Embassy of South Korea in the Philippines to strengthen visa screening

In June 3, 2019, it was reported by several news outlets in the Philippines that the Korean Ambassador to the Philippines, Mr. Han Dong-Man, mentioned that South Korea will be relaxing the process for visa applications for Filipinos. 

The said development has raised the hopes of Filipinos that securing a tourist visa for South Korea will be simpler and easier. 

However, in June 10, 2019, the Embassy of South Korea in the Philippines posted an announcement under the Visa Announcement section, that screening process for visa issuance will be strengthened because it has been discovered that several visa applications contain fraudulent arrival stamps to Japan.

The announcement reads:

 Recently, the Embassy has detected several cases of fake Japan visa and/or fake arrival stamps to Japan, in an attempt of the visa applicants to deceive the Embassy as if they have travelled to Japan.

The Embassy will be requesting for investigation on the matter to the relevant Philippine authorities. Since similar cases are expected, visa screening will be strengthened as well.

Due to this occurrence, it is expected that instead of relaxing the visa application process, the Embassy of South Korea will probably employ a rigorous evaluation of an applicant’s requirements for a Korean Visa. 

Presently, the requirements for a Korean Tourist Visa are as follows:

For 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. Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316
10. Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable only)
■ Processing Time: 7 working days
■ Visa Fee: 59 days (or less) stay in Korea — GRATIS
                   60 to 90 days stay in Korea — PHP2,000.00


* If personally invited by Korean 
. Invitation Letter
. Photocopy of inviter’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 (excluding Japan) within 5 years are exempted from submitting ITR.

For Businessmen

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. Photocopy of Business Registration from SEC or DTI
7. Photocopy of Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit
8. Original Personal Bank Certificate 
   (must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB)
9. Bank Statement 
   (original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)
10. Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316
11. Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable only)
■ Processing Time: 7 working days
■ Visa Fee: 59 days (or less) stay in Korea — GRATIS
                   60 to 90 days stay in Korea — PHP2,000.00


* If personally invited by Korean 
. Invitation Letter
. Photocopy of inviter’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 (excluding Japan) within 5 years are exempted from submitting ITR.

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