SiK 02: All About Visa and Flights

So this will be the second post for my Study in Korea series of tips and cheats for those students who wants or plans to study in Korea. After applying for a scholarship and get accepted in a university, you have to remember few things when getting a visa or booking a flight.

Getting a Visa

In getting a student visa(D-2), you will need to check the Korean embassy in your country for the requirements list. Usually, they ask for the following documents:

  • Valid Passport 
  • Visa Application Form
  • Processing Fee: USD 30 (Single-entry) or USD 50 (Multiple-entry) In the Philippines, it’s around 2500php for the single-entry visa.
  • The acceptance letter from the school in Korea
  • Recent Certificate of School Record
  • Bank Certificate. You need to submit a bank certificate containing the account balance of your parent’s/guardian’s/own bank account for the verification of your financial ability to study in Korea. You can visit your bank and ask for this certification.

Getting a visa will be easy if you have enough documents. After submitting all the documents to the embassy, and they approved all the documents, they will give you a claim stub containing the date when you need to go back to the embassy and get your passport. It doesn’t mean that if they get your documents, your visa application will be granted. There are instances that even though you are applying for a student visa, you will be denied.

Korean Visaaaa!

대한민국!

In my case, it was quite difficult for us to get a visa. The embassy personnel asked for additional documents that supports our scholarship from Hannam University. We needed to inform the school in Korea that we still need a certification of the scholarship grant. After all the hassles and the stress, we were granted a D-2 visa valid for 1 year!

Booking of Flights

Booking of flights is one of the stressful things that an exchange student will go through unless your university in Korea or in your country will take care of it. If your scholarship will waive your airfare, there is a possibility that the institution who gave the scholarship will book the flight for you. If the airfare is not waived, you need to book your own flight.

In our case, there were some misunderstandings between our school and our partner school in Korea. To resolve the problem, our coordinator took care of the flights with the help of a travel agency. We availed an open ticket in Korean Air. An open ticket means you will buy a roundtrip ticket and you will have the freedom to choose when your return flight will be. They say that it is quite expensive but since Hannam University paid for the airfare, we agreed to it. Hannam paid for the airfare before we go to Korea and then we paid them back using the money that we have earned by part-time working at the university.

My other friends booked their flight using Asiana Airlines, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. Among the four airlines, the cheapest is of course, Cebu Pacific. It is not bad to take Cebu Pacific! In fact, most of my friends who go to Korea always take Cebu Pacific because of their cheap promos. You will just have to endure 4 hours of quite uncomfortable trip to Incheon International Airport.

The only photo of Incheon Airport that I took when we arrived there

The only photo of Incheon Airport that I took when we arrived there

It is good if you will check the airlines’ websites for flight promos, maybe you can avail a ticket in a cheap price! We avail of the Economy ticket because of course, it’s the cheapest! My experience with Korean Air was the best! Their service was really good! All the food served in the plane are also good especially the Fisher’s nuts. You can also watch Korean movies and listen to Korean songs while in the flight. Our flight was on February 27, 2011 at 11:55PM GMT+8 so we needed to go to NAIA earlier that night. We arrived in Incheon Int’l Aiport on February 28, 2011 around 4:55AM KST.

My return flight was on the evening of December 27, 2011 at 8PM KST and arrived in Manila at 11:55PM GMT+8. I was shocked because when I went to the boarding area, the staff from Korean Air told me that my ticket was upgraded from Economy to Business Class! Imagine that! I paid for an economy ticket but get the freebies of a business class ticket holder! Even my friends and family got shocked with what I told them ㅋㅋㅋ. My only problem during that day was, it was cold when I left Korea so I was still wearing leggings and when I arrived in Manila, it was super hot! Next time, I’ll make sure that I’ll get dressed properly 🙂

Helpful Websites

Here’s the official website of the Korean Embassy in Manila:

Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Republic of the Philippines

Here are some helpful websites when booking flights for your Korea trip:

Philippine Airlines

Korean Air (I think you need help from a travel agency if you want to avail tickets for Korean Air flights originating in the Philippines.)

