#ISeoulU Part 1 – Getting a Visa

As this is my first “independent” travel, I can give you the nitty gritty detail of everything. Visiting Seoul, South Korea has always been on my bucketlist (yes, I am one of the growing number of kpop fans and k-drama addicts), but completing the requirements to get a visa is already a daunting task.

One summer night, we felt this strong desire to go to Seoul. It was a spur of the moment decision, one that we so badly wanted once we made up our mind. So my cousin and I jumped into the ocean of requirements. (Tip: Plan months ahead. Once you are decided, start planning your entire trip.) 

You have two options: one, you can get a visa first just to be on the safe side before booking your tickets; and two, you take the risk and buy your ticket prior to your visa approval (especially if its a promo, it will save you a lot of money). I am no expert but based on personal experience there’s no need to fret, just make sure to  complete the requirements down to the smallest detail stated and you will surely get approved.

Visa requirements for Filipino Employees:

1. Application Form
2. 1 piece 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 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)
7. Original Personal Bank Certificate
(must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB)
8. Bank Statement
(original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)
9. ITR(Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 Copy
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.

■ 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
(Note: Arrange your documents according to the numbers above before submitting to the Visa Officer.)

If you do not fall into the employee category, you can go to the Embassy of the Republic of Korea website to check on the requirements <- (link here).

We were at the embassy at around 8:10 in the morning, windows opened at exactly 8:30, I was 15th to be called, since I do not have visa from other OECD member countries, I was designated at Window 2 while my cousin who has OECD visa country was designated at Window 3. During my turn, I barely sat for five minutes. After checking all my requirements, the visa officer gave me the claim stub with the tentative release date on it and that was it, at exactly 8:50, we were both done.

The following week, we went back in the afternoon to claim our passport and yes, we both got our stamp! Windows would open at 1:30 sharp, I was 34th on the line and my cousin was 15th at Window 3, and at 1:50 we were both done!


                                                    #ISeoulU Part 2 



#ISeoulU Part 1 – Getting a Visa
#ISeoulU Part 2 – Booking and Planning the Whole Trip
#ISeoulU Part 3 – Flight and Room Check-in
#ISeoulU Part 4 – Downtown Seoul
#ISeoulU Part 5 – N Seoul Tower, Ewha, Hongdae, and Namdaemun
#ISeoulU Part 6 – Nami Island, Petite France and Dongdaemun
#ISeoulU Part 7 – Gangnam District, K-star Road, and SM Town Artium
#ISeoulU Part 8 – Everland Resort
#ISeoulU Part 9 – Common Ground and Ttukseom Park
#ISeoulU Part 10 – Jongmyo Shrine, Myeongdong Cathedral
#ISeoulU Part 11 – Myeongdong District and Gangnam District
#ISeouLU Part 12 – 7-day Trip to South Korea for Php 30,000




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