[Updated] Getting a Korean Visa

This post has been updated as of March 2017. Please follow this link:



Update: February 17, 2015 – New requirements for Korean Tourist Visa effective March 1, 2015

Here’s the link of the new requirements which I shall also post below for easy reference: http://embassy_philippines.mofa.go.kr/english/as/embassy_philippines/visa/announcement/index.jsp

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Update: March 17, 2014 – Applying for infants and yaya/nanny (see below)


This is one of the most read, most researched, and most active posts in this blog and for that, I thank all of you for dropping by. It’s my only hope when I wrote this post that it will be helpful to you. I understand that as an excited traveler who wish to enter Seoul, you may have tons of questions about getting a visa as I also experienced that last year. While I’m trying my best to answer all of your questions, I don’t really have enough time to go through and address each of them.

Just so that this post remains useful to you, please read the entire text first and see if your question has already been answered. Kindly read the past comments because some questions are just repetitive, in which case, I may have already answered the same question before. Finally, please do not ask a question that seeks for a specific legal advice because I don’t wish to be bound by any attorney-client relationship by responding to your question. Please note also that there are questions that I can’t answer simply because I am not in any way connected with the Embassy or a travel agency that has a lot of experience with South Korean visa applications, and neither is this my field of expertise in law.

If your question has not been answered before and is something within my limited knowledge to answer, rest assured that I will get back at you no matter how busy I am.

Again thank you for reading my blog. I apologize in advance if I won’t be able to answer all your questions. And good luck with your visa application and I hope you enjoy Seoul the same way that I did! 🙂

Original Post:

Happy Easter everyone and yes, I’m back!

I’ve been away for almost a month because I’ve been terribly busy with work, Monsees Cafe re-launch, my birthday, hubby’s birthday, and… our recent trip to Seoul which I’m excited to tell you about.

Late last year, I started planning for our Seoul trip and I’m so happy to tell you that hubby and I had a really great time. Some friends who haven’t been to Seoul are asking me to post our photos here but more importantly, they’re asking me to share our itinerary, our experience with the Korean embassy in Manila, as well as the breakdown of our expenses. I’ll start with the visa application process and will try to be as detailed as possible so please bear with me 🙂

Just so you know, I’d like to tell you that we didn’t have a smooth time getting our visas. It’s not because we’re not qualified but because the immigration officers we met at the embassy were asking for various documents from us. We had to go to the embassy for 3-4 times but at the very least, we learned a lot from that experience.

For US Passport Holders

Before you get lost in the nitty-gritty of getting a Korean visa, let me just say at the outset that if you are a US passport-holder, you don’t need to get a pre-approved visa before going to South Korea. That means no more application forms, no long lines, no waiting time, no claim stubs whatsoever. You will still be issued a tourist visa but that will happen upon your arrival in South Korea. This is because of certain visa waiver agreements existing between the two countries.

Philippine Passport Holders

However, it’s a different story if you are a Philippine-passport holder. The Philippines has a visa waiver agreement but mere mortals like you and me are not covered 🙂

If you are applying for a Korean visa with the Embassy in Manila, the Hi Korea website which lists the requirements for different visa applications is irrelevant to you. I got all the documentary requirements from there but on our first visit to the embassy, our documents were not accepted because they said they’re not complete. The complete list of documents are found in the website of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Republic of the Philippines.

For Philippine passport holders, here are the standard requirements:

  • Application form which you can download online or pick up from the Embassy when you go there to apply. You don’t need to type in your entries. Handwritten entries are allowed.
  • One passport-size colored picture.
  • Original passport and copy of the first page. The passport must not be less than 6 months valid.
  • Original and copy of valid visas to the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, or Korea, if any.

And here are the required additional documents:

For employed applicants ~

  • Original certificate of employment which you have to get from your company’s HR department.
  • Original personal bank certificate. Please note that the requirement is a bank certificate, NOT a bank statement, NOT a passbook. The requirement is also a certificate of your “personal” bank account; hence, a bank certificate for a corporate account of which you are a stockholder/owner might not be accepted.
  • Individual Income Tax Return or BIR Form 2316, Certificate of Income Tax Withheld. Your employer should issue this to you at the start of the year, not later than January 31.
  • If you are invited to Korea, the original invitation letter and passport copy of the Korean individual inviting you, or in the case of corporate invitations, the original invitation letter and copy of the Korean company business permit of the inviting company.

For self-employed or businessmen ~

We are from a family of lawyers in solo practice or have our own law firms so I can give you a more accurate account for lawyer applicants 🙂

For solo-practitioners without a law firm, you need to present your original and photocopy of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) card and personal bank certificate. And if you have your own law firm, you need to present your original and photocopy of IBP card plus the other documents mentioned below. I’m not sure what the requirements are for other professionals but the most basic one would be the original and copy of the card issued by the PRC or any issuing body showing that you are a licensed professional.

For those in business (including those who have their own law firms), you need to submit ~

    • Copies of the certificate of registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Mayor’s permit.
    • Personal bank certificate.
    • Individual income tax return.

If you are invited to Korea, the original invitation letter and passport copy of the Korean individual inviting you, or in the case of corporate invitations, the original invitation letter and copy of the Korean company business permit of the inviting company.

The requirements for other applicants like students, workers, etc. are in the website linked above.

How much bank deposit is required?

You might be asking how much bank deposit is required to be reflected in the bank certificate. There’s no hard and fast rule here. But based on my research, a bank deposit of at least P80,000 per applicant is safe. If you don’t have that much cash in bank, you can present land/condo/car titles in your name.

Added Sept 23, 2014: The Korean Tourism Office and the Embassy in Manila signed a memorandum of understanding where BPI  Gold and Platinum cardholders are allowed to present their credit card statements in lieu of a detailed personal bank certificate. Applicants, however, must still present the other regular requirements such as the application form, passport, and COE, among others.

As stated in the Embassy’s website, the BPI Gold and Platinum cardholders are eligible for multiple-entry visas. Those who can submit their credit card account statements are eligible for:

  • BPI Gold : multiple entry visa to Korea valid for 1 year
  • BPI SkyMiles Platinum Master Card and BPI Amore Visa Platinum: multiple entry visa to Korea valid for 3 years.

Also, they are exempted from submitting Bank Certificate and ITR when applying.

How much is the visa application fee?

For C3/Tourist visa applicants who are staying in Korea for 59 days only, the application fee is gratis. That is, you don’t have to pay for any visa application fee.

How many copies of documents do you need to submit for couple-applicants?

There’s no group visa application so even if you’re traveling with your spouse or family, you still need to have one application per individual. What about the supporting documents like a bank certificate for example? If the bank certificate you’re presenting is for a joint account, you only need to submit one original but you also need to submit a photocopy of your marriage certificate. If you have separate bank accounts, a marriage certificate is not required but each spouse having separate bank accounts should present one original bank statement per account.

What if you have a family business that is registered with the SEC/DTI, do you need to submit one copy each for every applicant, i.e., five copies of the SEC/DTI registration papers if you’re applying for five people?

The safe answer is YES. We came there to apply for couples who have their own businesses. In one occasion, the immigration officer accepted just one copy of the SEC/DTI papers for the couple. In another occasion, the immigration officer asked us for two copies of the documents but since we only had one copy, we had to go through the trouble of looking for a photocopying machine. The guards at the embassy told us that they have a machine there but that day, it’s not working. We had to go to Market!Market! to photocopy the documents and by the time we got back to the Embassy, they stopped the line and told us to come back the next day. So just to be safe, better come with multiple copies than risk having to look for a machine outside the embassy.

Is personal appearance required?

Nope. You can have someone do the dirty work for you. Just issue a power of attorney to be safe.

Where do you submit your documents?

The Embassy of the Republic of Korea is in Taguig along C5 and if you’re south-bound, you’ll find it on your right after a certain Petron station. You’ll know that it’s the embassy because you’ll see the flag waving in front. If you’re bringing your own car, you can park in front of the gate. You’ll notice that cars are parked under the trees in front of the embassy so just figure out where to squeeze your car in.

The application process starts at 9am and ends at 11am, pronto. However, the Embassy is open even before 9am so you can already come in and get your number.

