Seoul,  Seoulful Encounters 2017,  South Korea,  Travel

The Ultimate Guide To Getting A Korean Visa For Filipinos [Updated: September 2018]

This is the Ultimate Guide to Getting A Korean Visa For Filipinos.

Yes, applications should now be coursed through Embassy-designated travel agencies. But, the requirements are essentially the same. So, this guide, as updated, is still very much important and relevant. My only wish is that you would take time to read everything before you ask questions.

This post is the most visited and the most active post in my blog ever since I first wrote about it in 2012. Six years later, and after many updates, it’s still here and very much relevant.

If you want to jump directly to my posts about South Korea, you can visit it HERE.

Official Sources of Information

The only official source of information for all your visa inquiries is the website of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines. And here is the link to their official website:

If you have visa queries, you can send an email to the embassy. This is their email address:

Now, you probably have read this blog before, or you may have seen other blogs or websites. But then again, the best and official resource for your visa questions is the website above.

But to help you find your way, I summarized the important website pages that you need to take a look at:

  • Visa Announcements – This is where you can find announcements related to processes like selection of designated travel agencies, revision of schedules, as well as BPI and BDO cardholder benefits, etc.
  • Visa requirements – This is where you will find the complete list of requirements for each type of visa application.
  • Visa Application Form – This is the direct link to the visa application form. It is a PDF file that you need to print and fill out personally. You don’t need to type out the entries; handwritten form is fine. Just be sure to use block letters or what you call plain capital letters when filling it out.
  • Download – This is where you will find downloadable forms like the visa application form, guarantee letter formats, etc.

What's New? What Has Been Changed?

Visa Applications Should Now Be Done Through Designated Travel Agencies

This means that walk-in applicants will no longer be entertained. But take note that this is only for tourist visa applications.

The embassy will allow walk-in applicants only for spouses and children of Koreans, holders of visa issuance number, government employees with official business trip, and for those with humanitarian reason to travel to Korea urgently.

Who Are The Designated Travel Agencies?

You can download the list HERE.

What Are The Reminders For Family Applications?

  • For family applications, documents for proof of relationship is a must. (eg. Marriage Contact, Birth Certificate)
  • Family applications should be filed together at the same time. One member of the family may file the visa applications of all family members.

When Should You Apply For A Visa?

The validity of a single-entry tourist visa is only 3 months from the issue date. Do not apply more than 3 months prior to the date of travel.

Does The Embassy Accept Group Visa Applications?

Yes. The Embassy as of July 24, 2018 has accepted Group Visa Applications.

But hold your horses because this is only applicable for groups of at least 5 members as a company incentive tour group, or an educational tour group of below secondary level and collegiate level, who plan to enter and exit with same vessel, flight, or other same scheduled means of transportation.

Thus, barkada applications are not covered here.

Group Visa applications must be done through designated travel agencies. And as of this update, there are only 10 of them. See the list of agencies HERE

Company Alpha List Is No Longer Required

I know a lot of you have had issues with this requirement. Thankfully, this was removed effective July 1.

BPI and BDO Credit Card Promo

Many of you would like to avail of the BPI or BDO credit card promo. I hope the information I would share in this section will answer your questions. 

  • The latest original credit card account statement and photocopy of the credit card should be submitted during visa application. 
  • The original credit card statement is the one in the official letterhead of the bank. If you are receiving statements by email, you need to request your bank to print your latest statement in the official letterhead. A simple printed copy of the emailed statement will not be accepted.
  • The credit card must be in the name of the applicant. If it’s not under your name, don’t insist on availing of the credit card promo.
  • The original credit card must be presented to the visa officer.
  • The only documents dispensed with by the submission of your BPI or BDO credit card are the Bank Certificate and Income Tax Return. This meanss that if you have a BPI or BDO credit card, you don’t need to submit those two. But you still need to submit all the other requirements like Certificate of Employment, etc.
  • The BPI and BDO credit card promo is extended until Dec. 31, 2019.

What Are The Qualified BDO Credit Cards?

  • BDO Gold Credit Cards: Gold Visa Credit Card, Gold MasterCard Credit Card, Gold UnionPay Credit Card, Gold JCB Credit Card
  • BDO Elite Credit Cards: 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

What Are The Qualified BPI  Credit Cards?

