Travel to Korea Series: Applying for a Visa (Filipino Students)

TTK - Visa Application

TTK – Visa Application

Hey! Hey! This bluehanbok series called “Travel to Korea” is a new addition to my informative pages! I will be sharing my experiences, itineraries, cheats and other tips that could be helpful for budget travelers who wants to spend a vacation in Korea! I really love telling my experiences to others and I would love to hear from others too! Keep on following bluehanbok for bits and pieces of my recent travel to Korea.

My first would be about VISA APPLICATION. Filipinos are required to apply for a visa at the Embassy of the Republic of South Korea located at Upper McKinley Road. I have applied for a Korean visa before when I was accepted as an exchange student at Hannam University in Daejeon, South Korea and luckily I was granted a D-2 visa (study in Korea visa) valid for 1 (ONE) year. Of course my previous visa has already expired so I needed to apply for another one, but this time it would be a tourist visa.

I was quite anxious if I can get a tourist visa this time because I really don’t know if my requirements are enough to prove my financial capability to travel to Korea. If some of you have read my previous posts, I just graduated from the university and I am currently unemployed (Well, actually I am employed but in an online English school).Now, let me share my experience in getting the tourist visa!

MY CASE:

  • At the time I was preparing my documents for application, I was a graduating student in UP. Our graduation day was April 27, 2014, so technically I haven’t officially graduated from the university. My friends who had the same situation as mine told me that they applied for a VISA FOR STUDENTS.
  • Our flight to Korea was on May 7, 2014. Me and my friends decided to apply for the visa after Holy Week 2014, which is 2 weeks before our flight. It is advised for you to apply for the visa 3-4 weeks before the flight,so that if the consul asked for additional documents, you have enough time to complete them before your trip.
  • The requirements in applying for a tourist visa for Filipino students are as follows:

Tourist Visa Requirements for Filipino Students

1. Application Form
2. 1piece of Passport size colored picture
3. Original Passport (should be valid for more than 6months)
4. Photocopy of Passport Bio-page (page 2)
5. Original & 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)
6. Original School Certificate
7. Photocopy of School ID
8. Photocopy of NSO Birth Certificate of an applicant
9. Parents’ Financial Support Document
– Original Certificate of Employment (or DTI or Sec and Mayor’s Permit)

– Original Bank Certificate
– Photocopy of ITR or Form 2316
 
If personally invited by Korean : Invitation Letter & Copy of invitor’s Passport

■ Processing Time: 3 working days (for those who have visas of OECD member countries)
5 working days (for those who do not have visas of OECD member
countries)
■ Visa Fee: 59 days (or less) stay in Korea — GRATIS
60 to 90 days stay in Korea — PHP1,800.00

(Source: Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines ; Retrieved on May 17, 2014)

MY PROBLEM:

I clearly understood the requirements needed but my case is quite special because 1) my mother is an OFW 2)my father is unemployed 3)since my mother is an OFW, she doesn’t have any ITR or Form 2316. I tried to read some blogs and pinoyexchange posts about applying for a Korean visa with an OFW sponsor but I only got few useful tips. I hope this post can help some applicants whose parents are OFW 🙂

Before applying for the visa, I prepared the following documents: application form, passport photo, colored photocopy of passport bio-page, original school certificate, photocopy of school ID and photocopy of my NSO birth certificate. I have mentioned before that I was a graduating student but still, I was able to get an original school certificate from our college stating that I am a student enrolled in the university. I requested that certification few days before the deadline of grade submissions so I guess I am still considered as a student. For the photocopy of the passport bio-page, I think it is okay to submit the black and white one instead of a colored photocopy.

Now, here’s the stressful part: my parents’ financial support documents! You need to submit 1)Original Certificate of Employment, 2)Original Bank Certificate and 3) Photocopy of Income Tax Return or Form 2316. My mother is an OFW working in Saudi Arabia. Fortunately, she went back to the Philippines for a short vacation and to attend my graduation rites. I asked her to bring an original copy of her Certificate of Employment and to make sure that it contains the ADDRESS and the CONTACT NUMBER of the hospital/company.

The COE is actually not my problem here but the bank certificate and the Income Tax Return. The bank certificate that I was going to use that time was under the name of my father, who is unemployed. I was quite worried that the consul might question why my father has a bank account but he is unemployed. Well, of course he has the account for remittance purposes so I just told my mother to bring her latest remittance transaction with the name of my father and the bank as the receivers of the money to prove economic ties shizz. I had it photocopied and added it to the set of papers I submitted.

For the ITR part, we went through a stressful series of getting a CERTIFICATE OF NON-FILING OF INCOME TAX RETURN. My mother is an OFW so she doesn’t need to file the ITR yearly. Her account in BIR was still tagged as local employee so we needed to submit documents to change her status to OFW. We were glad that the BIR employees in Caloocan and Valenzuela City were nice so we didn’t have too much headache aside from preparing affidavits and such. It only took 2 days for us to process the certificate! I can consider it faster compared to my previous experience in BIR.

To complete my requirements, one of my friends who I am going to travel with, advised me to prepare a notarized Affidavit of Support which states that my parents are responsible for my travel expenses. I had two copies of the affidavit notarized and submitted one copy together with my other documents.

So here is the final list of the requirements I submitted:

1. Application Form
2. 1piece of Passport size colored picture
3. Original Passport (should be valid for more than 6months)
4. Photocopy of Passport Bio-page (page 2)
5. Original School Certificate
6. Photocopy of School ID
7. Photocopy of NSO Birth Certificate of an applicant
8. Parents’ Financial Support Document
– Original Certificate of Employment (my mother’s certificate)

– Original Bank Certificate (under my father’s name) together with the latest remittance receipt
– Photocopy of certificate of non-filing of income tax/income tax exemption
-Affidavit of Support

I lodged my application on April 23 (Wednesday) and got the passport with the visa on April 30 (Wednesday). I don’t have any OECD visa aside from my Korean visa so it took 5 days for them to process my passport. If you have any OECD visa (Korean visa not included) valid in the past 5 years, then you may get your passport 3 days after your application date. I went to the embassy with my parents on the release date and I was really nervous! Fortunately they didn’t ask for additional documents. I was granted a 59-day gratis C3 visa!  I think my D-2 visa also helped me with my application hoho. My friends were actually luckier because they were granted with a 3-year multiple entry visa. It seems that the embassy was really more lax these days because I didn’t see any denied visa application during our batch (first 56 people who claimed their passports).

TIPS:

  • Make sure you follow instructions in answering the application form. Write clearly and legibly. Avoid erasures.
  • Arrange the order of the documents according to the list given by the embassy. Remove any staples or paper clips.
  • Visa application is from Mondays to Fridays 9-11 am ONLY. Visa release is from Mondays to Fridays 2-4pm ONLY. Sometimes they cut the line early if there are many people applying so better be early.
  • For the PURPOSE OF TRAVEL box on the application form, it is better to state your purpose clearly. Writing “for travel, sightseeing” may not be the best answers. During my application I wrote: To visit Korean drama filming sets, To watch Super Junior Ryeowook’s musical 🙂 Try to write something more specific than “for travel/travelling”!

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact the embassy. Their website has the complete list of Korean visa requirements for different kinds of applicants. It also contains the address and contact numbers of the embassy. Click this link to go to the official website of the Korean Embassy in the Philippines.

I hope this post would be of help to those Filipino students who will apply for a Korean visa! Go, visit Korea and discover the wonders of that country! ❤ After getting the visa, you may want to fix your itineraries! I would love to give some advice on where to go in Korea so watch out for my next TTK posts! See you around! (^^.)\/

Disclaimer: These requirements may still change depending on your situation. I just shared my experience to serve as a guide for those who have the same situation as mine. Submitting the requirements I posted above still doesn’t assure you a Korean tourist visa. Only the consul knows your chances of getting that precious strip of sticker.

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18 thoughts on “Travel to Korea Series: Applying for a Visa (Filipino Students)

  1. Thank you thank you for this post! This is a big help to me…well, not exactly me but to my friend whom Im travelling with to korea but has the same problem as you had. The affidavit of support and the certificate for non-filing for income tax are not actually listed on the Korean Embassy for the student requirements…Im glad I typed the write words on google search and found your blog…thank you.

  2. Hi. I’ve already prepared all the papers they require a student to submit, but the bank certificate my dad gave me has below 30k. I just want to ask if the amount matters. By the way, I have the ITR and employment certificate naman. I’m just feeling really paranoid about it because we’ve already paid everything for the tour. Help.

