Applying for a visa is nerve-wracking, even for us. I have done 20 applications at various embassies over the past 5 years, ranging from Korean visa to Australian visa to Schengen visa to Canadian visa. You might think I should be used to it by now. But the truth is, I still get extremely nervous every single time. Thankfully, I have never been denied. And I hope a first time would never come.

We know we’re not alone in this. Many of the questions we receive are from anxious readers sharing with us the list of documents they plan to submit and then asking us what we think their approval chances are. Will my visa application be denied? Will it be approved?

To be honest, it is difficult for us to give an opinion on and impossible to assess any application because it is based on a whole bunch of factors. The embassies consider several things before making a decision.

I think it’s important that you understand why embassies and consulates screen applicants and have a visa policy in the first place. Visa policies are there primarily to protect the national interest of the country. Tourism-wise, their usual concerns are visitors overstaying and working illegally. It is not uncommon that tourists with a short-term tourist or visit visa decide to stay much longer for employment or other reasons, a clear violation of the rules. Filipinos even developed a colloquial term for it: TNT, which is short for “tago nang tago,” referring to the act of constantly hiding from police or immigration authorities. This prompts embassies in the Philippines to be much stricter in screening tourists. It’s not that they prohibit longer stays or working there. It’s just that you must have the proper papers for it. Having visa policies in place also helps address other serious concerns like human trafficking and threats to national security.

Most reasons for visa rejection are related to overstaying. Thus, it is important to establish that you don’t have ANY reason to stay longer while still being honest about everything. So here are the common reasons why a visa application is rejected and what you can do to prevent them.

Note, however, that I don’t work for any embassy or consulate. All these are speculations based on the patterns and similarities we see in our applications, conversations with travel agents, and experiences of our friends, readers, and members of our Support Group. Much of the evaluation process isn’t visible to outsiders. At the end of the day, it’s an exercise in making educated guesses.

Incorrect or Unjustified Visa Type

Multiple-entry Japan visa

If you’re traveling for business, go for a business visa. If traveling purely for leisure, go for a tourist visa. Don’t apply for a tourist visa if your purpose is clearly for business.

Aside from that, don’t be too ambitious because it’s too risky. One of the most memorable messages I received was from someone asking my opinion as to why her Korean application was denied. I asked her a few questions and it became pretty clear early on. She was visiting for the first time and had very little savings in her bank account, but she applied for a 90-day stay in Korea.

Applying for a longer stay especially if it’s your first time raises a lot of questions. Why would you need to stay that long? Would you be able to afford it? What about your job here? Don’t you have strong ties in the Philippines? These questions tick a lot of items on the hmmm-what’s-up-with-that list.

Another incident I remember is a guy who applied for a multiple-entry Schengen visa. He was invited by someone in Europe but he insisted on applying for a multiple-entry visa even though nothing in his itinerary merited it. His application was rejected.

Generally, if it’s your first time applying for a visa at that embassy, go for single entry unless it’s completely justified. When we applied at the German and Greek Embassies for the first time, we had to clearly prove that we would be exiting the Schengen Zone a couple of times, which called for a multiple-entry visa.

Some embassies would still give you a single-entry if they think you don’t deserve it. When I applied for a double-entry Chinese visa, I was still granted a single-entry one. I was lucky because some embassies would just reject it altogether.


Unclear or Unjustified Purpose of Travel

Why do you want to travel to that country? It’s one of the most basic things asked when applying for a visa. It’s in every application form. Are you traveling simply for sightseeing? Will you be visiting friends or family? Will you be attending a seminar or conference? Will you be meeting a client?

Whatever your reason is, it has to be clear and honest. Honest, yes, because you will be asked to prove it. For tourism, you’ll be asked to submit an itinerary or daily schedule. Some embassies will ask you to provide hotel and tour bookings. If your itinerary is far from being realistic, you’re gonna have a problem.

If visiting a friend or family, you will be asked to submit an invitation letter and sometimes guarantee letter and other documents. Other embassies will also ask to prove your relationship. For immediate family, birth certificates often do the trick. For friends or partners, it can get trickier. For Schengen visa, for example, you might be asked to submit pictures together and conversation records. If you have a specific reason — you’re attending a wedding or reunion — mention it. It keeps your purpose grounded, personal, and believable.


Weak Ties to Sponsor or Inviter

Embassies are more likely to approve application if you have a clear, strong relationship with the inviter than if you just met them through the Internet.

Many first-time applicants are under the impression that just because they are invited by someone living in that country means it is easier to be granted a short-term visa. Oh no, that’s not true. Often, knowing someone in that country can actually work against you.

Why? Because knowing someone in that country gives you a strong reason to overstay and not come back. Having an inviter or sponsor abroad doesn’t mean the embassy will not look at your rootedness, employment and financial situation. If anything, they will take a closer look and subject your application to further scrutiny. This is why most Schengen countries zero in on questions like: Do you know anyone in Europe? Do you know anyone in the UK? How are you related to them?

It also complicates things. If you’re invited by someone, you’ll have more documents to submit, some have to be secured by the inviting party abroad. If the relationship appears weak or too distant, it can affect your chances. You should be able to show the embassy why the sponsor is willing to commit to shoulder your trip or be responsible for you. If you just met the inviter online, it will be extremely difficult to convince the embassy because the proof of relationship is weak and unreliable.

You will also have to prove your relationship with them. For Schengen countries, you will be asked to submit photos, conversation records (phone bills, etc.), and other evidence.