  • BPI Gold Master Card
  • BPI SkyMiles Platinum Master Card, BPI Amore Visa Platinum Card, BPI Signature Card
  • Gold BPI Express Teller Debit Card

Visa Requirements for Employees

I am not going to list the requirements here because this is a massive wall of text already. Besides, I want you to take the time to really read up on the requirements as stated by the Embassy so that nothing gets lost in translation.

Here is the link to the requirements:

Take note that to be qualified for the OECD application, the passport should have the arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years. Also, do note that an original COE is required, not photocopy. And the COE must include the position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR email address, and the landline number.

Visa Requirements for Professionals or Businessmen

Here is the link to the requirements:

If you are managing/operating a registered business or a professional firm or a law firm, then you will need to submit copies of registration documents like DTI registration, SEC registration, and Business/Mayor’s Permit. These documents are in addition to your PRC or IBP card. However, if you are into solo practice, i.e., you don’t have a firm, you only need to present your PRC or IBP card. Take note that the Embassy only requires photocopies of registration documents, not originals. And again, to be qualified for the OECD application, the passport should have the arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years.

Visa Requirements for Retired Senior Citizens

Here is the link to the requirements:

These requirements apply only to retirees who are senior citizens and who do not have any source of income. If a retiree acts as a business owner, he/she must still submit the documents required for businessmen as shown above. Similarly, if the senior citizen is a professional earning income, he/she must submit the requirements for professionals. 

What is important here is the submission of a copy of the senior citizen’s ID as well as proof of ownership of bank accounts. If the bank account is a joint one which is under the name of spouses, then the retiree-applicant must show proof of relationship by submitting a Marriage Certificate. If the retiree has no bank account but, for example, a child will support his travel, the retiree-applicant must submit his/her child’s bank account documents plus proof of relationship such as the child’s Birth Certificate. You do not need to submit the original Marriage Certificate or Birth Certificate. Photocopies are allowed.

Visa Requirements for Toddlers, Pre-schoolers, Minors, Students

Here are the requirements for students:

If your child is a toddler or a preschooler enrolled in a playschool or daycare, then you don’t need to submit a copy of the school ID. But if your child is of school age and is going to school, then you will need to submit his/her school ID.

So for minors, you basically need to submit the same supporting documents required of the parents. If the parents are employed, then you submit the requirements for employees. If self-employed, then you submit the requirements for businessmen or professionals. What is important is that you submit  a copy of the parents’ Marriage Certificate plus a copy of the child’s Birth Certificate. Those are needed to establish relationship.

Visa Requirements for Housewives, Househusbands, Unemployed Individuals

Here is the link to the requirements:

For housewives, househusbands or unemployed individuals, what is important is for the applicant to submit supporting documents pertaining to the person who will sponsor his/her visa and trip, as well as proof of relationship. For housewives or househusbands, they need to show documents pertaining to the employed spouse or the spouse doing business. In addition, they need to submit a copy of the Marriage Certificate.

To give another example, suppose that you are unemployed and your brother or sister will support your trip. In that case,  then you need to submit documents pertaining to your brother or sister’s employment or business. In addition, you need to submit a copy of your parents’ Marriage Certificate, and copies of your Birth Certificates (applicant’s Birth Certificate and brother/sister’s Birth Certificate).

Again, the crucial element here is establishing the relationship between the unemployed applicant, and the person sponsoring his visa/trip.

Visa Requirements For Household Staff, Yaya, Nannies

There’s no specific section for this in the Embassy’s website. But I have brought my son’s nanny with me to Korea, Taiwan (when a visa was still required), etc.  I also got a visa for a member of our household staff and I attended Food Week Korea with him last fall.

If you need proof, please feel free to read my old blog posts or check my Instagram account.

Again, there’s no specific set of requirements for them. I just followed what I knew based on my experience as a lawyer handling immigration cases.

We submitted our own documents because we sponsored their visas. In addition, we also submitted an Affidavit of Support and Undertaking. What is important is that you have to establish a compelling reason why you need to bring them along with you.

