. It’s easy, fast, and free. However, if for whatever reason this isn’t a practical option — you live in the province, you just can’t spare a working day for this — by all means, find a travel agency. Just remember that they will charge you a service fee.

The travel agency we usually work with is Gazelle Travel and Tours, a DOT-accredited firm. They actually became our go-to agency for Schengen visa requirements, but they offer Korean visa assistance too for P700. Again, our experience with them is for flight reservation for Schengen visa. We haven’t tried their Korean visa service. We’re just sharing that they have that service too. Anyway, if you’re interested, email them at travelbookings@1gazelle.com.

My employer said they can’t provide the company alphalist because it’s confidential. What can I do?

Starting July 1, 2018. The company alphalist is no longer required. However, it may be requested as additional document for some applicants.

But if you’re applying before July 1, you will still need to provide it by default. Thankfully, one of the members of our Facebook community, Ms. Caye Sadie, got in touch with the Korean Embassy to ask that same question, and here’s their reply.

If the applicant can’t submit the company alpha list (Form 1604 CF with BIR stamp), they can submit an explanation letter. However, it will be subject to approval of the Officer-in-Charge.

But feel free to call the Korean Embassy to confirm. Here are the numbers:

Manila: (63-2) 856-9210 visa local no. 270, 500
Cebu: (63-32) 231-1516(-9)

What is the Visa Issuance Confirmation in the Section 2 of the Application Form?

The Section 2 of the application form calls for details of Visa Issuance Confirmation. This section is only for those with a document called “Confirmation of Visa Issuance.” Many people think it refers to previous Korean visas; NO, IT DOESN’T. The “Visa Issuance Confirmation” is a completely different document, usually issued in Korea.

If my application is denied, can I apply again?

Yes, but only after 6 months.

What does a South Korea visa look like?

Like this:

Good luck! Enjoy South Korea!

If you have more questions, we answered more frequently asked questions here: Korea Visa FAQs

For more information about Korean visa applications, contact or visit the official website of the Korean Embassy in Manila.


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Yoshke Dimen
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Hizuka Shizuko

Very informative!

Joseline Alosbaños

Curious on how much should be reflected in your bank certificate.

yoshke

Hi Joseline. They don’t say exactly, but I believe that having a full-time employment and the length of stay weigh more than the bank certificate. A weekend getaway should not call for massive funds, but they will be looking at whether or not you have reason to return to PH (a job or a business).

Maricel Dancel

Can i ask,,what f i have record to immigration.last year i did try to travel singapore but im offload..can i travel another country or apply korea visa

Bigvontheory

Nice. Thanks.

soooyen

Di na ba kailangan bumili ng ticket before mag apply ng visa?

lovely lagasca yabut

thank you so much for this, maybe by this time i can see you korea hehe soon

KJ

You can’t enter the country without the visa. Also, it’s not a good idea to get the ticket first due to the possibility of your visa application getting rejected.

yoshke

Hi Sooooyen, nope. :)

Enchong

Hello ask ko lang po papano yung Original Personal Bank Certificate (must include account type, current balance, account opening
Hindi malakiyung pera nakalagay po tapos kasi palagiko na wewedro lahat ng pera pinapadala sa akin ngayon augs ang po ako nag simula na mag pon sa bank ko pwde ba yung bank statements na lang po sadmit??

Angie

Pano po pag di na-certify yung bank statement kasi generated online lang?

Juan Cuadra

Hi! What if you’re unemployed? What category will you fall under? Thanks.

JB

Hi, for 2 – A, is it any of the three, or all three should be submitted? Thank you.

ning

It’s all three documents

Judith Arsenio

Hi…it says here that the applicant must come personally to embassy for the application…wla ba silang pareho sa Australian embassy na pwd thru courier pagpadala f from province ang applicant?

Mary Frances Baclayo Almonia

Thank you so much for this…
I think i can do it myself…
:)

Rory Magpayo

Serious question – I’m a US citizen but would like to bring some friends from the Phils when I go to Korea for vacation. They are musicians so not necessarily self-employed, meaning they only play in bars etc. I will finance the trip. What do I need to do to prove this? Planning a very short trip, 5 days max. I myself do not need a visa but my friends and I would be travelling from the Phils. Thanks in advance! :)

Lisa B Cormier

beautiful!

Cecilia Canete Dizon

thank you for the info.

Ella Villanueva Padilla

hi i wanna ask if same din ang procedure to get a visa even if sa hongkong ako mangga2ling going to korea?

pwede ba kumuha ng visa sa korean embassy sa hk ang ofw or need tlga na sa pinas lng pwde mnggaling ung visa?

and aside sa cert of employment eh acceptable po ba ang copy of pay slip pag ofw k? i hope somebody could give me some info.. Thank you so much!!!!!

