Tuesday, November 18, 2014

South Korea, I'm Coming for You: Korean Tourist Visa Application

Let's see your list. You are a K-Pop fan? Check. You love Korean dramas? Check. You want to shop for Korean beauty cosmetics straight from where it's created? Check. Or you're just a traveller at heart? Check. Whatever your reason is, I'm sure your goal is to get to visit the beautiful land of South Korea. But if you're a Filipino citizen like me, the very first thing you have to do is get your visa.

Now I'm not sure if I told you this before but right now, I am in between jobs. I am a nurse by profession and I used to be an ICU nurse. I already got the experience I needed and I resigned from my position due to reasons I will not stipulate in this post (Say no to dramatic post). Anyway, I decided to explore my opportunities abroad but it won't be until next year as I have a lot of papers to process and frankly speaking, I'm not yet ready emotionally. So in summary, I am currently unemployed. I will be an english tutor soon but I don't think it will have any bearing at all right now. The problem of Korean visa application now comes in.

If you look through the Korean Embassy website, you will see all the requirements needed to get a visa. There are a lot of options to choose from but they sort everything in category: students, employees, etc. So the question for unemployed people like me is, what category does that make me? Frankly speaking, you have no category. Don't be sad, I wasn't in any category either.

For people who fall under the categories in the website, good for you. Just make sure you prepare all the requirements needed. All the documents should be complete or your papers won't be accepted.

For the purpose of showing you what the basic requirements are, here's the list for employed individuals:

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 Certificate of Employment (with contact number/s & address of company and date of issue)
7. Original Personal Bank Certificate (NOT Bank Statement)
8. Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316

•If personally invited by Korean : Invitation Letter & Copy of invitor’s passport
•If invited by Company in Korea: Invitation Letter & Copy of Korean Company Business Permit

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
Visa Fee: 59 days (or less) stay in Korea -- GRATIS (Free)
                  60 to 90 days stay in Korea -- PHP1,800.00

Now, for the unemployed, you need to bring extra:

9. Affidavit of Support
10. Proof of Relationship (copy of birth certificate)
11. Copy of Diploma (for those who aren't frequent travellers)
*Bank Certificate, Certificate of Employment, Copy of ITR will be coming from the one who will support the trip
**Frequent travellers are those who have been to OECD member countries for the past 5 years, Korea not included

No need to bother bringing unnecessary documents like plane tickets and hotel booking. Mine was just given back to me. As for me, I was a frequent traveller so I didn't have to pass my diploma.

1. Decide on how you will go to the Korean embassy. I come from the South. What I did was I rode a bus to Ayala, got off in SM Makati, rode a BGC bus near Shell (East Route), dropped off on the first stop and rode a taxi. I've read in a couple of blogs that Korean embassy really isn't a place where you can easily commute to so one would probably have to ride a taxi. I tried riding a cab from Ayala to McKinley Hill but the driver charged me extra. So the cheaper way is to ride a BGC bus first and riding a cab from there.
2. Register and leave an identification card.
3. Once inside the visa application area, hand your complete documents to the employees near the door, register and wait for your number. First time travellers will have to go through windows 1 or 2. Frequent travellers will be served by window 3.
4. Once your number is called, hand your documents and if it's complete, they will give you a claim slip. You're done.

1. Register.
2. Wait for your number.
3. Get your passport and check if you have a visa or not. Yay!

There you go! I hope this helps! In case you're wondering, yes. I did get my visa approved. I now have a single entry visa and I'm so ready to explore South Korea on December 2-7. Do you want vlogs? Let me know!

Also, tourist spot recommendations are highly appreciated. Thank you!
With Love,
Anna Luisa

No comments: