Yes right. Let me join the bandwagon, too!
Before you reached my page, you must have read other popular blogs already. Well, hope you wouldn’t mind reading mine, too. Let me start this with some of my background information. Who knows! Maybe we are in the same situation.
- Filipino, living in the beautiful Island of Panay, Philippines!
- Currently employed (regular employment)
- BPI (Savings Account)
- Zero (nada!) experience traveling abroad.
- Planned for April travel, started being determined about saving money for Visa Application since September (little by little… I had to take the first step!)
- Applied Visa through agency (I didn’t take package tour.) I made my own itinerary considering the location, travel time, budget and convenience.
Based on the information above , please read through the VISA requirements as provided by the Korean Embassy website:
For this blog, I will focus on those who are employed.
TOURIST/BUSINESS VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR EMPLOYEES
1. Application Form.
Kindly refer to this post to see how I completed my Visa application. It basically focuses on the confusing points.
2. 1 piece of Passport size colored picture (Please attach on the application form)
Yes. We glued it on our application form.
3. Original Passport (should be valid for more than 6 months)
They have to keep your passport. So, make sure you have no conflict like international travels while your passport is with the embassy. My cousin personally processed her Visa and it took her 5 days. In our case, since my colleagues and I live in the province outside Manila, we waited for 3 weeks to a month. This is because we coursed it through an agency. Instead of paying for the plane fare and accommodation in Manila while waiting, we decided to use an agency. It costs less as we only paid around 1300 to 1500 all in all (Sorry, I can’t remember the exact amount anymore).
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 only)
6. Original Certificate of Employment (must include applicant’s position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR landline number(cell-phone number is not allowed), HR e-mail address)
Just follow what is being asked. However, double check the signature of your HR and whether their phone number is also written in the COE. In our case, the agency was very strict, they questioned the signature of the HR. They said, the Visa officer would sometimes question the authenticity of the signature by reason of the stroke of the pen.
By the way, our HR landline was just inserted through typewriter (beat that!) because it wasn’t included in the COE. It’s very analog, I know. It’s just that it’s difficult and risky to insert using a computer printer. We only had 1 copy and it would be hard to request for another document because we had to ask it from the national office.
7. Original Personal Bank Certificate (must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB)
Please note that Bank Certificate is different from Bank statement. Banks surely know what to do but just give them this information still.
For LANDBANK users, they don’t issue ADB as per bank policy. I think the embassy already knows that. My friend just submitted the document issued by Landbank of the Philippines. She got approved!
8. Bank Statement (original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)
How much do we need in our bank statement? Well, it depends on how much you are willing to spend. That is why if you worry about how much is necessary, have a rough plan of your itinerary at least. I have a discussion about it in my other post. By the way, my banker friend told me that it’s better to request for the bank statement few days before your application date. This gives the Visa officer an idea that there is still money in your bank account.
9. ITR(Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 Copy
I am a government employee receiving meager salary. I don’t really think it mattered a lot because I got my Visa but still it is a necessary requirement.
10. Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable only)
* If personally invited by Korean
. Invitation Letter
. Photocopy of invitor’s Passport or Identification Card
(authentication not required)
* If invited by Company in Korea
. Invitation Letter
. Photocopy of Korean Company Business Permit
(authentication not required)
* Frequent travellers who have travelled as tourist to OECD member countries within 5 years are exempted from submitting ITR.
Please bring your Birth Certificate issued by the National Statistics Office.
Do not submit your flight tickets.
■ Processing Time:
3 working days (for those who have been to OECD member countries within 5 years as tourist)
5 working days (for those who have not been to OECD member countries within 5 years)
■ Visa Fee: 59 days (or less) stay in Korea — GRATIS
60 to 90 days stay in Korea — PHP1,800.00