Insufficient Proof of Reason to Return

Remember, embassies fear that you would be overstaying, so you need to prove that you have every reason to return after the trip. It’s sometimes called “proof of rootedness.”

Proving your rootedness is basically showing them that you have strong ties in the Philippines and you can’t just disappear. Here are the most common forms of proof of rootedness:

  • Employment. They look at your job description, salary, and tenure. If you’ve been with that company for a long time, that’s a good sign for them. This is why they require that these details be included in your Certificate of Employment. This is also why those who are unemployed or who have no stable job are most likely to refused a visa. Embassies fear that you would be working in their country.
  • Business. If you own a business in the Philippines, even if it’s a small one, it’s a good proof of rootedness. You can submit business registration documents. Some embassies even ask for the financial reports.
  • Properties. If you own a piece of land, a house, condo unit, or even a car, you can submit a copy of the title or deed of sale.

Shaky Employment Status

Another case I will never forget involves a guy who wanted to visit Europe. He had ok funds in his bank account but he couldn’t prove that he was employed. He said he was manning a small sari-sari store and he practically owned it. I said that’s great and that he should submit registration papers. He said that his problem was that all store docs were under the name of his grandmother. That’s bad because on paper, his grandma owns the store, not him.

He then said that he also ran another small business, but unfortunately it was not registered with DTI, BIR or any government agency. He asked if he could write that down as employment in the form. I told him it would be impossible to convince the embassy without documentation.

He remained pretty optimistic about the whole thing. He said he would just explain it in a cover letter. I told him it would very risky because he had no proof. None of the papers had his name. But he said he would still give it a shot.

Of course, his application was denied.

Imagine yourself on the embassy’s side for a minute. Would you believe someone who would tell you he had a job but no documents to prove it? Embassies cannot just take your word for it. They need solid proof.

Freelancers can still be granted visas provided that they meet the requirements.

For freelancers, this is the most challenging part of the application. I was a freelancer when I applied for a Schengen visa via German Embassy. Even when I have business registration docs and ITR, they still asked to see my contracts with clients. Imagine if you had none at all?

If there are documents that you can’t provide, supply alternatives. Submit a copy of the contracts and invoices. Get letters from clients complete with contact details so the embassy could easily get in touch with them to confirm.


Questionable Financial Records

Obviously, you need to prove that you can financially support the trip and not end up in the streets after. Hence, they need to see your proof of income and your bank documents.

How much money should you have in your bank account? Most embassies do not explicitly state an amount. But in general, the unofficial rule of thumb is to add the cost of airfare, hotels, and then daily travel provisions, which is different per embassy. For example, the French embassy requires 120 euro per day. In my travel circles, most follow the P10,000 per day rule. I have friends who have been granted Japanese, Korean, and Australian visa even though they have only around P50,000 in their account because they only applied for a stay of 3-4 days.

The point is, how much you have in the bank should be proportional to your stay. Don’t apply for a 30-day or 60-day visa if you only have P50,000 in your account. That just doesn’t make sense.

The amount in your bank account should be proportional to the length of your stay.

Some embassies like the Japanese require only a bank certificate. Others like the Korean and Schengen countries’ embassies want to see both the bank certificate AND bank statements. It’s not enough that you have sufficient funds. They also look at account maturity and transaction history.

You see, some applicants and illegal recruiters try to game the system by either opening an account or depositing a large amount just for the purpose of application and then withdrawing that money after they get the visa. Because of this, embassies want to see the account activities for the past 3-6 months. It should present a steady cash flow. If your account history shows something unusual like a one-time big deposit, it will raise a red flag.

A friend of mine wanting to attend an event in Europe was refused a Schengen Visa by the Norwegian Embassy because she had little savings. But my friend made an appeal and showed that aside from her savings, she also had a Paypal account with some money in it. She printed the transaction history and submitted it together with a letter. Her appeal was approved.


Weak Travel History

Canadian Visa Multiple Entry. Previous visas like this certainly help.

Sometimes, applying for a visa feels like applying for a job. All the stamps and visas on your passport? That’s your resume.

Having a strong travel history certainly gives you an advantage. It shows the embassy that they should trust you. It’s like saying, “Look, I’ve been to all these countries and I have returned each time and never overstayed.”

Of course, having all those stamps isn’t a guarantee. In the same way, having no stamps at all doesn’t mean your application will be denied right away. But a good history definitely builds your case. That’s why it’s always a good idea to visit visa-free countries first before visa destinations.

If you have a record of overstaying, you have a problem. It will be much harder for you to convince them to trust you again. Hence, never ever break your visa restrictions!


Inconsistent Information and Interview

First up, take the application form seriously. It is the most important document when applying for a visa. It contains the most essential information about you and your trip, and all the other documents will be run against it. Make sure you have spelled everything correctly. Make sure you follow instructions. Most importantly, make sure everything is accurate, truthful, and consistent.

If you write on the form that you’re staying for only 4 days, don’t submit a 2-week itinerary. If you write you’re self-employed, provide business documents. If you write you’re invited by someone, present the necessary paperwork.

That’s critical if an interview is mandatory. We always say, be confident during interview. The truth is, it’s easier said than done. It can be terrifying sometimes, haha. Under all that pressure, it’s easy to buckle. Hence, you have to be prepared for it. You need to be familiar with every nook and cranny of your trip. That’s why it’s best to be heavily involved in the planning so you get to memorize the details by heart.

