Filipino travelers need to get a visa first before they can enter the Land of the Morning Calm. I will share to you what I did to get my Visa, the requirements and of course my experience.
What I handed out in the Embassy:
APPLICATION FORM – Some of the questions in the form:
#12. National Identity Number – NOT APPLICABLE
#14. Passport Classification: ORDINARY (OR)
#26. Purpose of Entry: TOURISM
#32. Who Will Pay For The Expense For Your Stay: PERSONAL FUNDS
I put “1 week” for my potential length of stay, “UNDECIDED” for address and phone in Korea and N/A for some spaces which did not apply to me. I attached a 1 pc passport size colored picture.
My travel history – Singapore, Malaysia, Hongkong, Macau, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.
ORIGINAL BANK CERTIFICATE – I used my BPI payroll account which is also a savings account. It’s easy to request the certification with a fee of 100php to be debited on your account. The current balance was only stated on the certification. My current balance was 45,xxx.xx only.
ITR (Income Tax Return) or FORM 2316 – Issued last January 2013 of my present company.
CERTIFICATE OF EMPLOYMENT – I’ve been working for more than five (5) years with my current company. My COE contains my annual compensation, my job position and date hired. My COE also has the company dry seal.
PASSPORT – Aside from passport, you also need to submit a photocopy of the first page.
NOTE: Do not submit unnecessary documents like hotel reservation or round trip e-ticket, they don’t need it!
The day of Visa application:
I lodged my application on December 05, 2013. Their office is near to my workplace so I just took a jeepney going to the embassy (located in McKinley Hills). Since the Korean Embassy is open from 9am to 11am, I chose to go 30 mins before the cut off time. This is a very wise idea. Wala ng applicants masyado by that time, nakauwi na sila. Hehehe. Get a number/visitor’s pass at the guard’s gate. You need to submit your ID after listing your name. I got my number and waited for my turn. When it’s finally my turn, I sat in window #2 and handed my documents. After the lady checked them, I was handed out a piece of paper reflecting the claim date, and that’s it. I’m done in less than 15 mins.
After a week of waiting, I returned to the embassy. I went to the embassy 30 minutes before cut off time. Releasing is only from 2pm-4pm. Again, wala ng aplikante at this time kasi nakauwi na sila. No waiting time for me. ^__^
Visa is valid for 90 days / 3 months since date of issue. Maximum length of stay is 59 days.
REMEMBER: Check the details in your visa before you leave. Check if your name is spelled correctly, and if the visa’s validity is within your travel period.