Jubay Mejia

Tomo! 󾌫

J.m. Acuña

Hi how about Italian visa..pls help thanks

Aikee Nicosa

ano minimum required amount dun sa ITR at sa bank certificate? para dn kung sakali gusto umapply eh alam na na pwede kami mkakuha ng visa. from province pa naman dn kami

Rosemary Taping

Hi, ng offer ba kau ng tourist visa for canada? Thank you:-)

Rael Daytiquez

Thank you sir :) Great help :)

Gracie

Is there a minimum amout reflected on out ITR/2316? Please we need an info. about it coz we’re planning to apply for a VISA dis March, 2014. Thank u and Godbless.
(we are first timers) and also for bank Certificate

yoshke

Hi Gracie. They don’t say exactly, but if you’re worried about the bank certificate, make sure you have other supporting documents like Certificate of Employment to prove that you have a job and that you have something that you can’t leave behind in PH (a job or a business).

Don’t take my word for it, though. Coz they really don’t say.

Drahcir Go

What about OFWs?….. We don’t file an ITR anymore due to the exemption. s this needed?

Josephine Permison

please help us.first timer to apply korea visa as tourist.,me an my 2 kids with my husband as OFW( seaman).my husband is exempted for an ITR.what is the best things to do?

Ehnu

Hi, ask ko lang po kung need pa din yung itr at coe kung may invitation letter naman from a korean citizen?thank you po.

rad bal

Naka reflect po ang gross annual compensation sa bir form 2316..

lj

how long is the validity of the Korean visa?

yoshke

59 days usually

susan bandiola

hi sir yoshke i just wanna ask if franchise business is also valid to declare as a own business because the ITR are filed by the other company and the only document we have as a proof is the certificate of affilation or partnership….looking forward to here from u thans and God Bless

Ehnu

Ask ko lang po,dapat po ba updated yung itr na ipapasa?pano pag may itr before pero unemployed ngayon?may sapat namang laman yung bank acct..pano yun?thanks po..

Bianca Ramos

I’m.going Feb or March do you want to travel with me to Busan?

Jnet Z Pjmtan

How about going to Japan…are you assisting to get visa?

Kire Nov

thanks for this. will think of renewing that incheon dream.

Stef Santos

Hi, I’ve got a question, if you don’t mind :) I work online as a freelancer; and though that falls under “self-employed,” I don’t have a recent ITR nor a SEC registration. Would you know if I can submit different documents? Thanks! :)

Iam Grace

If galing japan po ba mas madali ang visa to korea?

Jolino Bagaipo

how many visa in a year ba sila para hindi kna ulit kukuha???

me

How do you get a bank certificate?

Chris Batoon

you just need to go to the bank branch and request for it. I believe a small fee will have to be deducted from your funds for the certificate request.

yoshke

BDO charges P100. Not sure about other banks. :)

zharahjane ebora

i love this site, thank you for the information,, hope to spend my birthday in korea with my oppa.. ^_^

yoshke

Wooot! Thanks, Zharahjane! :D

Maggie Estavillo

The ITR, SEC or cert of employment are important. Especially bank certificate. You need to have at least 20k in your bank. Been to Korea in 2008, 2009. Lived in Korea fr0m 2010 til 2012. I think the same visa rules still apply for now..

Lee_23

What about for a retired government employee? what are the requirements they need to furnish? My mom is going to Seoul this coming May 2014, Thanks

yoshke

Hi Lee, i’m not sure about the requirements for retired employees. You might want to check with them directly. :D

yoshke

Hi Zenna, it’s possible. :) Just make sure all their requirements are complete. :)

yoshke

Thanks for sharing this, Chris!

eds

meron po bang ibang paraan, kase wala po aqng work and business, tanging sweldo lang na padala ng aswa ang inaasahan q. in short wala po bang alternative na requirements for an ITR?

yoshke

Hi Eds! I’m not the right person to answer this, but I believe you have to indicate on the form who will be shouldering the expenses.

eds

please help.. i don’t have an itr. i dont have a job and business. but i have enough money in the bank. do you think it is possible for me to be granted for an ITR even though i dont have work and business? if not’ is there other way? thanks in advance…

Nash

ilang months po bago mag-expire yung visa kung naapprove?Like di pa kami nakakakuha ng ticket tapos po naapprove na yung visa.. Thanks!

yoshke

Hi Nash! Mine was valid for 3 months!

Mae

Great info! :) By the way, is it advisable na mag-apply for a visa just to check yung possiblity na ma-approve.hehe. We’ve already booked a ticket later this year and medyo nagwworry kami na di ma-approve so gusto sana namin itry na mag-apply earlier. Not sure kasi kung may consequences if mag-aaply ulit kami this year at di naman namin nagamit yung unang application namin (in case na-approve).hehe

yoshke

Hi Mae! I’m not sure of the implications if you do that. :(

anne

hi. may i ask if it’s ok to apply for a tourist visa, in my case kasi i work in the department of health – procurement service but im under job order, meaning contractual. but i’ve already worked there for a year now, regular naman kaming nare-renew ng contract. pls answer. thanks. planning to go to korea this spring.

yoshke

Hi Anne! Yes, I don’t see any reason why it won’t be okay for you to apply for a visa as long as you have a copy of your ITR, bank certificate, and cert of employment (which you can write yourself and just have it signed by your superior).