Visa Requirements for Freelancers, Virtual Assistants

I am adding it here because I have clients who fall under this category.

If you have all the requirements of an employed individual except for the certificate of employment, check if your client is willing to issue one. Draft it to include all the important information needed by the Embassy, and explain the nature of your engagement. That will take the place of the COE.

If your client does not issue one, then you can work around it by submitting screenshots of your active contracts from the freelancing platform you’re working on, and a printed certificate of earnings or any proof of earnings. Supplement that with a letter, although I prepare affidavits for my clients, to explain your freelancer status and the reason why you have incomplete requirements.

And that’s it! I hope you are able to figure out the requirements for you. If you want to read my old Korean Visa for Filipinos post, you can read it in my old blog:


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  • angie

    Hi, im just wondering if my sister can sponsor me for our trip? Can she apply for my visa? im living in Canada anf i dont have any bank account in the Philippines.

  • mae ong

    hi jan,
    this is a very helpful and informative post.. and updated too!
    would you mind sharing the format for the affidavit of support that you executed for your yaya? it tried calling the embassy but nobody was answering at the visa section. thanks in advance.

  • Alex

    Hi Ms. Jan! I have an old Korean visa (2015) on my old passport. I should photocopy that and the stamps and submit my old passport along with the requirements, am I correct? I’m planning to go to Korea next month 🙂 Thank you!

      • Alex

        Thanks for the quick reply! 🙂 I saw a post that I should staple my old and new passport but I’m not sure about this because it doesn’t seem right hehe. So should I just submit the requirements in order? (old passport after the bio page photocopy and before the COE) Sorry for having so many questions I just want to get it right 🙂

        • Jan

          Staple the back cover of your NEW passport with the front cover of your OLD passport. The DFA does that usually if the passport is renewed when there are still valid multiple entry visas.

      • Alex

        I see. My old Korean visa is just for single entry that’s why DFA did not staple it. I guess I should submit it as is. Thanks very much for answering my questions! Hope you have a nice day 🙂

  • Kaye

    Hi Jan, is it true na hindi considered yung previously issued Korean visa sa past OECD visa requirement? Been seeing a lot of posts about it.

    • Jan

      Hi Kaye. It is considered if the visa was issued and used in the last five years, i.e. you actually traveled tl Korea in the last 5 years.

  • kit

    Hi, I was granted a Korean visa last December 2016 . My requirements were complete although I was just working as a home-based esl teacher.I had an invitation from a Korean friend that time. Now I am planning to apply a Korean visa for the second time with complete requirements but with no letter of invitation.Is it safe to say I will get approved?

      • kit

        Hi Jan I wasn’t able to reply right away, I don’t know why the email notification from your blogs is on the spam area.Anyway I went there last September 2017. I stayed for a month. Then as soon as I came back to Ph I applied for a Chinese tourist visa. I got accepted and went to China last November 2017. Now I applied for the Korean tourist visa again ( for the third time) I got the result today. I was denied and the reason is I failed to qualify for the visa category. I was only applying for a gratis visa. It is really shattering to get this result. I did not expect it since I got two previous visa before and I’d been traveling to Asian countries. The only reason I can see is that I don’t have enough money – I only have 30 thousand pesos on my bank certificate. That is what I can see as of the moment.

        • Jan

          I’m sorry to hear that, Kit. It also weirds me out knowing that you have had your previous visa applications approved. They usually indicate the reason for denial like there’s no strong financial ties in the Phiippines. What did they state in yours?

      • kit

        I am still devastated until now. I got the news yesterday and i immediately look for some blogs about those people who got denied and whether they have to appeal.Sadly we can’t The reason was my I failed to qualify to the visa category that I was applying. I was only applying for a gratis but they categorized mine as frequent traveler so my friend submitted my application on window 3, came back after 3 days. I wasn’t even nervous about it because I was so confident I will not be denied. I think it was because of my money? I only got 30k on my bank account or maybe I travel too soon? I went there last September stayed for 34 days and now this December. But you know they don’t really give you the details or the real reason why someone got denied.

