I will be visiting Korea again next week to get a breather so we recently applied for a tourist visa at the Cebu Consulate. I’m sharing you the super simple steps in applying for a tourist visa.
The best part about applying for a South Korea Visa is that it’s FREE! You just need to gather all the documents needed and submit them to the South Korea Consulate after.
So here are the simple steps in applying for a South Korean Tourist Visa without an invitation:
Step 1. GATHER ALL THE REQUIREMENTS
1. Filled up Visa Application Form – Make sure to fill this up in ALL CAPS.
2. 1 Passport Size Picture – Paste this in the application form. You may ask for paste from the guard at the consulate.
3. Original Passport – Should be valid for 6 months.
4. Photocopy of Passport Bio page
5. Original & Photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years (if applicable) – They only got the photocopy but we brought our old passport with the stamps.
6. Original Personal Bank Certificate – must include account type, current balance, account opening date, Average Daily Balance
7. Bank Statement – original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months
8. Income Tax Return or Form 2316
9. Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (if applicable)
1. Original Certificate of Employment – Must include applicant’s position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR Landline Number (Cellphone is not allowed) and HR’s e-mail address.
1. Photocopy of Business Registration from SEC or DTI
2. Photocopy of Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit
For Housewives/Househusbands or Students
*They are not required to submit their own financial documents and proof of employment but they will need to submit their working spouse’s (for housewives) or their parent’s (for students) documents:
1. Working spouse’s/Parents’ proof of employment or business (Cert. of Employment for employee, DTI/SEC and Business Permit for businessmen)
2. Working spouse’s/Parents’ proof of Income (Income Tax Return)
3. Working spouse’s/Parents’ proof of Funds (Bank Statements and/or bank certificate)
4. Copy of NSO Marriage Certificate
5. Original School Certificate – for students only
6. Copy of School ID – for students only
Other Supporting Documents that you can submit:
1. Cover Letter – We didn’t submit this but this is quite helpful considering that there is no interview.
2. Hotel Booking – We didn’t submit this one as well but if you already booked, might as well attach it.
3. Plane Tickets – We attached our tickets since we have already booked ours.
4. Planned Itinerary – I hurriedly made one and attached it on our application. Doesn’t hurt to submit this one.
Step 2. Submit your requirements at the South Korean Consulate.
WHERE TO SUBMIT?
South Korean Consulate CEBU
12th Floor Chinabank Corporate Center
Samar Loop Cor. Road 5, Cebu Business Park, Mabolo, Cebu City
Email Address: email@example.com
Contact No.: (63-32) 231-1516(-9)
WHEN TO SUBMIT?
They accept applications from 9:00-11am, Monday to Friday, except holidays.
You don’t need to schedule an appointment ahead of time. Family applications may be filed by a representative for all family members but documents of proof of relationship must be brought.
HOW MUCH IS THE VISA FEE?
for visits of 59 days or less – free
for visits of 60 to 90 days – PHP 2,000
The validity of the issued visa is 3 months from the date it is issued so don’t apply more than 3 months prior to your date of travel.
Our personal experience in submitting our application:
1. We submitted our application on April 5, 2019, Friday. We got there at around 10:10 AM. We parked outside and parking was PHP 30.
2. We then went up to the 12th floor at around 10:15 AM. We were greeted by two guards. One of the guards checked our bags and the other one gave us our priority number and covered our phone’s camera with a white sticker, therefore making us unable to take photos. (Photos as not allowed inside the consulate.)
3. We got priority number 31 and they were serving number 27 when we arrived. Our number got called at around 10:35 AM.
4. The lady at the window checked our documents and gave us a claim slip at 10:37 AM. So all in all, we just spent less than 30 minutes. Super convenient!
Step 3. CLAIM YOUR VISA.
The processing time for tourist visa applications in Cebu City is 7 working days, unlike in Manila where it can be as short as 3 days.
Releasing of passports is at 2:00-4:00 pm, Mondays to Fridays, except holidays. We claimed our visa just today (April 16th) and got a 5-year Multiple Entry Visa! ❤
You might ask, how did we get a MULTIPLE ENTRY VISA?
You are eligible for a 3 or 5 year multiple entry visa if you are either:
1. A Frequent South Korea Traveller
- You have visited South Korea four (4) times in the past 2 years at the time of your application or
- You have visited South Korea for ten (10) times and at least one of the visits is within 2 years form the time of your application.
There are some restrictions to this though. A much detailed explanation can be found here.
2. Or A BPI/BDO Qualifying Cardholder
This promo is currently only until December 31, 2019 and my boyfriend got his 5-year multiple entry visa because he has a BDO Platinum MasterCard Credit Card.
Here are the eligible cards that may be used for this promo:
- BDO Gold Cardholders will get a multiple-entry visa valid for 3 years (Gold Visa Credit Card, Gold MasterCard Credit Card, Gold UnionPay Credit Card, Gold JCB Credit Card)
- BDO Elite Cardholders will get a multiply-entry visa valid for 3-5 years (Platinum Visa Credit Card, Titanium/Platinum and World Elite MasterCard Credit Card, Gold/Platinum/Cathay Pacific and American Express Charge Cards issued by BDO, Diamond UnionPay Credit Card, Diners Club Premiere)
- BPI Gold Master Cardholders will get a multiple-entry visa valid for 3 years
- BPI SkyMiles Platinum Master Card, BPI Amore Visa Platinum Card, and BPI Signature Card holders will get a multiple-entry visa valid for 3-5 years
- Gold BPI Express Teller Debit Cardholders will get a multiple-entry visa valid for 3-5 years.
Qualified Cardholders are exempted from submitting Proof of Income (Bank Statement and Bank Certificate) and Income Tax Return. Instead, we submitted a Photocopy of our qualifying credit card and our Latest original credit card statement. The consulate does not accept printed credit card statements that you just get from your e-mail. You will need to either submit the original statement that’s being mailed to your address or a certification from your bank.
And you’re all set! Book your flight (if you haven’t yet) and eat as many Korean Food as you can!
For more travel tips in Seoul, click here! I wrote about how we spent five days in Seoul including where we went, how to went around, where we stayed and more! ❤