It’s also why you have to be honest all the time. If you’re telling the truth, it’s easy to be consistent. No matter how the interviewer twists the questions, you will have the same answer because it’s the truth. It’s not difficult to see who’s lying and making up stories. One tough question about a detail can make your facade crumble.

If you feel like you have to lie during the application, it probably means you’re not ready for this trip.


Incomplete, Fake or Dubious Documents

Every visa application involves a set of requirements that must be submitted by the applicant. The problem arises when applicants don’t have some of these documents. Some choose to submit fake or forged documents, which is the biggest no-no. Some docs like birth certificates are hard to fake, but things like Certificate of Employment, pay slips, and bank statements can easily be produced. But DON’T DO IT.

If caught, your application will automatically go straight to the trash bin. It reflects your character. It shows your willingness to break the rules, which is exactly what they DON’T want in their country. Some embassies do verify documents. The Korean Embassy sometimes calls the company you work for to confirm the details in your Certificate of Employment. For embassies that require flight reservation, they may check the booking code of the flight to confirm it exists and is under your name.

If a certain requirement doesn’t apply to you, don’t fake it. Find alternatives. For example, most OFWs who are back in the country won’t be able to produce an ITR released by BIR because they didn’t work here. But that doesn’t mean you can’t submit anything. You can submit that country’s equivalent tax document.

There are also workarounds. For instance, if you’re applying for a Japanese visa and you don’t have an ITR or bank certificate, you can find a guarantor, ideally immediate family. This way, the burden shifts to the sponsor and you just need to submit their documents instead (among others). Take note that this is only for Japanese Embassy. Most other embassies will still ask for your financial documents even if your trip is sponsored.

Bottomline, submit a complete set of documents. If you can’t, don’t fake anything. If you can’t find a workaround or alternative, it’s probably not a good time for you to apply for a visa yet.

However, having complete requirements doesn’t mean approval. They will inspect the documents and must find them satisfactory.


Who knows?

The 10th reason? We don’t know.

You can be adequately prepared for it, but sometimes, we just don’t know what the eff is going to happen.

I have heard about cases wherein I just couldn’t figure out what the hell went wrong. I have a friend who has a great travel history, financial records, rootedness proof. Everything was great, in my opinion. And yet her application was denied. I also know another who was applying for a Japanese visa for the third time. He meets all the items of someone who would surely be guaranteed approval, but was refused a visa, too.

We were thinking, was it just a mistake? Was the assessor having a bad day when they evaluated their application? Haha. It’s just perplexing.

Then, I also have another friend who had never been to any visa country, had shaky finances and was new to her job, but she was granted a multiple-entry visa!

As you know, Vins and I often travel together, so when it comes to travel history, we’re on equal standing. In one of our visa applications, we applied at the same time. When it comes to all the other requirements, Vins is in a much better place than me. He had a full time job; I was a freelancer. He had more money in the bank, more stable employment history, more properties under his name. Naturally, I was more nervous. Guess what, my application was approved 2 weeks earlier than his. Haha. He was even called to submit more documents. It boggles the mind. LOL.

In another incident, I applied for an Australian visa with friends. They were visiting for the first time so I even assisted them through the process. I had been to Australia before, and my travel history and other requirements are definitely much stronger. My friends were granted a multiple entry visa. I was granted single entry. We were all shocked.

Really, sometimes, you just never know. But don’t count on these hiccups. These are more exceptions than rules. Always be prepared.


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Important Reminders


Yoshke Dimen

Storyteller at Yoshke.com
Yoshke is a part-time digital marketing consultant, part-time travel blogger, and full-time dreamer. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and --- wait for it --- world peace. Yoshke has won 3 PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS and received 9 nominations. Learn more about his personal journeys at Yoshke.com.
Yoshke Dimen

Comments

  1. sven says:

    Very good article. I have worked in an embassy for a while and can confirm what is written here.

    However, there is something you should keep in mind: during peak season embassies (shengen countries) have about 5 min per visa application.

    So since the printing process takes around two minutes there are about 3 min to check the documents.

    If you know that you will understand that the most important thing is to not stand out. Means have all the documents and make them look unsuspicious.

    — Some parts deleted —

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Sven! Thanks so much for sharing this.

      I hope you won’t mind that I deleted the last sentence of your comment because it might send the wrong idea to readers, haha. But thanks again for sharing that.

  2. Jessica C. says:

    hi! i would like to ask a question, we applied for a Japan Visa and only put 5 days in our itenerary when we plan to really stay for 8 days. Do you think, Is that okay? Our visa is a single entry valid for 60 days.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Jessica, yes, it’s okay. Standard Japan Visa allows you to stay up to 15 days. :)

      • Virgilio Atian Jr says:

        Hi Yoshke,

        I retired from my previous work in a cruise ship last January and there’s someone offered me a job in Australia. Until now he just saying to me that I should be there as tourist. He will help me to have a job when I arrive there. What’s the right visa for me when there’s someone sponsor a job?

  3. Kaye says:

    Hello!

    I’m a business owner and also do work online as a Digital Marketing Consultant. Should I put both on the application or stick to one?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Kaye, generally it’s best to stick to one, so pick one na sa tingin mo mas malaki ang chances mo or mas maraming relevant documents na masusubmit. Mas complicated kasi pag andaming isusubmit.

      Pero if weak pareho, dun lang sa tingin ko may sense na magsubmit ng pareho.

      • Kaye says:

        I thought of that, too. I’ll go with the business since complete naman the requirements and it’s somehow established na.