    • Antonella

      Hi Kit. I am working as an ESL teacher too however I have a problem regarding ITR. What the company provided is form 2307 and not 2316. What form did you submit?

    • MinHyo

      Hi Kit. Can you tell me the requirement you’ve sent last Dec 2016 and your latest application? Did you apply as an employee? I’ll appreciate your reply. Thanks!

      • kit

        Hi minyo the requirements that is listed in the websites are the same requirements I submitted I got approved twice but sadly on my third application I was denied

  • Mary

    Hi, I’d like to ask for your suggestion. I’m going to apply with my 1 year old son and my mother.

    Here’s our profile:
    Me: Housewife, has personal bank account, visited Japan and Korea once (single entry visa, within the last 5 years), has a sister who is a permanent resident in Korea.
    My husband who will not come along with us. He is a businessman with necessary permits such as DTI, etc.

    Mom: Businesswoman, been to Korea twice (single entry visa, within the last 5 years), BDO gold card holder, daughter is a permanent resident in Korea.

    Son: No travel history yet

    My question is what should I write regarding the funding of travel-related expenses. Can I write “myself” even if I’m a housewife? And even if I will submit my husband’s business permits? I’d rather use my bank account cause it has more transactions and movement.

    I also have a PENDING supplementary card application for BDO gold credit card from my mom.
    Should it be approved, can I also present it and also write that “I” will fund my travel expenses and my son’s? *Again, while me being a housewife.*

    Or do you have any suggestions as to how to proceed?
    I’d appreciate your response. Thanks!

    • Jan

      Hi Mary. It will be tricky if you go forward with the application as a housewife. Is the bank account a joint one where you are named as one of the depositors? If so, you can apply as a housewife but you need to present a marriage certificate. If it is solely under your name, you will need to prove your sources which means you will still need to submit your husband’s business and bank documents plus marriage certificate. The supplementary card won’t help because they also require a billing statement that is addressed to the applicant himself/herself. In your case, only your mom can use the card for visa application purposes. Good luck!


    Hello Ms Jan. We are planning to apply for a Korean Tourist Visa on August 9, 2017. My problem is my daughter who is a Registered Nurse has just resigned from her work on July 31, 2017, because she will be working to another hospital, but her work will start on September 4, 2017.. Her previous employer gave her COE which stated that her work is until July 31, 2017 only. She has worked from previous employer since 2011. She has 2016 ITR. She has her own Bank Certificate. Plan to travel on September 13, 2017. What documents do we need to attach in place of COE, coz her new employer would not give her since technically her employment will start on September4, 2017. She is now preparing the requirements of her new employer. By the way, me and my husband are both employed, and we have all the needed requirements for the visa application. Please advise. Thanks.

  • Jem

    Hi ms Jan, this is my situation, im an ofw dito sa uae kaso i already resigned my job dhil nghhnty po ako ng approval for my H1b visa sa pinas, i already book my tickets and all kc hoping na mkkapply p po ako dito sa uae. So pgdting ko pinas i will fix my docs,i have savings on the joint account with my mother in bpi. Ask po kelangan ko pa ponlya mg affidavit of support sa mama ko khit joint account nkmi? And wat other docs should i include po? Im thknking to put letter of intent ms jan.pls advise.thank you po. Dates book po kc will be sept 17-23

    • Jan

      You may submit an affidavit of support for your mother if she has no source of income. Then to prove relationship as regards the joint account, you need to submit your parents’ marriage certificate as well as your birth certificate.

  • Insuk

    Hi, I have a previous job and I resigned June 2017 and I am currently taking a short course. I want to apply for a tourist visa. I am student but I can’t provide my parents’ bank certificate. How was that? Can I just provide my own bank certificate instead ? Since Ive worked before. Thankyou.

    • Jan

      That’s fine. Just present a certificate of employment from your old employer. They usually issue one when they give the last pay. You should have also received from them BIR form 2316 for the portion of the year that you have served. Then get a certificate from your school stating that you are currently enrolled. Present those along with your own bank statement and certificate.