When you enter the embassy, you’ll be asked to get your queue number. There are two lines for that. One is for US-visa holders and the other one is for the non-US visa holders. Be sure to get the number from the correct line. The application process is fast. If your documents are complete, your documents will be taken by the officer and he/she will issue you a claim stub. If your documents are not complete, the officer will return all the documents to you and ask you to come back with the complete set of documents.

Added 17-Mar-2014: For our recent trip to Seoul, we applied for a new visa and arrived at the Embassy around 6:30AM on a Wednesday and there’s no line yet. When you get there, leave an ID and get a number. This is so that you’ll be allowed entry to the Embassy (this is different from the queue number mentioned above). They allowed us to enter the premises around 8AM. The Embassy opened earlier than 9AM (maybe around 8:45AM) and because we’re the first in line, we were done in less than 10 seconds!

How do you claim your approved visa?

If your documents are complete and accepted, the immigration officer will give you a claim stub indicating the date on which you have to come back to claim your passport. Acceptance of documents, however, does not automatically equate to approval of visa. It takes about 3-5 days for US-visa holders to get their passports back while for non-US visa holders, it’s about 5-77 days. You don’t need to personally claim your passport; you may appoint a representative to do so but don’t forget to give your representative the claim stub. If the lines for visa application open at 9am and close at 11am, the lines for claiming passports open at 2pm and close at 4pm.

Added 17-Mar-2014: My hubby arrived at the Embassy around 12noon and he was allowed to go inside around 1PM. We got our passports with visa a little after 1PM. Fast and efficient. Exactly the kind of public service we all need.

How long is the validity of the visa?

We got a single-entry tourist visa valid for 90 days. The validity period is stated in the visa. The period of stay in Korea should not be more than 59 days.

Added 17-Mar-2014:

My husband and I have valid US visas but we have a one-year old baby who will be traveling with us. What are the requirements for the baby?

For the baby, you will need a separate application form, the original Passport, a photocopy of the ID page of the passport, and a copy of the baby’s birth certificate. You don’t need a separate queue number for the baby even if he has no US visa yet. You can pass all of your visa applications at Window 3 which is designated for those with US/OECD visa. The baby’s application will be attached to the parents’ application.

What if I want to bring my baby’s nanny along? How should I go about it?

The nanny or yaya is not part of the family even if we treat them like so at our households. Thus, the nanny has to have a separate application. Typically, you, as the employer of the nanny, will be the sponsor of her visa application. And since you are the sponsor, you first need to have a valid South Korean visa. Thus, before you apply for a visa for your nanny or yaya, you have to apply for and get your visa first.

When you have your visa, you can proceed with the nanny’s/yaya’s application. You will need to submit your nanny’s application form with picture, her original Passport, a photocopy of the ID page of the passport, a Certificate of Employment that you prepared and signed, and photocopies of your own COE, ITR, and bank statements.

Even if you have a US visa and you’re sponsoring your nanny, you can’t queue at Window 3 which is designated for US/OECD visa holders. Remember, she’s not treated as ‘family’ for visa application purposes. You need to fall in line at Windows 1 and 2 which is for non-US visa holders or first time travelers.


And that’s it! Sorry for the massive wall of text. I’m just hoping that my friends and all of you will find this post helpful 🙂 So that takes care of the “getting the visa” part. In my next post, I shall share my itinerary so please come back for that. Until then, annyeong!

*This post is a revision of my old post about getting a Korean visa.

 ============================================================ This is part of a series of posts about Seoul. Check out the others:

229 thoughts on “[Updated] Getting a Korean Visa

  1. Kris says:

    Hello jan ,i just wanna ask about the nanny visa, my nanny went there last friday to apply for her visa , but she was told to submit her own document , like the itr and the other documents

  2. allimazing says:

    hello, ok lang po ba kung yung bank is rural bank? joint account namin yun ng parents ko,kailangan pa bang magpass ng birth certificate nila or ok na po yung marriage certificate? thank you

  3. Kring says:

    I would like to ask I’ll be passing a joint account n mga kapatid ko ang ksama ko sa account para sa Korean visa bukod po ba sa mga birth certificate namin to prove our relationship ano pa po ba ang kailangan marriage certificate ng parents namin or birth certificate ng parents namin?

  4. Steven says:

    Question po,

    Balak po namin ng gf ko mag-apply ng tourist visa kaso yung savings account namin ay joint account, pwede po ba yun para sa bank certificate kahit joint account sya? Tatanggapin po ba yun?o kailangan may personal tlga kami? Thanks

  5. lola says:

    the korean embassy in South Africa is the most difficult one I have encountered. They want invitation letter and guarantee letter even for tourist visa….basically if you do not know anyone in Korea you cannot enter as tourist…

    • Jan says:

      Sorry to hear that, Lola. There must be something in the bilateral relations between South Korea and South Africa which may have translated into stricter visa requirements. I hope you get the chance to visit South Korea soon.

  6. Fe says:

    hi Ms. Jan, i just want to help my bestfriend about her concerns in getting korean visa, her husband is a seaman and has no itr because they are exempted, pwede po ba mag apply ng visa ang friend ko with her son & daughter showing her own bank account ( which can possibly sustain their trip), certificate of bank and statement of bank account together with their birth certificate.
    pls. hope to get your comment asap.
    thank you

  7. JC says:

    Hi. I am planning to visit Seoul this January for 5-6 days with my fiancee. I am a US citizen working for a few months in the US and my fiancee is from the Philippines who is currently a student and has no income at all. How much $ should I have in my bank account so I could just make a letter stating that I will be financially supporting my fiancee the whole vacation. Or will she be automatically denied? Thank you for your assistance and your opinion.

    • Jan says:

      Hi JC. Thanks for dropping by. There is no fixed or required amount in bank. What is important is that you have enough to cover all the expenses for you and your fiancee’s travel. She won’t be automatically denied. She just needs to input in the form that you are the sponsor and she will need to show your passport and financials (tax returns, bank deposits, cert of employment, etc). For your part, you will also need yo provide an affidavit of support in her favor. That will be good basis to establish that you will be able to sponsor her travel. Hope this helps.

  8. Karl says:

    Hello. My boyfriend and I is planning to have a Korean tour this coming January 2017.I planned to apply for tourist visa by November this year. I am currently employed. My employer can provide me with the COE and ITR 2316. The problem is that my bank cannot issue a bank certificate since the account my employer gave is a non-deposit account, but I a recently opened a separate savings account (just this month). I’m worried that they might not consider the new account since it will only show 2 months from the day it’s opened. Anyhow, my boyfriend wants to shoulder all the expenses for our trip. Is it possible to declare a financer even if I’m employed? And if so, can I use a copy of his Original Bank Certificate instead of having my own? Or what could be other requirements I could prepare? Thank you and God bless.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Karl,

      1. Bank Account – that is fine. If you have any proof of the payroll non-deposit account like a passbook or maybe a statement/document from the bank that such account is existing, show that as well. If you have a BPI credit card, you may want to check if you are qualified to present that alone in lieu of showing the ITR and bank certificate. The details are here: http://www.bpicards.com/RealThrills/Details/2753

      2. Sponsor – Yes. File an application for yourself, and another one for the boyfriend, but indicate in your application form that your bf will sponsor your finances. There’s a section there where you can input that info. In that case, you can show your bf’s financial documents but he needs to execute an affidavit of support and/or undertaking.

      Hope this helps.


      • Karl says:

        Hi Jan. Regarding my case,… since I will show my bf’s financial statements and affidavit of support, is it still necessary for me to present a separate personal bank certificate and statement on my account since I am employed? This is really confusing me. Thank you so much. I appreciated your response by the way.

      • Jan says:

        You will need to apply separately for you and your bf. Unless you will withhold the fact that you are employed, then in your application, you will show all documents related to your employment as well as your own financial docs. For the financial docs, my response to your concern was that it is ok if you can’t present a bank cert as long as you can show the nature of your payroll account. That is insofar as your application is concerned.

        Since your bf will sponsor your travel even if you are employed, then my answer to your second concern was that you need to prove his financial capability. This deals with your bf application.

        Bottomline, you need to handle your applications separately and present your own documents separately. Can’t be that your bf’s docs will suffice for your own application. The reason is based on the assumption that you will not withhold the fact that you are employed.

  9. Nini says:

    Hi. I just applied for a visa. I’m a student so the # listed is my dad’s. If the embassy doesn’t call my dad, does that mean that there’s no problem?