        Thanks for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it!

  4. Joan says:

    Hi good day!

    Travelled to countries na HK Macau and Taiwan.. All not requiring a visa kaya knakabahan po ako sa japan trvel with a friend on feb 2019.. Pnakaworry ko po is ung bank cert.. Question po i have 2 bank accounts one where I get my pay from every 2wks.. And usually nssimot ko sya.. Or ung isang bank account na once in a blue moon ko lang lagyan mostly 4 -5 digits lang po nggng laman.. Mdalas withdrawal pa.. Pro im planning magipon npo starting this sept pra mkta cash flow.. Sang bank acct po mas mlaki chance ko maapprove?ung with monthly salary or ung savings pro mostly wla dn po syado cash flow? TIA =)

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Joan, if bumababa sa 4 digits yung isang account mo, malabo din yun. Unless nga mag-iipon ka since matagal pa naman ang Feb.

      Bank cert lang naman ang hinihingi ng Japan Embassy, hindi bank statement, so hindi makikita yung mga transaction details. Ang most likely lalabas lang ay yung balance, maturity, and ADB. So kahit alin dyan sa dalawang accounts mo, pwede, basta mag-ipon ka na. May time pa naman.

  5. johanna vidad says:

    Thank you for your article! very informative and also sets my expectations in applying for a visa.

  6. johanna says:

    hi! im going to apply for an australian visa. okay na po ba mag submit lang ng coe, payslips, and itr? or kelangan po talaga na may bank statements? i have been employed for 11 yrs na po and still employed with the company. il just be visiting for 8 days.
    another question po, how much po kaya yung ideal pocket money for an 8- day trip in australia? because u mentioned po sa europe it’s about 120 euros per day.

    thanks po in advance!

  7. Elma salen says:

    Hi po, i just got denied in my visa application for south korea last sept 26, i have submitted all the requirements for employee, with itr, bank cert and statement of account, coe, all intact. Ive already traveled to hk last 2 years ago, i wonder why nreject ako., is there any way to re appeal po? Thank u

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Elma, according to some members of our Support Group, you can apply via the Korean Consulate in Cebu even if you’re denied in Manila. Just hire a travel agency in Cebu to submit the docs for you. But make sure you have additional documents to support your case.

      • Jackelyn Yadao says:

        Hi!!! Kasalukuyan po ako nag fifill up ng application for online pero suddenly its showing …An error has accured …ano po ba ang dapat kong gawin….thanks in advance

  8. Elma salen says:

    Thank u so much sir yoshke, i have now a contact person in cebu, hope for a positive result. Your response is a big help for me to know na its possible to re appeal.thank u

  9. E says:

    Hello, I already commented in another post but forgot to ask another question. So here it goes:
    My boyfriend and I are planning to visit France (hopefully) next year. We’re not exactly the travelling type-I’ve been to Macau and HK twice, he hasn’t been out of the country. We want to go to France to visit our favorite authors’ graves, do the Van Gogh Walk in Arles, mostly we’ll be in Provence. These sites are not the more famous sites [for Pinoy tourists, based on my googling], too. My question is, can we, at the very least, explain in the cover letter why we want to visit France despite us not having a passport filled with stamps? Funding and rootedness in PH are not an issue for us.

    Your blog has been very helpful kahit na next year pa plano naming, I’m saving all the info got from here.

    Thank you!

  10. Jen says:

    Hello, Im planning to visit canada. Pwede po ba gamitin yung business name ng In-laws ko and yung husband ko meron maliit na tindahan. Kakaresigned ko lng last May dahil naoperahan ako. Please advise.

    Thanks

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      It has to be named after you. You should be the registered owner of the business.

  11. Jaypee says:

    Hello po, i just wanna know because im planning to travel in xi’an china for 4-5days ideally magkano po dapat un laman ng bank account to use for the visa application, i closed my deposit account so.im.planning to use my card where i get my salary from, but just like the other reader i really use it for withrawing the money but since im planning to travel on december so im thinking not to use it for any withrawal transactions up until the time i apply for chinese visa. And super helpful ng blogs nyo i have been following you guys whenever i travel to some countries.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Jaypee, di namin alam magkano dapat ang laman. May mga nagsasabi na nag-apply sila for Chinese visa na around 50K na naapprove, pero may mga travel agencies na ang sabi dapat daw minimum 100K. So it’s hard to tell kung magkano ba talaga dapat. :(

  12. Joan says:

    Hello po tnong q lng po plano ksi ng boyfriend ko mg visit ako sa country this 2019 khit 2weeks and ng travel ndin po kmI ng non visa country anu po ung dpat eh prepare ko po salamat

  13. Nikki says:

    Hi,
    I’ll be applying for a japan visa this week for my Nov 2018 trip. I opened a new account last March 2018 where I’ve been depositing my savings. Would it be fine with the embassy if my account started just last March? It now amounts to 100,000 and I’ll be staying for 6 days. Thank you for your help!

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Nikki, hard to say, but I’d give it a try if I were in your shoes. That’s just me though.

      • Nikki says:

        Thanks for the advice Yoshke! Will surely give it a try. I got my bank certificate today from BDO and they only have 1 standard format. It only shows the current balance to date. I can’t customized it to have an ADB nor a Created Date. Oh well, it won’t hurt to try. It’s just me being anxious haha :) Thanks again!