Ninia

Hi,.panu namn po kung online yung work? like me… yun po kasi lage yung nkikita ko na problem… help anyone??? i really appreciate…thank you

Nessy

Same problem as mine, pano po pag wlang ITR? is there any alternative? may chance ba makakuha ng visa?

Joseline Alosbaños

Thank you Yoske and Chris!

jeff esquivel

im an ofw and i would need to apply a s korean visa. hndi ako makaaplay sa country of residence ko dahil may mga issue regarding sa tenure ng residency visa. isa sa mga requirements para mag aplay ng S korean visa sa pinas ay ITR, pero wala akong ITR kasi di naman ako nagtatranajo sa Pilipinas. Uuwi ako ngayong abril para magbakasyon at magaplay ng visa. pwde kayang walang ITR?

Jasmin

Hi. Ask ko lang po sana if pwede po bang ipadala na lang yong application ng visa namin? If ever po na maapprove ilang months po ba namin ito dapat na e avail?
I’m here po kasi sa Davao City .Thanks

travelbuddy

they give out visas valid for three months up to one year (in cases na multiple entry) maybe if you cant come to manila you may want to check a travel agency’s service since the korean embassy accepts applications filed by an authorized representative

Ma

Hi, we have visa assistance service. You may send your document in our office and we will submit it for you. -mariatherese123456789@gmail.com

tess

Hi what if we will travel the whole family, do i need to bring my children in applying for the visa

travelbuddy

no need to bring the whole family with you…. on your day of application you will just submit the documents… no interviews or what so ever then comeback for the results on the day that they will ask you to comeback

Lloyd Yu

What is needed?

Paul Ahdem L. Lozano

may itatanong lang po yung sa student po ba para po yun sa study visa if ever gusto na mag-study sa South Korea? :/ curious lang po.

yoshke

Hi Paul! Iba pa yung student visa. This is just for tourist visa. :)

Nerie young

Hi can I asked if I still need invitation and financial capability…???my boyfriend is working there but he is not a Korean..I don’t have work and he pays all the expenses for my travel!!!

Aiza Marie Angcaya

Hi! I would just like to ask, I’m a student and from the given list of requirements naka-indicate yung Parents’ ITR and Employment Certificate. However, in my case, my mom is a housewife and my dad is a retired policeman. I think it’s quite impossible na to get an ITR for my dad. Is there any alternative for that? Feedback highly appreciated, thank you!

aii

hi. did u apply for a visa already? i think we have the same situation

Jose Ph

I am from davao city, and I got my korean visa for 3000 via an agency. Travelling is more expensive for probinsyanong Pinoys . Booo !!:O

yoshke

Thanks for sharing, Jose! I agree!

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mariz

I love your blog. I keep on reading and reading all your blog posts.^_^ I just want to ask cause i’m planning to have a vacation next year to korea, actually i LOVE KOREA even if i’ve never been there and honestly, it’ll be my first time to travel abroad. I have this dilemma of not passing the visa application. I’m just an ordinary employee of a manufacturing appliances company and have a salary ranging 13k-15k a month. In my itr it’s declared that i’m below minimum wage earner, is there any a chance that i could pass the visa application? Though i have more than 50k savings in my bank account. And which is preferrable, i’ll first book a flight before applying a tourist visa ? (cause i’m planning to book a promo fare (1 fare) or appplying first the visa before booking a ticket which will cost me more than 10k.. thank you. I’ll wait for your reply.

yoshke

Hi Mariz! Thanks for your comment! Apply for a visa first before you book. You will be asked which flight you’re planning to take but no need to purchase tickets yet.

As for the other question, I can’t say whether it would be enough to convince them.

getz

Hi, I want my mom to apply for korean visa but she’s retired na. Ako yung gagasto sa trip, documents ko ba yung kelangan i submit? Like my own bank cert, coe, etc? Pano if I work abroad, so yung bank cert ko ba dito sa country of residence ko yung ipapa submit ko sa mom ko? Thanks!

Nics

Hi! Question on what documents should an OFW (still in abroad) prepare and get from the country they are staying now? Like are there docs(COE,Bank certs.) to be stamped by any government agency abroad?

Danah reyes

Hi, I’m planning to apply for a Korean Visa as an employee which requires a 2316 form or ITR, when I requested my employer for it they said that this is not available in my case because I started working on February 2014 and the filing for taxes were on the same month. Will I still be eligible to apply for the visa?

Ma

Yes you can still apply.. -mariatherese123456789@gmail.com

G

I heard somewhere that they conduct interviews. Is that true?

jen catubay

hi, balak namin pumunta ng Korea by May 2015,
is it ok to apply for the visa as early as now? Gaano katagasl bisa ng ibibigay nilang visa sa iyo kkung by November kami mag-apply? maraming salamat