  10. carres14 says:

    Hi hope somebody help me again.
    Im from philippines. I have British boyfriend and he’s willing to invite me and support all I need to have a 1 month vacation this coming Feb CHINESE NEW YEAR. I’ve been working in Korea sept2013- nov2015. It is possible that I can get vacation and what are the requirements.I don’t have any job right now. Thanks lot

  11. carres14carres says:

    Hi hope somebody help me again.
    I have British boyfriend and he’s willing to invite me and support all I need to have a 1 month vacation this coming Feb CHINESE NEW YEAR. I’ve been working in Korea sept2013- nov2015. It is possible that I can get vacation and what are the requirements.I don’t have any job right now. Thanks lot

    • Jan says:

      Hi, you need to apply for a regular tourist visa and indicate that your British boyfriend is the one who will support your visa application or visa sponsor. However, he needs to be able to get a Korean visa first before you apply. You will need to show his valid visa when you submit your application and visa documents.

      • Jake says:

        Hello! My travel partner is currently employed but is new to her work. She does not have a bank account yet. We are thinking if it is possible if her parents will be the representative to shoulder is expenses, and it will be shown that she is unemployed. So that she can provide bank statements/coe and others. I became confused with yoursstatement that the one who’ll support the expenses should have visa first? And what should be the requiremnts for unemployed? Please enlighten me.

  12. Mik says:

    I dont know if this question is already asked. Me and my boyfriend are planning to get a visa, is it possible to submit the bank statement of our joint account even if we are not yet married? Thank you so much for your help;)

  13. Michelle says:

    Hi, my family are planning to visit Seoul this December and we will bring my kid’s nanny together with us. Kasama rin namin sya when we went to Singapore, HK and Malaysia. We already have a ticket. It is possible na ma-approved sya ng visa? sponsorship ba ang category nya? Possible ba na sabay nalang namin sya if we apply for a visa?
    Thank you in advance 🙂

  14. Strawberry says:

    Hello! I need help 😦 I’m working at home for more than 3 years. I can request COE but since the company is US based, obviously they will give their US Address ang Phone number. Also I dont have an ITR. My AUnt and 2 cousins are planning to visit SK next year. Any alternative way to get approved? Please reply. Ty.

  15. Anne says:

    Hi Ms. Jan. This is very informative blog. I just want to ask kasi we’re planning to visit SK this Sept (Chusuk). My Aunt will sponsor everything and she’s travelling with us too. I’m a housewife and don’t have an ITR and COE but I can provide my bank statement and certificate, is it okay if I’ll just give my Aunts supporting documents like tax declaration and bank statement? She’s an Australian citizen and exempt in visa daw. She will be landing here in the Phil first in Sept before our tour. And also I have a son (18mos old) and will come with us. My husband is working in SK under POEA that’s why we’re planning the trip on chusuk because it’s a long holiday for them and we can meet somewhere in Incheon. What do you think?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Anne. You can actually apply as a regular tourist with your husband as the sponsor. In such case, all you need to show in addition to your identification documents will be proof of your marriage, your common bank statements/certificates, and your husband’s certificate of employment, proof of payment of taxes, and valid working visa in SK. If your husband can provide a letter of invitation, then that might also help. I don’t think there is a need to include your aunt in the application. You can apply for your son’s visa at the same time that you apply for yours. I read that SK is relaxing their visa fees due to the MERS CoV outbreak but I haven’t confirmed this from the Embassy. Enjoy your travel and be safe!

      • Anne says:

        Thanks Jan. I’m completing my requirements now so I can apply around 1st week of August. I’m having a problem with the tax because my husband works in SK as OFW they don’t file for tax and as for me I’m not working for almost 7 years. What do I need to provide?

      • sette says:

        HI ms jan,

        All my docs are complete and i have an invitation from my aunt that was married to US army and they were assigned in KOREa. Is there a big possibility that my visa will approve?What is the best reason/answer if the embassy asks me why i am going to SK?thanks.thanks

      • Jan says:

        I believe, although I can’t guarantee, that your visa will be approved. There’s no interview so I don’t think you’ll be asked why you’re going to SK. If ever there is such a case, honesty is the best policy. Tell them you’re going there as a tourist and not to work. Hope this helps.

  16. heydonghaeyuline says:

    Hi Ms. Jan!! 🙂

    I’m applying for my visa tomorrow and I can’t help but feel paranoid.

    Do you think an invitation letter from my Korean friend would be an advantage? 🙂
    I’ve read somewhere kasi na it will only complicate things and meron daw nadedeny dahil dun. 😦

    Thank you!! 🙂

  17. Glaezel Torres says:

    HI. I am working as a researcher un UP since 2013. However I am considered contract based/project based employee so 2316 is not issued to us, only 2307. Is it possible to submit 2307 (Certificate of Tax Witheld) instead of 2316? Appreciate a reply. Thanks!

    • Jan says:

      Yes that’s fine. Just curious, you’re covered by EWT or VAT or Percentage Tax and not withholding tax for compensation?

  18. Stan says:

    Hi Ms. Jan,

    I am currently working as a call center for 2 yrs and 5 months now, makaka pag submit po ako ng COE and ITR kaso wala po akong bank account so i can not submit a bank certificate but i am willing to open a new one.

    Gusto ko lang po malaman if okay lang din ba na payroll account po ang i-submit pero na zzero out ko po kasi un pag pay out?

    And ung friend ko na Korean is inviting me to visit Jeju island, visa-free doon pero i prefer to get a visa pa din para we can still visit seoul.

    Question is, makakatulong po ba na ideclare ko sya as an invitor and mag submit ako ng letter from him and ung photocopy ng passport nya since sya talaga gagastos sakin doon?

    Or mag apply na lang ako as solo without an invitation and mag open ng account?

    Maraming salamat po.

      • Pines says:

        I’ll be going there on April 10-20 this year. I heard the Cherry blossoms featival will be held within those days.. I’m so psyched about it!

        By the way, i wanna go to Nami Island (maybe alone haha) whAt are your most valuable tips for that Trip? Should i book something in advance or i can just go whenever during my travel period? thanks once again!

  19. Jennyfer says:

    Hi ms. Jan!
    I just want to ask about coe thing, btw im currently working here in riyadh and ung hospital po na pinagwworkan nmin eh hindi nagbbigy ng coe for embassy even for tourist purposes lng, i tried to talking to them even showed them about the requirements and the ticket even our hotel booking. But still they refused to give us. Do u think the embassy will accept if we will show or submit them a copy of our contract? My flight sked na po kmi since 1 yr ago pa nmin pinagpalanohan to. And we’re not expecting na di na dw cla nagbbigy ng coe unless we resigned or end of contract na. I’m really in despair and in need of your opinion huhu..
    I hope you’ll read this and you’ll reply!
    Thank you and godbless! 🙏

    • Jan says:

      Hi Jenn, I am not so sure whether the Embassy will accept the contract in lieu of the certificate of employment. It would be best if you call the Embassy before going there just to be sure. Although if I were in your case, I’ll probably ask your employer to just issue even a simple letter to state that you are still employed with them.

  20. Shar says:


    I have started managing our family business just recently (operational since 2000) but it’s still under my father’s name. Our family is planning to go to South Korea for vacation but I am kinda doubting my chance of being granted a visa. I graduated college last 2013, spent almost two years traveling to different asian countries (though not oecd member), and have only started “working” just recently. I am confused as to what requirements I need to submit- whether under self-employed or employed. I can provide bank cert and coe (if it applies to my situation) but I don’t have an individual itr YET. As for the requirements needed for self-employed individuals, I am not sure if I can submit Photocopy of Business Registration and Business Permit- though available, since it is still under my father’s name. My dad will be sponsoring the trip, both of my parents are US Visa holders, and my brother is a licensed engineer who has been working since 09, so I am the only one in the family who has the least chance of being granted a visa. Can you please give advice regarding my situation?

    Thank you very much.

  21. Jaymee says:

    Hi good daY. im going to korea in feb 7 2014, i have COE , bank cert and i’ve been to 4 countries for the past 2 years.. pero my BIGGEST issue is my ITR.. my company did NOT put my TIN (nakalagay lng is 00-000-000) and no RDO in my ITR pero valid naman pa rin daw yun kasi nireremit nila ang tax ko using my name… will this cause a major issue? or pwede ko bang sabihin na lang na iaattach ko na lang yung BIR VERIFICATION SLIP that I got from BIR para maconfirm ung TIN ko… thnx much!