        • Yoshke Dimen says:

          Hi Nikki, I just checked my BDO bank cert and yeah, you’re right. The ADB and maturity date are no longer indicated. You should be fine, when bank cert is concerned. :)

  14. Harry says:

    Hi. I applied for a Korean Visa and part of it is the declaration of my out-of-the-country travels for the past 5 years. I have indicated United Arab Emirates and Malaysia in my application. Originally, I submitted by application including my old passport since the stamps for my Malaysia travel including other countries (more than 5 years ago) are there.

    Since the application for Korean visa is already through agencies, I asked my friend to process my application. However, 2 days after the application, my friend told me that the agency gave back my old passport. I am now worried that my application might be denied since I have no other proof that I traveled to Malaysia aside from my old passport.

    I am currently on my 8th year in the company where I am working and am already in a manager position. My Bank Statement and Bank Certificate are also quite okay for the application.

    According to the agency, the estimated date of release of the result is on November 15, 2018. I am really really worried.

    I hope you could respond to my inquiry. Thank you!

  15. Catherine says:

    Hi!
    I am planning to visit UK next year. What is the requirement that I need to submit.

  16. chin chan says:

    Hi. Do I really need an invitation if Im going to visit Canada alone. Ano po kaya ang chances na makapasa if walang invitation letter? And how much will be the needed money in my account? Btw, I’m 8yrs employed with no travel experience out of the country. :) TIA

  17. Snove12 says:

    Hi! I submitted our(with my 2 siblings) online visa application to Canada last Nov 19, and till now no email receive yet. How long kaya malalaman if approve or not?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      According to the latest update ng website nila, the average processing time this month is 18 days, so normal pa rin yan. :)

  18. Den says:

    The 10th reason was so true. I applied for korean visa recently with my friends. They all got approved except me. I even filled up my friend’s application form for her. We all have the same requirements, more travel abroad (though all visa free), I even have higher ADB and savings on the bank but I’m the one who got denied. Sometimes we never know.

  19. Mar says:

    Hi, Ano po chance ko ma approved Australian visitor if my previous visa was US visa 10 yrs multiple, Japan visa 5yrs and italy schengen visa.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Mar. Hard to say. It depends on many things aside from travel history. But it sure is a plus, but not a guarantee.

  20. Amri says:

    Hi, Thank you for sharing these very helpful info. I am planning to apply for a Korean visa next year. I have an online-based job for more than two years now. The company does not give COE but they give certificate of service, it just don’t include how much I earn though. I’m also a concessionaire in our local groceries but my business is not registered and I only have receipts as a proof that I am earning in this small business. (transactions are under my name). For my rootedness, I am single and
    I am enrolled in my second year for graduate school. I have traveled three southeast asian countries before and all didn’t require visas. I have two bank accounts and no cc. first one is for payroll and the other one is for my savings. (it only has 5 digits savings.) I don’t have an ITR. I always travel solo.

    What do you think about my chances of getting approved for my first time to apply for visa?
    I am earning but cannot provide the COE and ITR.
    I have savings but cannot justify how I earned it since I don’t have the COE and ITR.
    If you are the officer, are you going to approve my application?

    Thank you for reading!

    caveat: my job and business are all legal :)

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Amri, it’s hard for me to assess. But there have been applicants without COE or ITR who were granted a visa, so I know it’s not impossible. But that was before the Korean Embassy had designated travel agencies.

      Now that there are designated travel agencies, there is an extra gatekeeper who will assess it first. What I suggest is to contact your chosen agency first and ask them about your chances instead since they will know it better. :)

  21. Zarah says:

    Hello. Thank you for sharing this helpful info. Me and my friends wants to get a korean visa thru travel agencies on May. We are planning for a group application and to travel in July. Some of us are first timers. And sa case ko po. I just finished my studies last October 2018. And Im reviewing for my board exam. Paano po yung sken anong requirements po yung susundin ko. Since unemployed po ako. Nagbook na po kami on July. But wala pa ping return flight. My friend is suggesting na maghanap na din po kami ng flight pabalik before our application. But we are afraid na baka madeny po kami. Mas malaki po yung pera na mawawaste namin.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Zarah,

      For your application, write a letter explaining that you have recently graduated, then submit proof na kaka-graduate mo lang. Tapos best if may guarantor ka na immediate family member.

  22. Dane says:

    Hello, My Aunt in Canada sent an invitation to me for 6 mos. visit visa. Can I apply for 3 months visa or even shorter than 3mos. kahit naka-indicate sa invitation letter that I should stay there for 6 mos.? Also, is it required to have itinerary for 3-6mos. stay?
    Thanks

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Dane, baka makalito ung 6 months na nasa invitation letter tapos 3 months ung applyan. Iwasan mo na lang yung mga inconsistencies kasi red flag yung ganyan.

  23. zanne says:

    Hello I am engage to an Australian last Nov. lang and I was planning to go on Australia as a tourist in May of this year, my question is need ba niya i indicate sa invitation na I am his fiancee or dapat girlfriend lang and how much po dapat show money?

  24. RC says:

    Hi po good morning salamat s blog nyu po at super malaking tuñong hingi po sna aku adv regarding po sa plan k po mg apply ng us ir canda anu po mas madaling applyan po and my prev po akung tour more on asia po the japan single and not multiple from japan mkktlong po b ito at kungsakali my business po aku at merung DTI and mayors permit kso wla po akung ITR ok lang po b un salamat po.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      HI RC, di pa kasi ako naka-try mag-apply ng US visa so hindi ko macompare.

