Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How To Apply For Visa To South Korea

Are you planning to have a vacation to South Korea? First, you must secure a Visa to enter South Korea. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a visa to enter South Korea:

1) Secure a copy of the Application Form, you may get it at this link. Then fill it up with your information. The form is also available on the embassy but I suggest you fill it up before going to save some time.

2) Attach a 1 Passport size photo of you on the application form by using a glue.

3) Make sure to have your original passport which is still valid for 6 months. Have the first page of your passport photocopied. If you have valid visa and arrival stamps of OECD member countries for the past 5 years, have an original and photocopy of it also

4) For employees, you have to prepare the following documents:
    a. Original Certificate of Employment
    b. Original Personal Bank Certificate
    c. ITR (Income Tax Return) or form 2316 Copy
   For businessmen, you have to prepare the following documents:

    a. Business Registration from SEC or DTI (Copy)
    b. Business Permit or Mayor's Permit (Copy)
    c. Personal Bank Certificate Original
    d. Individual ITR or form 2316 copy

There are also other requirements if you are a Korean's sister/brother in law, Korean's Parents in law, Korean students, religious workers, seaman, housewife, Filipino national married to a Korean, or a spouse of a U.S. military personnel stationed in Korea. For me, I am under the employee category so those requirements above are what I prepared.

5) If your documents are now complete. You may now go to the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines to file you application located at 122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig city 1634, Philippines from 9am-11am only Mondays to Fridays.

If you bring with you your car, you can park your cars at the side of the streets in front of the embassy. Usually there are a lot of open spaces for you to park and there is no parking fee. Upon arriving at the gate, the guard will get 1 of your I.D. and let you sign in their list. Then he'll give you a gate pass, let you in and walk through the path that leads to the hall where you can apply for visa. 

Upon entering the hall, you will see a front desk where you will register again, tell the personnel if this is your first time to get a visa or not and get a number. Make sure to get a number before you proceed and sit on  the waiting queue. 

This is on a first come, first serve basis. No appointment is needed. First time travelers and those who do not have previous or valid visas to U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, or Korea must present their documents at Windows 1 or 2. Frequent Travelers, seamen and those who have confirmation of visa issuance number should apply at Window 3. 

Take note to arrange the documents in proper order before you hand the documents over especially if you are submitting documents in bulk(for many people) or else they will return your documents to you for you to arrange and you'll have to fall in line again. You will know the proper arrangement listed on the piece of paper which you can get on the left side of the hall upon entering.

Wait for your number to be called by the guard or for it to flash in the screen. Once it's your turn hand the documents to attending personnel and he will just scan through and check if  your documents are complete in front of you. After a short while, he will hand over a piece of white paper where your claiming date is indicated.

For employees, these is the proper arrangement:
1. Application Form with 1pc. Passport size colored picture glued
2. Copy of Passport first page
3. Original & copy of valid visas and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years
3. Employment Certificate Original
4. Personal Bank Certificate Original
5. ITR(Income Tax Return) or form 2316 Copy
Insert these properly arranged documents in your original passport.

For the visa fees:

For Philippine Passport holders:  
     59 days (or less) stay in Korea -- GRATIS     
     60 to 90 days stay in Korea -- PHP1,350.00
     More than 90 days stay in Korea (not applicable for tourist visa)           

Single Entry -- PHP2,250.00           
Multiple Entry -- PHP3,600.00 American Passport holders -- PHP2,025.00
Foreign nationals in the Philippines applying for a tourist visa -- PHP1,350.00

You will know if your application for visa is approved or denied on the releasing day itself. Processing takes 5 working days for first time travelers and 3 working days for frequent travelers. This may be extended depending on the Consul's decision. 

Then you will just have to go back again on the claiming date indicated on the white paper given to you to claim you passport with visa. Releasing time is only from 2pm to 4pm. So don't miss it, you may also opt to come early. If you come early, they are already starting to release even before 2pm. Upon arriving at the front desk, show your claiming paper, register on their list, and get a number. When your number is called or flashed on the screen, proceed to the window and you will receive your passport in just a few minutes. 

That's it! Getting a Korean Visa is very easy. My friend told me that if you ask the travel agency to get it for you they will charge you additional 600php to 1000php. So it's not that hard If you do it yourself plus you get to save some money which you can spend in Korea. Now, you're ready to fly to South Korea! Enjoy!

For other info on Visa Requirements and Procedures, you may visit this site

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