    • Pines says:

      Hi Ms. Jaymee.. (and Ms. Jan) I am glad to see your post here because i have the same concern. I am planning to apply for y visa however the TIN reflected in my Form 2307 doesn’t match my TIN ID (#). I am wondering how you were able to resolve this issue.or does it have any effect in the approval of visa? I mean.. will the embassy verify this? Please share your experience. Thanks!

      • Jan says:

        Hi Pines/Jaymee, I have a friend who was able to get a Korean visa by presenting her Form 2316 only and the TIN reflected there didn’t match her TIN Card. She did not present her TIN card as a supporting document. She got a visa.

        ~ Jan

  22. ferlie says:

    Hello po im a student and may mag sponsor po saken sa korea sagot nila lahat ng expenses ko duon (i won from Korea Grand Sale 2015) pano po un need ko pa po ba ng ITR at Bank certificates kc po sagot naman po ng korean company .

  23. Aiden says:

    Hello po miss Janis,

    My aunt and I plan to go to SK next year but I am a fresh grad and unemployed so basically I don’t have COE, ITR and bank account, but my aunt, who will travel with me, is the one who’s going to pay for our whole trip meaning she’s my sponsor for the travel, does she need to apply first for a visa until gets one before I apply mine? And what kind of documents could we use to prove that we are relatives since my parents are not married but I use my father’s surname (she’s my aunt in the father side). Thanks

  24. Danessa Yu says:

    Hi Ms Jan! Ask ko lang if you have any idea if chinicheck nila kung tugma talaga yung ITR sa COE or Bank Cert mo? I’m sure hindi lahat sakto talaga yung dineclare na taxable income(Maybe mga 60-70% lang nang actual income nila). Will the embassy question that? Or enough na na may ITR ka? And questionable din ba pag 1 year later ka na nagregister sa BIR kahit na may work ka na?

    • rm94 says:

      denied *** visa ko. may nakapagtry na ba dito magappeal? tumawag sakin *** sm company . i bought a global package kasi for their hallyu tour . they can provide me visa assistance daw. kaso diba 6 months pa ulit reapply in case nadeny? do u think its worth it pa na magpunta ako embassy to appeal to get my visa granted. tourist lang naman talaga *** purpose ko.

  25. Julie Mercado says:

    Hi Miss Jan! Good morning. May I just ask is it okay to apply for a tourist visa if a friend of mine is just a new hire on January 2015 but her previous work can grant her ITR but the COE is with this new company she’s currently employed with. Do you think she won’t have any problem with regards to getting a visa because her booked trip is scheduled this coming March 2015? Kamsamida! ☺

  26. Kriss says:

    Te janis, coe lang po maipapasa ko dhil ala po kaming bnbyarang tax sa work ko.. Bank cert, at pede po ba na land title nalang isubmit ko kapalit ng bir form or itr… Salamat po

      • Danessa Yu says:

        Jan pano pag employed ako but no 2316 kasi hndi nagwiwithhold yung company namin? We’re working there as consultants and not required to be there 8 hrs for work. Ive been working there since 2013. I got an ITR of my own last Sept and planning to apply for visa this Jan. Plano ko ipresent yung form 1701 instead of 2316. They will be able to provide an employment certificate though. Ok ba yon?

      • janiscooking says:

        Hi Andrei, land titles and vehicle registrations are not among those listed as allowable documents. The embassy may request their presentation as they see fit but they cannot take the place of the required documents. You need to present bank certificate. Hope this helps.

  27. chelorey says:

    hi!i am a plain housewife and my mother is a us citizen,she wants to go to korea this april 2015 and wants me to go with her…i dont have any of the requirements except for the bank cert…is there any way i can be approve of a visa? or other req i need to submit? i would appreciate if you can reply on my inquiries and thank you!

  28. Kriss says:

    Hi ate jan ask lang po. Im planning for tour in korea dis coming dec 22, 2014 for my xmass vacation, ang meron lang po ako na requirement ay, CErtificate of employment, Bank certificate, Certificate OF title under my name, wala po akong itr.
    Thank you so much 🙂

    • janiscooking says:

      Hi Kriss,

      I get that you are working be ause you have a certificate of employment. In that case, you need to submit BIR form 2316 or a certificate of taxes withheld instead of the ITR. Your HR should have this. In fact, this should have been given to you not later than Jan 31, 2014 the coverage for which is all the taxes withheld from you in 2013.

      Hope this helps.

      – Jan

      • Kriss says:

        Pano po kung d ako issuehan ng BIR form2316.. Sa hr dept.. Pede po ba na wala na nun.. Kc meron naman na po akong coe.. At bank cert.. Thanks po

      • janiscooking says:

        Hi again Kriss. Hindi kasi pwede na hindi ka bigyan ng 2316 ng HR nyo kasi yun ang proof mo na yung kinakaltas na buwis sa yo ay nireremit nila sa BIR. Sadly, it is a requirement and hindi pwedeng wala yun when you apply for your visa. Hope this helps.

  29. dette says:

    Hi Janis,

    Re: National Identity No., should we leave it blank or N/A? In item, who will pay your stay, should we write our name since we are the one paying for the expenses? or “myself”.?

    Thank you,

  30. Suzette says:

    Hi Janis!
    This is so useful esp now that I’m planning to visit korea with my mom (1st time traveler) next year. My question is, can I apply tourist visa as early as October this year but our flight will be on Mar 28, 2015? I will be her sponsor. Para sure lang sana na merong visa muna before bumili ng tickets and tour booking esp na Holy week punta namin. l’ll wait for your reply pls. Thanks in advance! 🙂

    • janiscooking says:

      Hi Suzette, thanks for dropping by. October is too early for a March flight. The visa that’s usually granted is good for 90 days only. If you’re planning to travel in March 28, you can apply maybe around first week of February.

      Hope this helps.

      ~ Jan

  31. Rose Ann Ricasa says:

    Hello! I read all the comments and my question has never been asked before so I’m just gonna post it now. I want to go to South Korea next year, February 2-6, 2015 and I want to bring my mom. She’s a housewife so she doesn’t have CoE and ITR. My father is a family driver so he doesn’t have CoE and ITR as well. I will shoulder all the expenses for the duration of the trip as my gift for her 50th birthday. My question is: Can she use my CoE, ITR, and Bank Certificate for the visa application? I’m assuming that I need to present my Birth Certificate as well to prove our relationship.

    I hope you find time in answering my question. Thank you in advance!

    • Rose Ann Ricasa says:

      P.S. She can actually provide a Bank Certificate because she has sufficient funds by saving all the “sustento” that I give her.

    • janiscooking says:

      Hi Rose, thanks for dropping by. You’re the only one who will need to submit the CoE and ITR. But since both of you have bank accounts, you may need to submit your separate bank statements then. In your mom’s application form, indicate that she is a housewife and that you will shoulder the expenses (there’s a question there that asks for who will finance the travel). And yes, you may need to submit your birth certificate to prove filiation but it would be safer if your mom can also bring an NSO-certified marriage certificate.

      Hope this helps.

      ~ Jan

      • Rose Ann Ricasa says:

        Hi Janis, thanks for you reply! I have a follow up question, though. Do I need to have a visa first before my mother can name me as her sponsor or can we apply together? We’re both first-timers in Korean Visa application. Thank you! Have a nice day 🙂

  32. Trish Ramos says:

    Hello @janiscooking,

    Wow! What an informative site re of getting a Korean Visa, I have been searching online how to get through the process and I am glad saw your site. Here’s the thing, We actually have a small business but it was under my husband’s name and presently I’m a homemaker and no income whatsoever. Therefore, in this type of case, what do you think are the requirements we needed to comply? Hope you can help us on this as we are really interested to travel in Korea (during winter season). Looking forward to hear from you.

    Thank you,

    • janiscooking says:

      Thanks, Trish. Glad that you found my post useful.

      You just need to submit the basic mandatory requirements (application form, passport, pictures, etc.). Your husband will need to present DTI/SEC papers and ITR too. As for bank account, if your husband will present a joint account, he will need to submit an NSO-certified marriage certificate.

      Hope this helps.

