A few months ago, I was able to score very cheap tickets to South Korea. After so many texts invites to friends and relatives, it was only Kat and my brother replied a whopping yes so I booked us tickets to Incheon.
Fast forward to September. Because South Korea is not an ASEAN nation, any Filipino with a Philippine Passport is required of a visa to enter so Kat and I went to the South Korean Embassy in Taguig, 2nd week of September, to apply for our visas.
There are different requirements depending on the purpose of your entry. Because we will enter SoKor as tourists, I would detail the how tos for a tourist visa.
The required documents are the following:
2) Photocopy of the first page of the passport
3) Application form. You may download from the Korean Embassy Website
4) One Passport size photo
5) Bank Certificate
6) Certificate of Employment (for those employed)
7) Income Tax Return
Kat who has an expired visa to the US attached the photocopy of the visa which also expidited her application. My brother on the other hand who handles the family business is required of the Business registration either from Securities and Exchange Commission SEC or Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Filing of application for visa is during Mondays- Fridays from 9-11AM except on holidays. Application is first come first serve and they don't do appointments. A stub with your number will be given to you. Be keen with the number being served as you might miss your turn or you might get a reprimand from the staff. Food and drinks, Celphones and Photos are not allowed inside.
Kat and I applied to separate windows. Because she has a US visa she was served at Window 3 while those with no visas to the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand applies at Window 1 and 2. When it was my turn to give the documents, the consul looked for my brother's ITR, which was missing. So everything was returned including my application. So it is very important to have complete documents especially those that could support your economic ties with your country and how you will finance your trip.
I returned to the embassy a week after, with my complete requirements. I arrived early at 7:45AM and there was a long queue outside the embassy even at that early hour. We were eventually led in at around 8AM. And window 1 started serving at 8:30AM. After scrutinizing my documents, I was given a claiming stub. It says Passports will be released after 7 working days. Filipinos are not charged for visa application in the Philippines which is a good thing.
Yesterday I came back from the South Korean Embassy with my passport, in it is my Korean visa. My brother got denied. He has to wait for another 6 months to reapply. They don't however divulge the reason why visas got denied. The validity of the visa is good for a year. So I'm thinking, should we apply for a visa first and then go for the tickets or what we did was just right just in case we can't find a cheap air fare? I really don't know. As for my brother, there is always a next time. Kat and I are now planning our trip, excited of Palaces and Kimchi.
How to commute to the South Korean Embassy:
1) Take MRT and get off at the Guadalupe Station.
2) Take a jeep with AFP Housing signboards. They pass by McKinley Hills.
3) Get off at Mckinley Hills. This is right beside the Philippine Army Camp in Fort Bonifacio.
4) There are free shuttle buses around McKinley Hills. Ride one and get off to South Korean Embassy.