I thought getting a Korean Visa would be easy. Boy! Was I wrong!
I think the Korean Embassy implemented stricter measures because of the influx of TNTs in their country.
In our case, aside from my family, there were some colleagues of mine that would also be travelling to South Korea, so there were batches for the application of the Visas. Since I want to get it over and done with, I submitted all documents I thought were complete with the 1st batch! Lo and behold, ours got returned because I didn’t attach my kids’ Birth Certificates. I didn’t think that they would be needing it. The travel agency didn’t include that in the list. Maybe they thought they just need to list the requirements for employed individuals as it was an outing for our office.
For the 2nd batch till the last batch, it was the same, the Embassy wouldn’t accept our application because my daughter needed to secure a School Certificate that she’s still enrolled with her school! As if my daughter would be left in Korea without us! They are that strict! Everyone already got their visas granted, it’s only my family’s that is left with the agency. Until hubby got the School Certificate and submitted it, our visas were finally granted.
So here’s what you should submit to get a Korean Visa hassle free!
1) An Application Form properly filled out. Page 2 is a guideline so you better read it before filling up the form. But for Nos 30-31, the guideline said put “undecided” if you’re not sure yet where you would be staying, it’s okay if you really don’t know yet. But if you already booked a hotel or a hostel or a guest house, put everything in your application form. That way, they know you’re really bent on going to their country! To be sure also, I attached a copy of the email confirming our booking.
2) 1 pc of Passport Size (Size 3.5cm x 4.5cm) Photo taken and printed by a real studio. They don’t accept DIY passport size photo. So, spend that Php60.00 for a 6Pc Passport Size photo set and wait for an hour.
3) Photocopy of your Passport’s Info Page. And if you have previously traveled to countries like Japan, USA or Canada, photocopy your Visas from the said countries as well. Doesn’t matter if expired or not. This is the first page in your passport.
4) Bank Certificate – this is really a MUST. They have to see that you have money to spend on their country and that you are really just going for a tour or a vacation. And tell your bank that the following details need to be present on the Bank Certificate:
a) Date Account was Opened (should at least be 6 months already)
b) Amount should be correct and supported with a Passbook for Savings Account and a Certificate for Placements and other Time Accounts
c) Name in the Certification should be the same with name on your Passport.
For applicants who are employees, the following are additional requirements for you:
1) Certificate of Employment with Income – this is requested through your company’s HR dept. Mine took a week or so before it was sent to me so better request it early.
2) Income Tax Return (ITR) – this is where they can see your annual gross income. One of the very important things they need is for you to prove your financial capacity to travel.
For families who have Young Kids or Students, you need to present your child’s:
1) Birth Certificate
2) Photocopy of School ID if kid is studying already
3) Original School Certificate – to certify that the child is enrolled in the school
For applicants who doesn’t have ITR or the above mentioned financial documents, you can present:
1) A photocopy of the Certificate of Registration of your car. Or a Land Title. As long as it’s under your name!
2) If you don’t have number 1, ask the person supporting you on this trip to request for a Bank Certificate with the purpose of applying a bank cert to support your visa application.
3) Senior Citizens need to present their IDs and document number 1 or 2. But I heard that Senior Citizens are usually granted visas, so it’s easy for them. It’s not as though they could stay their in Korea as unregistered aliens and work right?
Here’s our Visa, with that out of the picture, I could continue planning now and finalize our itinerary!
By the way, I paid Php 300.00 to the travel agency for each visa they processed. That’s already a bargain for me since I am working and I don’t have time to go back and forth the Korean Embassy which is located in McKinley in Taguig City.
For those who doesn’t want to pay and ask a travel agency to process your visa, just go to the Embassy of the Republic of Korea with address McKinley Town Center, 122 Upper McKinley Road, Taguig City. You have to go there as early as possible as they only accept applications in the morning. They release documents in the afternoon hence half day acceptance of applications. Be sure that your documents are complete so you don’t have to go back for resubmission. It usually takes 7 working days for a visa to be processed. Good Luck!
So there, I hope I was able to make clear what documents are needed to get a Korean Visa hassle-free!