      ~ Jan

  33. dette says:

    Hi Janis,

    I saw your nami island tour blog, we also plan to rent a private car, can you recommend any, or do still have their contact number. thanks

    • janiscooking says:

      Hi Dette, I’m sorry but I don’t have the number of the driver that we hired last April 2014. But I was able to keep the number of the driver that we hired in 2012 although I am not sure if he’s still in the business. You may try this number: 011-99913-1276.


  34. ruseru says:

    good day sir! gusto ko sanang itanong pano kung wala akong bank account? is it really needed? May gusto lang ako bisitahin and planning to stay for just 3 days.

    • janiscooking says:

      it is needed. unless you have a BPI gold or platinum card where you only need to present your billing statements in lieu of the bank certificate. also, it’s a “ma’am” not a “sir.” cheers.

  35. Rica says:

    Hello I am applying for tourist visa I already submit all the documents needs in embassy …and I have also my sponsor my active military in uncle who’s living in Korea now I am a fresh grad so that I also submit the documents of my father like bank cert,employment cert and ITR .i just want it to know if it possible that they will approved my tourist visa? Thanks

  36. rian says:

    Hi, Janis

    Very informative blog. 🙂

    Additionally, I would just like to ask kung ano yung best timeline to acquire a bank certificate. I am preparing all the docs needed and already got my bank certificate last July 24 since I’m planning to apply for the visa on August 8, is the timeline safe already?. Kasi yung friend ko di siya binigyan ng bank pa kasi kailangan daw for visa is latest (1-2 days before the visa application.)

    Thanks ahead! 😀

  37. jdcayetano says:

    What if wala po akong work now pero I have around 120k in my bank account kasi nagwork ako contractual before kasi parang freelancer type yung work ko pano po yun. 23 yrs old na ko so hindi na ko minor pero ang magfifinance naman ng trip ko is yung mom ko.

    • janiscooking says:

      Hi @jdcayetano, you may try to indicate that you are a freelancer and add a copy of your most recently concluded contract. Just don’t forget to submit your ITR too. Is your mother coming with you? If so, you might want to get her a visa first, then in your application, indicate that she is the sponsor of your visa. Again, if you want to indicate that your mom is your sponsor, she must get a visa first before you apply. Hope this helps.

      ~ Jan

      • Angel says:

        Hi,regarding dun sa query, paano pag sister ang kasama ko then sponsoran ko ung travel nya with us, first time traveling din kami sa korea pwede na din ba nya gamitin ung bank cert ko? thank u

      • janiscooking says:

        Hi Angel, thanks for dropping by. You need to get a visa first. Only after you have your own visa can your sister file her application. In your sister’s application, she should indicate that you are the “sponsor” (there’s a portion there that asks for the name of the visa sponsor; this doesn’t have to be a Korean if you’ll read the instructions at the back; that’s where she will put your name as her sponsor). Then she will need to attach your approved Korean visa. In short, mauuna ka mag-apply than your sister. You need to get an approved visa before she can apply.

        ~ Jan

  38. Shira says:

    Hi.. I have read and checked a lot of blogs and information about tourist visa but I can’t seem to find an article about visa for “Filipino who is married to a foreigner working in South Korea” 😦 The day of applying the visa with my husband is drawing near and I am getting very anxious as the day goes by. I am married to a South African who is working as an English Teacher in South Korea. Do you have any idea regarding this matter? About the requirements? I am hoping dearly for your reply. Thank you in advance.

    • janiscooking says:

      Hi Shira, in addition to the basic requirements, you also need to submit the following:
      1) Original invitation letter from your Husband’s employer (again, original letter is required)
      2) Photocopy of your husband’s passport
      3) Photocopy of your husband’s alien registration card
      4) Photocopy of your husband’s employment contract or certificate of employment
      5) Photocopy of your marriage certificate

      Hope this helps.

      ~ Jan

  39. marie says:

    miss jan..someone hired me being an intern.he is both korean nd us citizen,what do you think the requirements are thnks a lot..

    • janiscooking says:

      hi marie, I believe you’ll need to apply for a D-4 visa. I’m not very familiar with it but here are the requirements:
      1. Valid Passport
      2. Visa application form
      3. Fee: Amount corresponding to USD 50 (single-entry permit) or USD 80 (multiple-entry permit))
      4. Verification of School Entrance or Enrollment (Verification of Training)
      5. Financial Verification (more than USD 5,000 in domestic bank account or certificate of currency exchange) or documentation under a university academic exchange agreement
      6. Identification Verification (for those who cannot verify their financial ability for tuition and living expenses or upon the request of Justice Ministry)

      For details, you may want to contact the consular office here in Taguig: (63-2) 856-9210

      ~ Jan

  40. adluca says:

    Hi mam,we are applying for tourist visa, we are working in one company we are 3 planning for a vacation in south korea.one of us have US visa.US visa holder file at window 3 and the 2 of us will file at window 2, is it possible the 2 of us will grant a visa also?its a company expense for us as an incentive can we file all our application all together in widow 2?any suggestions..please help us..thank you very much!!

  41. sha lopez says:

    Hi, my sis in law got denied because their HR didnt answer the call from the embassy thus docs were not verified. Is it possible to appeal? We will be in korea for merely 6 days. This coming march 24-29. she is employed and she also has 80k money in her bank acct. Can we visit the embassy and talk to a Korean official?

  42. Roi says:

    Hi guys,
    Thank you for this information. I’m currently considering to get a tourist visa in Korea. I’ve completed almost 15 travels to Bangkok within 2 years and once in Vietnam. Do you think it could be a plus point to getting a tourist visa because of those completed travels? In addition to that I will present my ITR on my taxi business and also a shop under my wife’s name. Will the Embassy accept the business under my wife’s name?

    I did read in other website that I can apply for a visa without a confirmed travel booking and I’m planning to apply without a booking yet since I can do it easily online once I got an approved visa.

    Thank you so much! Hoping for your response.

    • janiscooking says:

      not sure about presenting the business which is under your wife’s name. your taxi business ITR will suffice. but in case you want a security blanket and decide to bring documents related to your wife’s business, they might look for your marriage certificate. also, the bank account should be in your name. if it is a joint account, a marriage certificate is required. it’s true that you can apply for a visa even without a confirmed travel booking.

  43. sweetjellytine says:

    Hi! just want to ask. I applied for visa last jan2013 and can be use until april2013 but somehow i decided to not to go since last year there’s news between sokor and nokor conflict right? And i got scared since i’ll be traveling alone that time. And this year i with my friends are deciding to go to sokor this nov2014. Would you think that the embassy would grant me another one?

  44. Phil says:

    Hi what if im like me is a freelance website developer online.., I dont have certificate of employment and itr to present. is this will be problem approving my visa?

  45. Margaret A says:

    Hi Janis, I would like to ask if I can apply as early as January even if our trip is on April, there is a tentative travel date on the application form anyway? Does this apply?

  46. jojo says:

    hi janis!!i am a public school teacher..i just came from the korean embassy and passed my requirements..i am doubtful about the business contact number of my employer because the phone line of our office is not working for 4 years..i just gave the cellphone number of my employer..will i be denied because our office does not have a landline???thank you..hope you can answer me asap

  47. j dolorfino says:

    Hi janis, i would just like to ask, i just started my bussiness , and i don’t have an itr yet, is there other way to get around this? Or is it realy mandatory to have an itr to present to them? Btw i have not worked before so theres no way for me to get this form 2316 frm any employer

  48. Cadbury says:

    Hi Janis, we will be travelling as a family (5 of us). Can my brother just submit all of our requirements together? will he need a power of attorney for each of the member of the family travelling or something? How about claiming the visa, do we still need authorization for each of us too? Kindly advise. Thanks

    • janiscooking says:

      There’s no need to give a power of attorney when applying but to be safe, please issue one. As for claiming, yes, you’ll need that plus the claim stub.

      This blog has been inactive as I have moved to http://www.janiscooking.com. Please visit my new blog as all updates including my next Seoul trip will be posted there.


  49. raks says:

    Hi! My bf and I booked a flight to Incheon for May 2014 and plans to apply for Visa around April 2014. We have joint bank acct. Is it ok if we present Joint Bank account even if we’re not yet married?


    • janiscooking says:

      You need to prove relationship if you have a joint account and since you are not yet married, I doubt if that will be accepted by the embassy. Just present separate personal bank certificates because that’s the requirement.