      Sa Canada naman, malaking bagay yung ITR. Kung wala naman, pwede rin ang registration. Matagal na po ba ang business nyo? May iba po ba kayong proof of income and business activity like invoices? Makakatulong din iyon.

  25. sharmaine says:

    hello po, just wanted to ask po, our family is planing to apply for a south korean visa. my father had his early retirement and at the same time he has a small business. but most of the funds in his bank po ay galing na po from his retirement. he have complete business papers rin naman po, kaso yung itr niya states no income, kasi po small business lng siya. what should we check po sa portion na current personal cirsumstances? the retired or self employed? or should we check both po? then submit both the retirement papers and business papers po? thanks!

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Sharmaine, since no income yung nasa ITR, parang mas okay na retired? Pero make sure na may sponsor. Opinion ko lang po ito ha. Best to ask an embassy-designated travel agency po.

  26. Russelle says:

    Hi. I have a question po, since i am a graduating student po, my tita is planning to sponsor me a trip to Korea as a birthday and graduation gift for me. Kaya lang po, my parents doesnt have bank accounts. :( ano po kayang pwede kong gawing alternative? Pwede po kayang iapply ko sya as sponsorship kasi yung tita ko naman po talaga magcocover ng expenses ko to Korea? And incase paano ko po iaapply yung for sponsorship. Pls help po. Thankyou

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Russelle, ang alam ko pwede naman po yun. Pagawa ka na lang po ng Affidavit of Support tapos pa-notarize para mas safe. Tapos need mo ipakita yung bank docs and ITR ng tita mo.

  27. Richie Antonio says:

    Hi! Your article is extremely comprehensive and informative. I have one question. I intend to do an open-jaw trip, Manila-Toronto, New York- Manila. In terms of visa application, do I first apply for Canadian visa or US visa. My first destination is Canada, the USA. WHich visa application do you think I should initiative first? thank you very much

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      You can do both at the same time. You can already schedule an appointment for US Visa and while waiting, apply for Canadian visa online.

      Do you have tickets already?

      But if I were in your shoes, I’d take care of the US visa first and then use that as a supporting document for my Canadian visa application.

  28. Reginald Mera says:

    Hi po Good Morning.

    Ask ko lng po, my aunt po is 50 years old. She availed of the early retirement in their company (after 30 years of service) but she is single and wants to travel to japan (though family trip po ito) is it possible not to provide any guarantee letter since she will be sponsoring her own trip (she has sufficient fund to support her own trip)? Medyo confusing lng po kasi dahil mejo kakaiba po situation nya dahil po 50+ years old sya pero retired na.

    Thanks po and hoping for your response.

  29. Sheena says:

    Hi Yoshke. We are planning to apply for Australian Visa, my husband as the main applicant. I’m a small time online seller on Shopee with no business registration. I have my personal savings account. Should I declare that I’m an online seller and submit Shopee Income Statement or declare as a housewife? Thanks!

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Sheena, naku, di ko alam kapag ganyan, pero if I were in your shoes, I would apply as a housewife.

      Okay ba ung kita mo sa Shopee? If okay, write a letter that you also do online selling and submit the Shopee Income Statement. If hindi naman ganun kalaki kita mo sa Shopee, baka best na wag na lang imention kasi baka maka-confuse lang.

  30. Joey says:

    Hi Yoshke. I am married po with Italian and I am just waiting po only for 2 years to be an Italian Citizen. Since, I’ve been in Europe a couple of times, is there a big chance po ba na ma-approve korean visa application ko?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Depende po sa maraming factors yan. Ang travel history ay isa lang sa mga yun. Pero titingnan pa rin nila ang employment and financial capacity n’yo. :)

  31. Phy says:

    Hi Yoshke,

    Firsrly, Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. This is much appreciated. I just want to ask if I can use the Contract to Sell for the one unit Townhome I bougth under my name thru Pag-ibig if I apply for a tourist visa let say to Europe or Canada. As we all know since it is under financing scheme, the legal owner is si Pag-Ibig until such time n ma fully paid na and the title has been tranfered to my name, which would take many years before it happens.

    Do you think this is a good evidence to support my rootedness aside from my COE?

    Thanks and hope to hear it from you soon :-)

    P

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Phy, unfortunately, di ko alam kung pwede yung contract to sell. :(

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Usually pag employee, okay lang na wala.

      Anong visa po ba yan?

  32. Melissa says:

    Thank you Yoshke,
    Actually, kaka received ko lang ITR ko ngayun with certification from BIR with seal. This for my tourist korean visa application

  33. Mark Bryan Fabia Bucad says:

    It is very useful when I read your articles and it gives me the right amount of competitiveness to pursue my visa applications. I was able to visit “visa and non-visa” countries but that’s quite long time ago. Last week, my Korean application was approved. I had this fear feeling it won’t be approved since my current account is only 30k. I don’t have also the ADB to support my account. I’m travelling with my Christian friends and they’re all with their families. Last year, I booked my flight ticket and hotel accommodation since it’s quite affordable during that season. Tho, I think the embassy has this matrix or pointing system who gives specific weights per criteria of all the requirements needed. I asked my travel agency to add my application to the group tour to have higher chances in appraising my documents. Moreover, I submitted my COE with tel. no., monthly and annual gross, current position and date hired. I’ve give my ITR too and with regards to my bank cert. given by my company since I am working in a rural bank, I made a letter since the current system cannot issue my ADB signed by the branch manager and teller with a seal. I have printed my transaction history in my passbook and have given my statement covering the 3-month progress. I am just so overwhelmed and happy that all my efforts really paid off. Now, I can’t sleep and I’m really excited to visit SoKor with its Cherry Blossoms Season. God bless you always. I’m sorry ‘coz this was quite long to read. Gamsahamnida Sir Yoshke :)

    PS: There are hmmmm, let’s say small grammatical errors as per my first message. I am sorry. Inshallah, I will have this amazing break this April 2-7 in SoKor. God bless you po Kuya. :)

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Yayyy! Congrats!

