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How to Apply for a South Korea Visa in the Philippines?

I've been to South Korea last October 2011. It was my first travel out of country with friends. It's been great! This year (2014), Jomar and I with our GDG friends (Mitch, Wayne, and Mama Chelle) are planning to go to South Korea for vacation.

Process of Submission

Jomar and I submitted the VISA application requirements last January 29, 2014:
  • Application Form
  • 1 piece of Passport size colored picture (we went to Picture City and asked for Korean VISA size photo) - this should be attached to your application form
  • Original Passport (should be valid for more than 6 months)
  • Photocopy of Passport Bio-page (page 2)
  • Original and photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years (if applicable, and Korean Visas will not be counted)
  • Original Certicate of Employment (with contact number/s & address of company and date of issue)
  • Original Personal Bank Certificate (NOT Bank Statement)
  • Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or BIR Form 2316 (you could ask your employer for this)
On the day of the submission, we were there before 8:00 AM and apparently, the South Korea Embassy opens by 9:00 AM. People were lining up outside (though the line is not too long, say less than 15 people). By 8:30 AM, we were inside the Embassy and the security guard (first line of document review) shall ask for all of your document and give you the window number and number slip. By 9:15 AM, we were done submitting our documents.

This is the first time Jomar will get a South Korea visa and he have not visited any OECD member countries though he had been to Singapore, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia. He submitted at Window 2 and will get his passport back by February 6, 2014. On the other hand, I submitted my documents in Window 3 because I still have a valid US visa even if I last traveled to the US last 2007. I also have a used up single entry visa to South Korea. My passport will be released by February 4.

The Result

We returned to get our passport on the 6th of February. We were at the Embassy by 3:00PM. Again, we showed the security guard by the door our claim stub. We were given a number and we should wait for it to be called. Again, I'll claim my visa at Window 3 while Jomar will claim his at Window 1. After a few minutes, my number was called and surprisingly, I got a multiple entry visa valid for one year even if I only applied for a single entry visa.

Jomar and I were seating at the embassy waiting for his number to be called. He was really scared and nervous to get denied. At last, his number was called and was waiting in line standing up with the rest of his batch. He got more pale when the first person in line was asked to come back because of some documents he was not able to submit. After a few more minutes, he returned to the seat beside me... with his passport having a single entry visa to South Korea. We were so happy!

Right about that moment, our friend, Mitch, arrived. She got a multiple entry visa valid for three years. Amazing!

Tips

  1. Be sure to have complete requirements
  2. Be sure to have a good travel history before applying because it increases your chances of being approved
  3. Be sure to have sufficient amount of funds in your bank to support your travel
  4. Be sure to inform your company's HR that you are applying for a Korea Visa just in case the Embassy decided to call the company and verify that you are working there.
That's my experience in applying for a South Korea Visa. I can't wait for our vacation this coming March!

Happy travels!

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