      I have moved to http://www.janiscooking.com. Please visit my new blog for updates including my posts about my next visit to Seoul.


  50. Maine says:

    Hi..Thanks for this helpful tip..
    just want to ask..I’ll be going to korea this december 13 is it not too late to apply for the visa?

    and also about one of the requirements…i have a COE but I dont have ITR… will it take long if i get the ITR?

    Thank you~ hope to hear for your reply. 🙂

    • janiscooking says:

      Hi you only need to get BIR form 2316 from your HR. This should have been given to you at the start of 2013. That’s the form you submit in lieu of the ITR (since your taxes are withheld by your employer).

      I have moved to http://www.janiscooking.com. Please visit my new blog for updates including my posts about my next visit to Seoul.


  51. Cha says:

    Hi.. I have been to korea last year.. But my concern now is that i just resigned from my job in singapore and will be staying in Manila for good. I dont have COE and my ITR is from Singapore since i’ve worked there for 3 years. I have sufficient funds in my bank acct and i have property title under my name. Would these documents suffice?

  52. joms says:

    hi. hingi lang po ako ng advise. magaapply po ako ng tourist single entry visa sa SK kz may pupuntahan akong conference sa jeju at busan. sasagutin naman po ng organizer ung lahat ng expenses ko sa trip n un. Ganito po kasi, nagvovolunteer staff po ako sa 1 NGO by which un din ang organizer ng conference. binigyan din nila ako ng formal invitation to go to korea signed ng head ng org namin at ung korean host. meron din akong COE confirming that i am indeed a volunteer staff but there is no renumeration coming from them that’s why tax exempt ako. Rumaraket din kz ako kaya iniisip ko isubmit din ung dti cert ko together with bank cert, invitation, credit card bills and coe. triny na iapply ng laiason officer namin ung mga application namin pero ibinalik ung skin at kulang daw ng docs which is itr. ano po ba mainam na gawin ko para pag submit ko po ulit tanggapin na nila?

  53. Ishaq says:


    So I went to the embassy and I’m trying to apply for a student visa.

    My parents are OFW and we don’t have a bank here in the Philippines( but I have a joint bank account here that has my allowance but it doesn’t have that much) and they’re asking for a local bank because they can’t verufy the bank statement I gave them coz it’s from overseas.

    What can I do? -.-

  54. Anonymous says:

    Hello there.

    Thank you for this informative blog.

    May I ask you what BIR forms you submitted? Is it the form 1701/annual income tax return of the previous year? Or could I also submit form 1701Q/quarterly income tax return of 2013?

    Your input will be of great help. Thanks!

  55. ceci says:

    Hi! I was just wondering, pwede ko kaya gamitin yung 2316 ko for 2013 this year? Lumipat po kasi ako ng company and I was able to receive a copy from my previous company kasi pre-requisite sya for new hires.


  56. Sherwin says:

    Hi Janis, my husband is a Filipino who works in Korea. I plan to take a short vacation there with my 3 year old son. I already know my visa requirements as a spouse since i already went there last year. But it is the first time that I’ll bring along our son. What are the visa requirements for him? Thank you.

  57. sdeesblog says:

    Hi thank you for this post! I have questions though, what if i am going to apply for a korean visa this august and i will be using my employment certificate dated may24, will it be ok? And as for the self employed is It ok to just submit your DTI without theayors permit? Hope to hear from you. Thanks in advance!

  58. sdeesblog says:

    Hi thank you your post is very informative, i have questions though i am going to apply a korean visa by august, can i use my employment certificate dated may 24,? And if you are self employed and doesnt have mayors permit will it be ok to just submit my dti? Hope to hear from you. Thanks in advance!

  59. Rodney Ward says:

    Hi janis,i’m a liberian passport holder,i want to travel to southkorea on a tourist and i understand that my country is under a visa waiver agreement,but my anty in america is going to sponsor my trip,please help me i don’t have any body in southkorea,what do i need to do,do i need an invitation and who will give it to me since i don’t have anybody there?

  60. Pamela says:

    Hello Janis! 🙂 i was wondering if what visa i will get if i will go to Korea and Find a job there?? is C-3 visa is not qualified for finding a job?

  61. Yumi says:

    Hi Jan! ~

    I have previously travelled South Korea last April 3,2013 and kababalik ko lang last May 24 dto sa pinas.

    I am still a student, Ask lang ako. Do you think kahit pasukan na they will allow me to travel again in Korea? But i already have a south Korean tourist visa. So apply ako for this time, do you think d ba sla magdadalawang isip.na.bigyan ako?

  62. Adrian Tan says:


    Thanks for this helpful article. I have already submitted all requirements until I noticed that the birthday and home address in my ITR was printed incorrectly. I’m really worried about it. Will it impact my application?

    • janiscooking says:

      Hi Adrian, yes it might impact your application. The officers might notice the inconsistencies and might not be able to connect your identity with the papers you submitted.

  63. Wena says:

    Hi Jan! Thanks for this informative post. My travel will be on January 2014, when is the earliest time I can apply for a tourist visa? Thank you!

  64. Grace de Castro says:

    Hi! I hope this question is not too late.

    I was wondering, do you know the difference between US visa holder and non-US visa holders when it comes to applying for a Korean visa (other than the period for returning the passport)? I read in your post that there are separate lines for them. What’s the difference? 🙂

    • janiscooking says:

      Hi Grace, there’s no difference in requirements but yup there are different queues. At the gate before entry, tell the officer that you have a US visa. The officer will tell you where to proceed. They have separate logbooks too where you sign your names. When you reach the main hall, there are separate numbering systems too so make sure you get your number from the US visa holder group. When your number is called, proceed to that window. There are separate windows for US and nonUS visa holders. The consequence of making a mistake is that you would have to fall in line again from the start… Which is something you don’t want because the time frame per day for visa applications is limited else you have to come back again the next day. Hope this helps! 🙂

  65. Pailanan says:

    thanks for the info again regarding the korean visa, i dont have my visa yet and planning to get it on may 7, 2013. I’m a traveller, i travel a lot, i just start travelling last 2011 from asian countries. do you think being a traveller will give me a chance to have a visa. i passed the Chinese visa last december and wondering if im going to be as lucky as you are this korean visa.

    • janiscooking says:

      Hello again, I don’t think that a frequent traveler will have that advantage because each visa application is reviewed differently. However, I have heard that those with US visa, Japanese or previous South Korean visas are most likely to be granted a visa 🙂

  66. Paul says:

    Hello, I am 23 years old and employed for the past 1.5years. Since it’s my first job, i think ITR shouldn’t be a problem. My concern is how much money do I need to show ATLEAST to get a visa. Also, I have two BPI accounts, one for payroll and one for personal savings. The later existed even I was in college. It is a solo flight and do-it-yourself move. So I was nervous. I will be travelling on June (just for 5 days) in Korea. I already booked it last year. Please help. 😦

  67. Ryan says:

    Hello jan!. i recently got my korean visa and i plan to leave on april 23, 2013. Today, I went to Hong Kong today and I think the personnel in the immigration in the Philippines accidentally made a stray mark of black ballpen in my visa (not so much) just a small line on top of the[c32]. I just noticed it when im already here in hong kong. Im just wondering, will it matter? Will this create a problem upon my entry to South Korea? Just asking so I could settle it before I go to Korea. thank you very much. Your reply would be appreciated. Happy Easter!

      • Ryan says:

        Hey jan. really? I was so nervous. Ive been planning to go to Korea since forever and i thought this simple stray mark will let the immigration personnel in Korea think that my visa is void or marked for bad reasons on my part and thus denying me entry to Korea. But one last thing. Do you know of any situations like this? Or the like? I just need to convince myself that this wouldnt pose any problem. Thanks!

  68. Mary Grace says:

    Hi there! can you please help me?.