      Don’t worry about grammar errors. I have those too when I’m too lazy to proofread (which is most of the time, hahhaha)!

      Enjoy Korea!

  34. Felicidad O.Quillosa says:

    Hi Yoshke, I have a special friend in Canada for more than 1 year and 4 months and he wants me to visit him this coming August and he will shoulder all the expenses and i am staying at his apartment for the duration of my visit.
    He already sent me the invitation letter and he stated there that he will be the one responsible for all the expenses and he will look after me.
    My friend have voice dissability due to accident since September 1984.
    He wants me to visit him to see also the place and the way of living of a Canadian people.
    Is there a possibility to grant me a visitors visa.
    Please advise.
    Thanks,
    Fely

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Felicidad,

      They will still look at your financial and employment records even if your trip is sponsored. So nakadepende doon kung approved or hindi.

      Also, is your special friend Canadian? How did you meet? I’m asking because mas strict ang PH Immigration pag foreigner ang bibisitahin, lalo na if sila yung sasagot sa expenses. So even if magka-visa, baka mahirapan ka sa Immigration.

      • Shirley S Dayao says:

        Hi! Mag apply po ako sa Australia.ok n po ba yung 10 itinerary ko and during week end lng mkkpasyal.
        Salamat po

  35. Janna says:

    Thank you for this article, I will follow this to my future visa applications!

  36. Janna says:

    I’m planning to go to South Korea this fall, I already have a Japan Multiple Entry Visa do you think its easier for me to get a Korean visa?

    • Malou says:

      Great article!

      My cousin’s Japan Visa application got rejected a few weeks ago. He is working abroad and applied from there but the bank he declared is here in PH. His account has around 100k balance. I applied for Japan Visa here in PH with a bank account of 50k and got approved. Is there a minimum amount required if applying from a different country? And can he apply for japan visa again when we comes home to PH in a few days? Thanks.

  37. jesselyn says:

    hello, 1st time ko po mag-apply ng student visa sa canada and hindi pa po ako nakakapag-out of country (sa june pa yung Thailand trip ko hehe) possible kaya maging reason yun for refusal? thank you for the answer :)

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Jesselyn, di kami ganun ka-familiar sa rules kapag student visa. :S

  38. Charlie says:

    Hi there,

    My cousin wants to join us for a planned trip to the US this year. He is into buy and sell business. Travelled to Asian countries with Visa and some Southeast Asian countries too. He inherited some fortune from his father. Do you think he’ll be lucky enough to be granted visitor visa?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Charlie, US visa is said to be the hardest to predict kasi they don’t ask for too many requirements. Much of the result depends on the interview.

  39. carisse says:

    Hi, balak ko po sanang mag apply ng US tourist visa para dalawin ang pamilya ko, mama, papa and kaptid ko nakatira na sa US naiwan ako kasi na over 21 po ako. Turning 3 years na po ako sa work ko dito sa pinas may ipon na din po ako. Malaki po ba ang chance na madeny po ako saapplication ng visa?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Carisse, mahirap po masabi pero pinakaimportant ay maprove mo na babalik ka talaga and maging consistent ka sa interview, which is a big big factor.

    • Cha says:

      Hi Yoshke,

      Im so happy i was able to visit your page. It’s really helpful. I am planning to apply for visit visa in canada. My boyfriend and i decided to do so. Yearly silang nagvivisit sa philippines but natigil yun, 2016 yung last visit nila dto with his family. Medyo wala na kasi silang enough time to visit ph kasi lahat sila may regular job na it’s hard for them to schedule their trip so we just decided na ako nlng magvisit dun. We’ve been together since 2015. He’s my best friend’s cousin. He’s half pinoy.
      I’ve never been in out of the country trip. We’re just planning to have just 2 weeks vacation there because I can’t have my working leave longer than 2 weeks. I have bank account since november 2018, i have 700k there. I also have land title under my name. I’ve been working in bank since july 2018. Is it possible for me to get a visit visa? And what are other documents that i need for me to justify my 2 weeks trip there. Hoping for your respond

      • Yoshke Dimen says:

        Hi Cha, naku, hard for me to say kung ano yung chances of approval. :( Ang medyo questionable lang is medyo bago pa yung bank account mo and wala ka pa travel history. Pero di ko alam if ano chances of approval talaga.

  40. Dalagang Pilipina Yeah says:

    Hi Yoshke, I want to share my experience with my US Visa application. I had an interview last April 4, 2019. Everything went well and I thought that I will be granted a US Visa. However, to my surprise, the Consul Officer gave back my passport and said that he cannot grant me a US Visa. I was so prepared that day and had all the necessary documents ready. Sadly, the Consul Officer did not give me a chance to show my documents to support my application.

    Here is the exact words that he said: “You are very much qualified to be granted a US Visa. However, you applied for a wrong visa type. You should’ve applied for L-1 Visa.” Then he gave back my passport. He added: “Re-apply for a visa. Good luck on your project.”

