Filipino tourists in Korea have steadily increased in recent years. In only two years, applicants for Korean Visa have nearly doubled from 90,000 in 2015 to 160,000 in 2017. As a result, the Korean Embassy in Manila decided last year to reroute the application for Korean Visa to 35 designated travel agencies. But the basic requirements are still the same, except that now you’ll have to pay the agency who will process your papers.

1. Application form

You can download the application form for free at the Korean embassy website. But it’s also available for free on designated travel agencies.

2. One passport size colored picture

A photo ID with dimensions 3.5 x 4.5 cm and preferably a white background.

3. Original passport

Your passport should be valid for more than 6 months. If you still have your old passport, you may also submit it.

4. Photocopy of passport bio-page

This refers to the the second page in your passport, which includes your photo and personal details.

5. Original and photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years

This is only if it’s applicable to you. If it’s not, then it’s not required. OECD refers to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The member countries as of 2019 are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, The Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, The United Kingdom, and The United States of America.

If you’re a frequent traveler to an OECD-member country except for Japan, in the last five years, you can get exempted from submitting an ITR.

6. Original Certificate of Employment

According to the Korean Embassy’s website, the certificate of employment must include your position, when you were hired, compensation, office address, HR landline number and e-mail address. Take note that mobile number of your HR is not allowed.

7. Original Personal Bank Certificate

Your bank certificate must include account type, current balance, account opening date and your average daily balance.

8. Bank Statement

Submit an original or certified true copy of your bank statement or passbook for the last three months. Preferably, use your account with the most savings if you don’t want to obtain a copy for every single one of them.

9. Photocopy of Income Tax Return or Form 2316

You can get this through your HR or your accounting office. If you’re personally filing for taxes, then you should have saved this document among the important ones.

10. Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card

This is only if you have an ID issued by the Professional Regulation Commission or the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. If not, never mind.

11. Photocopy of Credit Card and Original Statement of Account

Similar to the PRC ID, this is only if it’s applicable or available to you. But if you have either one of these credit cards, it’s better to submit them because it will lighten the requirements you need to prepare. If you submit a photocopy of your credit card, you will be exempted to submit a bank certificate and an ITR, which is a very good option, especially for freelancers.

If you were personally invited by a Korean, you can also submit a copy of the invitation letter and a photocopy of the inviter’s passport or ID to expedite your process. If you were invited for business purposes, send a copy of the invitation letter along with a photocopy of the Korean Company’s business permit.

Submit the above documents to an accredited travel agency that processes Korean Visas near you. The processing time usually takes 7 days or shorter. During that time, learn some useful Korean phrases or plan your itinerary. Good luck!