Asiana Airlines

Cebu Pacific

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14 thoughts on “SiK 02: All About Visa and Flights

  1. Hi! I researched for the requirements of student visa online. I would like to ask if you happen to know if the bank certificate is still required if the student got a scholarship? The Korean school will be the one to shoulder the expenses and not the student though small expenses may still be incurred by the student. Thanks!

    • hi! yes, you will need to present a recent copy of your bank certificate even though you got a scholarship. Like what you have said, you will still shoulder some of the expenses so the bank certificate will be your proof for financial capacity. I am not just sure if the embassy will ask a scholarship certification from your university to prove that they will cover your expenses. Hope that this helps :))

      • Thank you so much for the quick reply. I have some more questions if it’s okay. What document did you submit for the ‘Recent Certificate of School Record’? Is it like an enrollment certificate or a Transcript of Records? Lastly, I’m thinking of getting a multiple entry visa so that I can go home during Christmas or school break, did you do the same? Would you happen to know how to let the embassy know that I would like to get a multiple entry visa because I checked the application form and it doesn’t have a sort of checklist if I want single or multiple entry or is that something that is their decision and if I have to go home I’ll just apply for another visa to go back to Korea for the 2nd semester? Sorry if I have so many questions. Thank you so much! 🙂

      • I’m sorry for the late reply! About the transcript of records, I actually forgot what we did. I think we submitted something like that enrollment certificate, just to prove that you are enrolled in a university or school. Try to ask your School Registrar 🙂

        And for the multiple visa, I’m not really sure on how to avail it. We only got single-entry visa (the one worth 2500php) but my friends were able to go back and forth from Korea to Manila during the summer break. They said that the immigration only checked their Alien Registration Card. You can try asking the guards in the embassy for more information.

  2. Hello! I have read your blog and I’d like to ask something about the Certificate of Scholarship Grants for Korean Visa application. Would they accept grants that would come from Ateneo? If it would cover all the living expenses, would they require a bank account? The Certificate of Admission indicates that the living expenses would total to 6000USD. If the Certificate of Scholarship Grant would include even that 6000USD, do you think they would stil need a bank certificate?

    • Sorry for a veryyyy late reply! I think Bank Account requirement is a default in all visa applications. Even though your school will pay for the fees, you still need to present a bank account certificate. Even if you’re applying for a tourist visa, they will ask for your bank certificate. I think bank certificates serve as a proof of your financial capabilities. =)

  3. Hi! It’s me again! First I would like to thank you for taking the time to reply to the questions here. Your blog is really helpful. I am now studying in South Korea. I would like to travel to Japan from South Korean and then go back to South Korea. I already have my Alien Registration Card. Would you happen to know (or anyone who has done it) if I would still need to apply for a Japanese visa here in South Korea or from Philippines since I am a Filipino and we are required to have a visa if we want to travel to Japan? Or since I am in South Korea and I am currently an “alien” here, would it mean that I can travel to Japan from here without visa? I looked at the embassy website and they did not mention any procedure about a foreign national in a different country who wants to travel to Japan. Thank you very much in advance!

    • Wow! Congratulations! In what university are you studying?

      One of my friends who studied in Korea also tried to go to Japan for a vacation. As far as I can remember, she applied for a Japanese visa in Korea. I remembered that she posted her Japan visa in her Facebook so I guess she still applied for one. Maybe you can go directly to the Japanese embassy in Korea to ask. I think they are also requiring tons of things for you to get a Japan visa. ^^

      • I am studying at Keimyung University. Ohhh I think it will be quite difficult to process papers for visa then. I think it is better for me to apply back home in the Phils. Thank you so much for your quick reply and your help! 🙂

  4. Hi. It’s me again. I would to ask about the Acceptance Letter and Scholarship Grant. Do i have to pass the original copy from the Korean school or just print it from email? I was kinda worried that maybe they’ll ask the original documents and it takes days or weeks to receive it through courier. Thank you.

    • I think they’re asking for the original ones not a printed version of the e-mail. Better to get the original copies so no further hassles. Have it sent via EMS. More expensive than the regular courier but it will only take 2-3 days before the parcel arrives.

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