    I want to apply for a Korean tourist visa. I am a holder of Philippine passport. I am 21 years old. Currently do not have a work.I have a friend who wants to invite me to go there in South korea. I want to know what are the necessary documents that i need to pass to Korean embassy here in Philippines. My korean friend is 28 years old, still student, but he has his part time job and can present savings on his bank account to show that he can support my expenses there. He already sent me an Invitation letter, should it be written in english language or in korean language?.. I hope for your quick reply.. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

  69. Ali says:


    I am an international student from Pakistan studying in uk. I want to visit korea as a tourist for one or 2 weeks. I have a question about bank statement it says that i need to have continuous amount of £1500 plus for 3 months. Its hard for me to maintain that much in my account as I have to pay my tuition fees. I want to ask you can I use my uncle’s bank statement ? Please advice. Thanks

  70. Tere mirano says:

    Hi! My fiance and I are planning to apply for a korean visa for our honeymoon. Since our purpose is “honeymoon”, is it possible that they will ask for additional documents to be presented? My worry is we still dont have enough documents since we are still about to get married. We are planning for a flight to korea the day after our wediding.

    • Robert says:

      I highly reccomend you dont do it this way. My wife and i applied (when we were engaged) to have her come to Korea. but they denied her, because she couldnt ‘prove her relationship’ to me. my suggestion is to apply singly (just tourist visa, without mention of the other person) OR apply as a married couple. If you apply for the tourist visa (without mentioning him, just as a tourist, single), and you become denied, you CAN apply again, LESS THAN 6 MONTHS, once you are married. i called the embassy and they told me that my wife should apply again, because her ‘status changed’ (from single to married). let me know if that makes sense to you. i will try to explain differently if its confusing.

      • janiscooking says:

        hi robert, as much as i’d like to help you but it seems that you are providing me details bit by bit and it boils down to like asking me for a specific legal advice. we are barred from soliciting clients so i’d like to recommend that you get in touch with a travel agent or consult with an immigration lawyer who can assist you. good luck in the application!

  71. Pinky Kasahara says:

    Hi Jan!^^
    My friends and I are planning to go to Seoul this Oct 2013! ♥
    As early as now, we are already trying to clear things and checking information.
    I just would like to ask the ff:

    1. We are employed (call center agents) for almost a year now. (btw, I’m still 19, turning 20 this Sept). For the bank certificate, I was a lil bit confused. So we really need to have a bank savings acct or something? I don’t have one. I’m willing to make a saving acct but is the bank deposit really least P80,000? How about showing my parent’s bank savings? Will the embassy accept that? If yes, can my friends use the bank savings record of my parents just in case they really don’t have one? 🙂

    2. We are from Cebu so filing the requirements for visa is really a hassle.
    I have a friend in Manila and we are planning to just send the requirements to her. Will the embassy accept our requirements? Or do we need to have the special power of attorney and send it to our friend who lives in Manila?

    Please help.
    Thanks a lot :*

    • thelonetraveler says:

      You are from Cebu right? I’ve heard that there is a Consular Office of Korea in UC-Banilad Mezzanine. Have you tried asking them there? I am planning to visit their office this May. 안녕 하세요!

    • janiscooking says:

      Hi Pinky, thanks for dropping by! As for bank account, your regular payroll savings account will do. There is no hard and fast rule for the amount but what I said about 80,000 was that it’s a safe figure. I know though of some who didn’t have that money in bank and yet were still granted visas. The consulate might be just looking for proof of steady income that will support your travel expenses and will constrain you to return to the Philippines. Your friends will have to provide their own proof of income/savings too.

      As for an office in Cebu, I heard there’s a South Korea embassy office there. You may want to inquire here: South Korean Consulate General in Cebu City, Philippines, Mezzanine Floor, UC-ICTC Building, Gov. Cuenco Avenue, Banilad, Cebu City, Philippines, Tel No. +63322316345.

      You may also file your visa application in Manila thru a represeantative with a special power of attorney.

      Hope this helps!

      • Pinky Kasahara says:

        Thank you so much for the information Jan :’)
        I will be taking note of this. ^_^
        Once again, thank you! I’m so happy to have checked your site 🙂
        Thank you for answering our questions~♥

  72. Vernice Gutierrez says:

    Hello there ma’am. This post is so useful especially for a person likes me who really wants to visit korea. I have a korean boyfriend and I wanted to visit him this year but the problem is I am just a volunteer nurse now which means i don’t have certificate of employment and ITR which are necessary for application of visa. However, I have enough money in my bank account. Is there a way for me to get a visa with this kind of situation? Your reply would be a great help to me. Thank you ma’am!

    • janiscooking says:

      Hi Vernice, you may need to provide documents regarding your status as a volunteer nurse and that you don’t get any income from it. Of course, you’ll need the bank certificate too. Another optional document which might help but is not a guarantee for a sure grant of visa is an invitation letter that you can ask from your Korean boyfriend. Even with the invitation though, you still need all the other required docs.

  73. Robert says:

    It’s almost time for the C application. I was hoping, as we are getting nervous, that you could give some insight as to what to put, on the application, for a ‘reason’ to visit. I am not asking for a “what exactly does one say” but something that is going to get a better ‘odd’ of passing, than failing. This is an application for my wife to get a tourist visa to visit me in Korea (i hold an E2 visa).

    • janiscooking says:

      Since it’s just a tourist visa application, you may want to put in there that the purpose of travel is simply for leisure, recreation, vacation, or a short tour to see the beauty of Seoul.

    • janiscooking says:

      i believe you should know, Rob. your IP address shows you’re in Seoul? but just to say what i learned from all my inquiries when we applied for our temporary tourist visa, the C3 visas are issued for short-term temporary visitation/tourism. the c31 type is for short-term temporary visit while the c32 type is for short-term tourism, the difference being that for c31 type, you have to show proof of invitation.

      • Rob says:

        I’m trying to get one for my wife, who is from the Philippines, and the Embassy in the Philippines only says that she needs a c31 visa, not very explicit on which one that is, or how to get it.

      • janiscooking says:

        i see. there are different requirements depending on your status in korea. are you a korean national? a filipino seaman? a US military personnel stationed in korea? or a foreigner working in korea?

      • janiscooking says:

        this LINK might be helpful to you. it says that for filipinos married to a foreigner working in korea, they must submit the following: Invitation Letter from Husband’s Company in Korea (original), Copy of Husband’s Passport, Copy of Husbands Alien Registration Card, Copy of Husband’s Contract or Certificate of Employment, and Copy of Marriage Certificate.

      • Vhalerie Lee says:

        Hi Janis, I have been issued a C31visa since I was supposed to go to Seoul sponsored by my company. But business trip did not push through. Can I use this C31 visa for tourist purposes? My worry is that if I don’t use it korean embassy might no longer issue a tourist visa in the future, but this is my company’s fault. Hope to hear your insights. Thanks!

  74. Ryan says:

    Hello. I would be applying as a student and it says I have to give a certificate of employment of my father. If he is self-employed, is it okay to just submit SEC only? Pls reply Thanks!

    • janiscooking says:

      Unfortunately, SEC registration is not enough. We applied visas for self-employed individuals or those with businesses and we were asked to present the following: SEC registration (in the case of a corporation) or DTI registration (in the case of sole proprietorship), Business Permit, Bank Certificate, and Income Tax Return.

  75. jowangurl says:

    hi janis!

    i have a situation, i hope you can give me some insights.

    Me and my boyfriend had this business last 2012. It was registered under my name as the owner. Both of us are working in this business but he was not registered as employee in this business. Now we got married and planning to have our honeymoon in korea. Should i change the registered name of our business with my married name? I dont have any idea what documents we should submit for my husband. He doesnt have an itr for last year since he was not employed in any business.

  76. bianca sevilla says:

    hi there i’m having difficulty with the requirements, i’m not a student anymore cause i’m a fresh graduate and i don’t have a job yet, so i don’t have itr or bank accounts which is a requirement what can i used as a requirement to apply

    • janiscooking says:

      I would suggest that you submit a certification from your school indicating the date of your graduation. Add a photocopy of your school ID. Ask your parents to execute an Affidavit of Undertaking stating that you just graduated, you are not employed yet, they will spend for all expenses related to your travel, that they guaranty your return to the Philippines, and that your only purpose to enter South Korea is for temporary travel or tour for xxx number of days. Then as supporting docs, submit your birth certificate, your parents’ passports (xerox first page only), parents’ bank certificate (original), parents’ income tax return (xerox), and parents’ employment certificate (original).