    • Hi! I am not 100% sure about this though. But I guess it also matters since they are going to use the bank certificate to judge your financial capability. Some of my friends only showed 30k and their visa got approved. Some of them showed around 25k and their visa got denied (but there were also some issues about their work’s contract). It would be better if you go to the embassy weeks before your flight so that if they ask for other supporting documents, you still have time to submit it. Good luck!

  3. Hi! we had the same scenario. but we have to file a korean visa next week na. but my father’s arrival is on April pa. he’s a OFW btw,so he doesn’t have ITR. so we don’t have time to get a certificate of non-filing income tax return because he’s not yet in the Philippines. what can you suggest about our situation.? thanks!

    • Hi! I think the best way to do is to contact the Korean embassy. Maybe they will require you to submit other documents if you don’t have the ITR exemption. You may search for their contact number on their website and try to inquire about the process^^

      • Hello there! I saw the list of the requirements you submitted. But do you have a sample of the Affidavit of Support? Or did this come from the notary? I haven’t had the chance to inquire yet and still just browsing for requirements. Appreciate if you can share your experience with this requirement. Thanks!

  4. Hi,
    Im planning to get Tourist visa this winter since i’ll gonna spend Christmas with my korean boyfriend. Then all of the sudden, a university in Korea recruited me as their student for master’s degree. Im kinda confused if pwede Tourist visa first here in Philippines then switched to D2 visa in korea. Pwede po ba un? I already have a ticket going back here in PH this January 2016 tas magastos kung bibili ulit ako papunta dun. That’s why we planned to switch nalang dun para hindi nalang ako uuwi. Any suggestions?

    Btw po, if I apply as D2 visa, need po ba ung show money sa bank account? Kasi subrang laki kasi kelangan nila. Tas ung magsposponsor sakin is ung Professor ng university. Thank you.

    • Hi! As far as I know, hindi allowed mag-change from C-3-2 (Tourist visa) to another type of Korean visa. Well, not 100% sure if applied din ito sa D-2 or sa working visa lang. For the application of D-2 visa, malaki talaga yung hinihingi nila ㅜㅜ Unless you could supply them enough documents proving that your tuition fee is waived (if that’s the case) including documents that will prove na may magssponsor ng daily allowance etc. like yung professor. I think you need to coordinate with the office/individual na magbibigay nung scholarship for the needed official documents 🙂 You may try calling the embassy too to ask for the switching of visa status 🙂 Hope this helps!

  5. Hi! Hope I can get help from you about my situation. I’m applying for a tourist visa but I will be unemployed by the time of my scheduled departure to Korea. I also don’t have an ITR since I worked in UP as a contractual researcher for my first job and I’ve only been in my 2nd second job for 6 months (starting May 2015). Which category do you think I would best fit in and the corresponding requirements I would need to prepare? Thanks in advance! 🙂

    • Hi! Sorry but I haven’t heard a case like this from any of my friends who went to Korea so I don’t really know 😦 I think the best way to know is to visit or call the embassy to ask them. But I am afraid that in your case, there is a big possibility that they will not grant you a visa if you can’t prove that you have enough financial capabilities and/or that you are employed and no intention to get employed in Korea. ITR and employment contract are two of the most important documents that you need to provide if in case you’re applying for a tourist visa so if you don’t have these, then it would be difficult. But like what I have said, I am not sure about this case :C So better ask the embassy for a definite answer^^

  6. Hi! I need your help regarding my Visa application. I do not know in which category I belong. I am an 18 year old college student (so i don’t have an original school certificate) and planning to go to korea next year.I became a bit confused if I should bring the requirements for student tourist or unemployed tourist. And aside from that I will be travelling alone but my parents will sponsor my trip. My mom is a housewife and my dad is an OFW so he does not have an ITR. I just want to ask given this situation what documents should I bring for my Visa application? I will be waiting for your response. Thank you so much!

    • Hi! I think you still belong to the student tourist category. I think showing a certificate of enrollment would be fine. Or probably a registration certificate will do. In my case for the documents, I used my mom’s(OFW) certificate of employment and we went to a notary public to request for an affidavit for Non filing of ITR then went to the BIR to request for the certification for ITR exemption. The process for the non-filing of ITR is quite tedious but if you know the process and if you have the complete requirements, there would be no problem. Requirements list for the non-filing certificate is posted on BIR offices afaik 😀

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