How to Get a South Korean Tourist Visa

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by | November 09, 2019

With the growing number of Filipinos wanting to visit South Korea, the Korean Embassy had implemented a few changes to the visa application process.

Here’s a brief guide on the new process on how to apply for a South Korean tourist visa.

Fill up the South Korea Visa Application form.

Accomplish your South Korea Visa Application which you can download here. Remember to write in CAPITAL LETTERS and put N/A on items that do not apply to you.

Prepare the required documents.
  1. Original Philippine PassportIt must be valid for more than 6 months from your target travel date.
  2. Passport PhotoApplicants must attach an ID Photo on the designated area on the visa application form. The said photo must be passport-sized [35x45mm], colored, and with a white background.
  3. Photocopy of Passport Bio Page

    The bio page is the information page of the passport located on the second page.
  4. Original and Photocopy of OECD VisasIf you have visited any OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries in the past 5 years, you must include the original copy and a photocopy of these visas.Do note that past Korean visas will not be accepted. The same goes for Japan Visas due to some cases of applicants submitting fake ones.
  5. Proof of Income / Financial StabilityFor employed individuals:
    – Original bank certificate
    – Original bank statements or passbook from the last 3 months
    – Original Certificate of Employment
    – Photocopy of ITR (Form 2316)For self-employed individuals:
    – Original bank certificate
    – (For business owners) Photocopies of Business Registration issued by the DTI/SEC, company ITR, and Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit
    – (For freelancers) Photocopy of ITR Form 2316 and payment receipts from a BIR-authorized bank, and proof of work done
    – Cover letter for students:
    – Original school certificate
    – Photocopy of School ID
    – Photocopy of NSO Birth Certificate
    – Parents’ Original Bank Certificate
    – Parents’ Bank Statement
    – Copy of parents’ marriage certificate
    – Parents’ Original Certificate of Employment and Copy of Income Tax Return [if parents are employed] – Copy of parents’ Business Registration from SEC or DTI, Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit, and Copy of Income Tax Return [if parents are self-employed]

Simplified visa requirements for specific individuals

As of February 1, 2024, there are new simplified requirements for eligible individuals. The following are exempted from submitting financial documents during their visa application:

Elected Politicians
  • Including Members of the Senate, Members of the Congress, Governors, Provincial Board Members, and Mayors (City or Municipality)
  • Extended to Immediate Family Members

Requirement: Certificate of Employment

Exemption: Submission of ITR, Bank certificates, and Bank statements


Government Officials
  • Including persons with a rank higher or equal to Assistant Secretary of the Executive Branch of the Philippine Government, and Brigadier General of the Armed Forces of the Philippines/Philippine National Police
  • Extended to immediate family members

Requirement: Certificate of Employment

Exemption: Submission of ITR, Bank certificates, and Bank statements


Professional License Holders
  • Those holding a valid PRC license ID (IBP ID for lawyer) with a profession of physician, dentist, lawyer (including judge, prosecutor), certified public accountant, pharmacist, and veterinarian
  • Extended to immediate family members

Requirement: Certificate of Employment and copy of PRC license ID or IBP ID

Exemption: Submission of ITR, Bank certificates, and Bank statements


BDO Credit Card Holders
  • BDO Gold or BDO Elite Credit Card Holders: Gold Mastercard, Gold Visa, Gold Unionpay, World Elite Mastercard, Titanium Mastercard, Platinum Mastercard, Visa Platinum, JCB Platinum, American Express Platinum, Diners Club Premiere
  • Extended to immediate family members

Requirement: Certificate of employment (original), copy of credit card(front only with complete information), and latest three months credit card account Monthly Billing Statements(copy)

Exemption: Submission of ITR, Bank Certificates, and Bank statements


Contact an accredited travel agency to process your application.

One major change in the process is that direct applications and walk-ins will no longer be entertained.

The Embassy of South Korea now requires applicants to submit their documents and applications through one of these accredited agencies. Many of these travel agencies have branches all around the country.

Wait for application results.

The estimated processing time of a Korean tourist visa is 25-36 working days.

Though in case the process encounters a few problems along the way, it is suggested for applicants to apply as early as three months prior to their planned trips.

While waiting for the results of your application, check out which places you should visit and what kinds of pasalubongs you should get for your family and friends!


Any questions or inquiries not covered in this article? You can visit the official site of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea.


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