      • bianca sevilla says:

        oh yeah about that, i don’t have a schoold id anymore, so actually this trip was a gift from my cousin who’s a us citizen because i passed the board exam and she was going to sponsor this trip so instead of my parents can i used her documents thank you so much i’m really hoping for your reply soon:)

  77. Mary Ann Sweet Go says:

    hi there ma’am janis:), I am working as a nurse and have enough personal bank account, my problem is that I don’t have an ITR since almost all nurses working in private hospitals are in minimum wage. How can I be able to get through this?

  78. jowangurl says:

    hi there!

    Paano po kapag yung business nakapangalan sa wife. Yung husband ko po is currently unemployed pero kaming dalawa ang nagpapatakbo sa business. Ano pong mga documents ang kelangan namin isubmit para sa husband ko? Both of us are planning to visit korea. Help naman po. Thanks

  79. Evangelyn Tamanu says:

    hello..how about if my husband who is currently working in korea invites me and my children for a vacation there, should we need to present a bank certificate?

  80. neilyboi says:

    hello…im a philippine passport holder, however. im currently having a valid australian visa . is it possible for me to apply for a korean tourist visa eventhough im
    residing overseas(australia)?

    • janiscooking says:

      hi Neilyboi, you still need to apply for a Korean visa. the visa-free entry is allowed only for nationals/citizens of US, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan among others. your philippine passport signifies that you’re a citizen of the philippines. hence, you need to go through the Korean visa application process.

  81. Jhen says:

    Hi! Thank ou for the information it is very helpful… If tou dont mind i want to ask sime question. Me and my hubby together with her mom and sister is planning to go at south korea. But his mom and his sister was having doubt if they can get a visa. As per your story there’s no group visa. First problem her sister has no work meaning no itr, no coe, no proof of income. Second his mom has a name discrepancy. Her passport name is different from her i.d.’s and bank account name. Is there a chance that their application will be denied. Also her cousin is living at koreA is it plus if we will ask for an invitation? Tahnk u so much in advance… God bless

    • janiscooking says:

      hi Jhen. about the sister, is she a minor? thing is, in the application form, there is a question there asking who will pay for the travel expenses. she can answer that her mom will shoulder the expenses but it probably will slide well if she’s a minor. otherwise, i’m not sure how it will go but you can always try.

      about the mom, the rule really is that the name of the applicant must be consistent in all documents submitted. if a document has a different name, there must be an additional proof connecting the person named in that document and the applicant himself/herself. for example, passport carries the woman’s maiden name while the bank account carries her married name. supporting document will be a marriage certificate to connect the applicant to the person named in the bank account and ultimately, to the person named in the passport.

      about the cousin living in Korea, what is her status there? resident? now a Korean citizen? as far as i know, the one inviting you should be a Korean individual because one of the requirements to be submitted is his Korean passport.

    • janiscooking says:

      hi jamie, i’m not sure if they do any background check on the ITR. but they’re more interested in whether you have a stable source of income that will help you finance your travel and/or stay in Korea and more importantly, that will require you to come back to the Philippines.

  82. MJ Ronatay says:

    Hi, just wanna inquire if i can still use my passport under my maiden name going to Korea. I just got married last May and it takes 6 moths processing in getting my marriage certificate at CENSUS. The problem is i already updated my personal records at the office and even my bank accounts to my married name. Is it ok to submit my maiden name passport and requirements under my married name in securing a tourist visa in Korea?

    • janiscooking says:

      i’m not so sure about travels to South Korea but I was faced with the same problem in 2006 when i was about to go to HongKong. i was advised by my travel agent to renew my passport and change the name to my married name. that will prevent any issue as regards name/identity inconsistency.

      • Robert says:

        i asked the CIS in manila a similar question. about name-changing, pretty much about “if i want to leave philippines what will happen if ___”. easy answer is, you want the name to match both the passport and the visa. if they dont match, you have to prove who you are. like marriage certificate, or birth certificate, etc.

  83. Fei Talania Kabaj says:

    hi, how can i make my visa change to my married name. my passport is in my single name, but has been amended to my married name. when i got my visa they use my single name, whats the process for changing it to married name?

    • janiscooking says:

      hi Fei, if you’re already granted a visa, you won’t have any problem. just bring your old passport and a marriage certificate/contract/license when you travel in case they ask about the name discrepancy.

  84. inbadshape says:

    Hello is it really necessary to indicate the date of opening of the bank account? because the one that released to me by BDO wala naka indicate kung kelan na open yung bank account 😦

  85. Maria Theresa Lagos (@teremarta) says:

    Thank you for sharing, Janis. Interesting to note, one of the visa exemptions is if you’re transiting only and going to Canada, Australia, Japan, US, or New Zealand; however, one must not stay beyond 30 days and must have a confirmed onward ticket to the next country. http://embassy_philippines.mofat.go.kr/english/as/embassy_philippines/visa/issuance/index.jsp Enjoying a 6 or 7-hour city or shopping tour in Seoul I guess isn’t so bad for a 12-hour layover.

  86. nunu says:

    hello janis..your post is really good but i have some follow-up questions.please bear with me coz im nervous on how to secure it..
    i am travelling with my fren and have round-trip ticket already (tnx to promo fares).
    we are both overseas worker (nurses frm saudi arabia) but doesnt have our own personal bank account..we usually send our money to family =p (…should start saving i think this time )
    what do u think is the best way to do? open new account and deposit our pocket money? then request bank certificate? or is our salary certificate along with our employment certificate enough to prove that we are able to travel in Korea? wat about ITR?we are exempted.;from where we can get that tax-exemption certificate?
    please please help us…we are scheduled to travel on sept22 and we stil dont have a visit visa..will be arriving philippines (from KSA) next week..do we still have time? or should we move it? thank you so much…

  87. Kei says:

    Hi Ms. Janis. Your post is very helpful. I have a question though. I just got married to a soldier in the US Army stationed in Korea, I was wondering if I should change the name on my passport to my new married name? How about on the application? Hope to hear from you. Thank you!

  88. yinyang01 says:

    Hello Janis.. Many thanks for a very informative blog.. Just wanna ask, we already booked a flight to Incheon on Jan 2-4 next yr for our honeymoon and our wedding will be on Dec 29 this yr. Im confused with regards to my passport, can i still use my maiden name because i used it on my ticket and if it is possible, what status im going to indicate on the application form for my korean visa? Pls help me:D… THANK YOU VERY MUCH

    • janiscooking says:

      Hey, thanks for dropping by 🙂 Actually, you won’t have any problem if everything is consistent, i.e., visa + tickets + passport all use the same maiden name. Just make sure that your passport observes the 6-month validity rule for traveling, i.e., your passport must be valid for at least 6 months at the time of departure. Since you need to apply for a Korean visa at least a month or two before your intended departure, you’re definitely still “single” by that time and that’s the status you have to reflect in your application form. Again, just make sure that your visa, airline tickets, and passport reflect the same maiden name 🙂

      • xhie says:

        hi pede po ba mgtanong ,pano kaya kung galing nako ng korea ng work po ako dun as singer tapos kauuwi klng po, bale iinvite ako ng bf ko na ngwowork dun complete documents ko,pera lang sa COE at income tax,wala po ako nun pano po kaya yun?

  89. yinyang01 says:

    Hello Janis.. Many thanks for a very informative blog.. 🙂 Just wanna ask, we already booked a flight to Incheon on Jan 2-4 next yr for our honeymoon and our wedding will be on Dec 29 this yr. Im confused with regards to my passport, can i still use my maiden name because i used it on my ticket and if it is possible, what status im going to indicate on the application form for my korean visa? Pls help me:D… THANK YOU VERY MUCH

    • janiscooking says:

      hi abbey! the single entry tourist (C3) visa is valid for 90 days or 3 months and the maximum length of stay you’re allowed to enjoy in south korea is 59 days. what it means is that your planned stay in seoul or wherever in south korea should be within the 90-day validity period of your tourist visa. for example, you want to go to seoul on november 15, 2012 and you plan to stay there for 6 days or until november 20, then the earliest date you can apply for a visa would be 90 days prior to november 20 or august 22, 2012. i would not suggest that you observe that strictly because that will not give you too much flexibility in your travel dates. the release of the approved visa is just within a week, so you don’t really need to give an allowance for waiting for your visa approval. two months before your intended departure is fine [if you’re a worrier like my mom] 🙂 one month before might be a little tight but is still fine because like in my case, we applied for a visa in the first week of march when our travel date was already set on the third week of march 😛

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