    My boss sent a letter to the US Embassy to clarify the recommendation made by the Consul Officer because based on our review on the conditions set for L-1 Visa Type, my purpose of visit does not fall on this visa type. We also sent a letter to their consular communications group with regard to our request for clarification.

    The following day, April 5, 2019, I received a call asking me if I am available on April 8 for a supplemental interview. To cut the long story short, I was given a second chance to discuss my case and luckily, I was granted a 12-month multiple entries visa.

    This was a roller coaster experience for me. I hope that everyone who got denied won’t be hindered by a single rejection. This is just a hump but you will get over it. You might stumble but not fall.

    Thank you for letting me share my experience.

  41. Annie Bay says:

    Hey Yoshke! I have a dillemma. My COE travel dates are July 13-24, 2019 while my booked Aussie roundtrip tix is July 22-30, 2019. Also, my Payroll account address is different from my personal address in the application form. Wasnt able to change the address when I requested it. Should I just explain the discrepancies in the cover letter? Or request docs again? 2 weeks kasi ang docs! I’m travelling July 22, when can I apply for Visa te latest? AU visa :) thanks!!

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Annie, best to requiest new docs since may time ka pa naman. :)

  42. Kai says:

    Hi! Planning to apply for Korean Visa sa September and kaka start ko lang as freelancer this April. Paano kaya yun kung di ako makapag submit ng ITR? What do I need to submit as an alternative sa ITR? Sabi nila I can submit a cover letter explaining why I can’t provide an ITR pero I don’t know what to include in the letter. Thanks.

  43. Kai says:

    And also, about applying for korean visa, baka kasi mag push through yung invite sa akin ng isang Church doon sa Seoul. Do you think that’s enough para ma grant ako ng Visa? Do I still need to submit an ITR kung may invitation nman sa akin ng Church doon?

  44. Jhackie says:

    Hello! I applied for a visa going to NZ last year (twice thru online) and this April (thru an agent) and got denied, their reason is I am not a bona fide applicant. My third attempt to apply, I have added an NBI clearance and a sponsorship letter from my bf and other stuff that is needed like his bank details. I have also supplied a booked roundtrip ticket. They cited that they are not convinced that my relationship with my bf is legitimate. They are not also satisfied with my employment status given that I have been working in this company for 6 years and I have provided a certificate of employment from HR and no objection letter from my service manager stating that I need to report back to work on the next business day after my return ( I thought that they are thinking that I might not come back to the Philippines given that the company I am working for is an Australian and New Zealand company and that there is an office in NZ). Is there any way to know what are their requirements for me to prove that I am a bona fide applicant and that I will not stay in NZ illegally and will go back to the Philippines after my planned trip?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Jhackie,

      In my opinion, mas issue sa kanila yung relationship mo. Embassies usually frown upon applications of those supported by boyfriend/girlfriend. It’s just not a reliable or strong enough relationship for them. I know it can be frustrating but that’s usually how it is. It’s often much easier to apply showing that you will be supporting yourself financially and independently.

  45. Cionel Marie Diones says:

    Hello we are applying for a Spain Visa. Ano po dapat ang ilalagay if my mom will sponsor our trip?

  46. Seiji says:

    Hi

    My passport just came back without a sticker/visa (nz) and no email explaining whether denied or what.

    Last 2017, they mailed back the passport with stickers. No email too that i hv been approved. Just that sticker.

    I am praying that they will send the visa through email (mailing it will cost them.money so i dnt think that is possible). But the question is, why did they return my passport without the stickerif i am not approved in the first place.

    What do you think?

  47. Yezh says:

    hi, this is my 2nd time na magapply ng TV to Au po ung first time sponsored po ni boyfriend but now po is it ok if invitation letter lang po ang ibigay ni boyfriend? I have business namn po dito sa pinas. This time hindi sponsored ni bf kasi medyo mababa ung nasa bank statement nya kasi ngloan sya ng house.

  48. Glendz says:

    Hi. gusto ko lang itanong. may nabili ako house and lot but as of now wala pa ang deed of sale, in process pa din po. kaya ang nakuha ko lang contract of sale. Gusto ko po kasi i add yun sa proof of assets ko na I have a strong tie here in the Phils na talaga nga babalik ako. I travelled to Japan 3 years ago. I also have DTI cert. bank cert/satement. meron din po ako invitation letter and she sent all her proof of funds na kaya nya i provide lahat ng needs namin like accomodation, airfare even tickets. almsot complete na ang requirements namin ng partner ko which is sya talaga ang relative nung sponsor.. may chance po kaya? thank you

  49. Harry says:

    Hi Yoshke,

    This is Harry. I and my partner is planning to have a trip to japan this December. I have my bank account in security bank but there is no usual activities there. Mostly are deposits but not on a regular basis.

    We already had a history applying for a Korean visa last year. Mine was approved but his was denied. Now, we are planning to apply for a Japan trip. He already went to HK and Vietnam just to have stamps on his passport.

    I am currently in the US but I am planning to go back by October this year. Is it okay if we apply a month before the actual travel date to Japan? Will there be a problem since my partner was previously denied of Korean visa?

    Thank you

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Harry,

      Yep, you can apply 1 month before the trip since the usual processing time is just a few days to a week.

      The Japanese Embassy is much less strict than the Korean Embassy, so if your partner is currently employed and has good savings, there’s a good chance of being granted a visa. :)

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