Thanks to Hallyu, South Korea has become a go-to for die hard K-pop and K-drama Filipino fans. But whether or not you’re flying over to chase down your idols, to go shopping, to learn about Korean culture or to check out the cherry blossoms – there are a number of things you’ll have to do before you can get a visa.
Here’s what you need to know when applying for a Korean visa:
South Korea has 19 kinds of visas for foreigners visiting the country. There are visas for students, religious workers, businessmen, employees, and more. Check out the South Korean embassy website and find out which kind you’ll need.
The hardest thing about getting a Korean visa is proving that you are financially secure. Before that though, here’s what you’ll need to submit regardless of your financial standing:
Your passport must be valid for the next six months following your travel dates. If your passport is damaged or expiring, be sure to renew it before applying.
Provide a clear copy of the second page of your passport (the one with your photo and details).
Most studios are familiar with the photo specifications, so when heading over – make sure that you tell them that you will be using the photo for your South Korean visa application.
Depending on the kind of visa you’re applying for, the embassy may need different kinds of paperwork from you. Download application form here.
For the complete list of requirements needed for employees, the self-employed, housewives and students, check this downloadable version.
Image credit: @marxtermind09
Once you’ve gathered the above requirements, head over to any of the travel agencies accredited by the Korean Embassy (find one close to you, click here).
When at the agency, here’s what you need to do:
Instead of heading to the Korean embassy in Taguig, your visa may now be processed at several accredited travel agencies. Click here to find the closest one to you.
However, the following are exempted from such and qualify for walk-in application at the embassy:
Image credit: @marxtermind09
Make your Korean visa application less of a hassle by following these tips:
Make sure that your documents have no erasures and are not crumpled. When filling out forms, it’s best to write legibly in capital letters using blank ink.
Be presentable, groom yourself and come in smart casual.
No need to submit documents that are not in the list of requirements, unless these papers are necessary to support your case.
You will be asked about your finances for the trip – how much you will be spending, how much you will be bringing and if you will have funds in case of emergencies. It is best to make sure that you have the latter so that it looks like you really prepared for the trip.
If you have an OECD visa, be sure to include submit it along with your other requirements. Having an OECD visa will expedite the application process and cut short your waiting time.
Here are the countries that are a part of the OECD:
1. Do I need to book flights before the application?
No. It is recommended that you book your flight upon visa approval.
2. How about hotel bookings?
No, as well. Although hotel reservations are not required, it’s best that you know where you’ll be staying during your trip. The hotel is a required field in the form.
3. Should I stay in the same hotel that I have written in the form?
No, you can book any hotel you want once your application has been approved.
4. What are OECD visas?
These are visas granted by OECD member countries. Your South Korean visa application has a higher chance of getting approved if you have this.
5. Once my visa is granted, how long can I stay in Korea?
Regular visas allow visits that last up to 59 days. However, longer stays are possible.
6. I’m a freelancer and don’t have a Certificate of Employment. What can I submit instead?
You can request a letter from your clients that will serve as certification. Make sure that it includes important details such as your job description, hiring date, and compensation.
7. When should I apply for a Korean visa?
It’s best to apply no more than three months before your trip.
8. If denied, can I apply again?
Yes, but only after six months.
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