      • Insuk

        Is attending in a training center can be considered as student? Because it is just a short course and they say they cant provide me a school id. And school id is one of the requirements. Thank you

  • jess

    Hi Ms. Jan!
    Here’s my situation:
    – Currently, I’m an OFW here in UAE, already on notice period and last working day will be on Aug. 25.I will be back to Philippines to wait for my H1B Visa processing for my USA work. Last May 2017, me and friend decided to booked tickets already for Sept.SK (Sept. 17-23, 2017) trip. My friend is a pharmacist and currently employed in a government hospital, so she doesn’t have problem with the requirements needed. Supposed to be I will be applying here in UAE, but the thing is my visa will not be valid for 6 months so I did not anymore push thru with my application here, I decided to apply in Philippines. So here are my questions and clarifications:
    1. So technically, I will be unemployed once I come back to Philippines, but I have my own savings . I also have a joint account with my mother in BPI. I’m thinking that I will get an affidavit of support from my mother. So do you think, should I get an affidavit of support even though we have a joint account? If so, should I include my birth certificate, my mothers marriage certificate, my mother’s business permit, etc
    2. Will my COE here in UAE could also be presented?
    3. I am also thinking to provide a letter of intent, so that I could explain my situation.
    4. I already have US visa and visited USA last June 2016, so it means I will not provide anymore for the ITR because USA is inluded in the OECD member countries? I also traveled Hongkong, Singapore, Oman,and Bangkok( 5 times).
    5. I also intend to give a copy of my agreement contract from Medpro International the agency that will sponsor me for my H1b visa, and luckily they have an office there in Manila.Is it okay?
    Do you think Ms. Jan, I have a chance of getting an approved visa?
    Thank you so much. Hope you can help me with my queries.

  • rita

    Hi, my friend and I are planning to go to SK but apparently we’re both fresh grads and currently unemployed. can u give us some tips po? i read your post about unemployed but the thing is wala po kami bank acc well I have pero super konti ng laman as in :)) thank you po 🙂

  • Sae

    Hi! So my family and I (we are 4 btw) are planning to join a school tour in SK this October. Thing is my mom is a teacher and only has about 10-15k income per month but we all have bank accounts that have… well, let’s just say big amounts that we got as settlement from our father’s death last year. This is the money that we will be using for our trip. Will this cause any trouble for us? I’m afraid that we might get rejected because of the situation since technically, mom didn’t get the money from her income…

    Also, I’m already planning to go with my friends on a 2nd trip to SK next year but I will be unemployed by then as I will only graduate next year. Of course, I’ll be funding my own trip. Got any clue of how I can get a visa as an unemployed individual?

    Hoping for your reply soon, thank you! ❤

  • jojeesusfreak

    Hi! What if hubby has a BDO Gold Credit Card and I am his supplementary card holder. We’re both employed and have a joint bank account. If he is exempted from submitting the financial statements like Bank Cert, Statements, ITR, does that mean I am as well? Or do I need to submit my own documents because supplementary card holder lang po ako? 🙂 Thanks for your attention!

    • Jan

      Hi. That’s right. Only your husband can make use of the credit card statement. As for you, you need to submit the usual requirements for bank/financial documents.

  • Lou

    Good day!

    I have a bank account since 2016 that is exclusively for my payroll. Recently (almost two months ago), I opened another account where I placed my personal savings. This is also where I save money, enough for my planned travel to Korea. The embassy requires the original or certified true copy of a bank statements or passbook for the last 3 months and I’m planning to use the account I recently opened. But I would like to know if the bank statement of my recent (2-month-old) bank account is OK for my visa application.


  • Kristin Escandelor

    i’m an ofw, and i plan to go to sokor on nov, wla nmn akong previous job s pinas kya d ako mkkpg present ng itr, ano po ang alternative s step n to? thank u and more power 🙂

  • Aiks

    Hi Jan, do they require the travel dates? Is it possible to apply for the visa and tell them that our target travel date is late October (we’re actually planning to go there on December)? Partner’s passport is expiring on May 2018 and the requirement is that passport must be valid for more than 6 months prior to the travel date.

    • Jan

      Yes, they need dates. Just input a safe date (during the 6month period prior to passport expiry) for application purposes. You don’t need to actually fly on those dates but at lease provide dates in your application.

  • Princess

    Hi my sister is minor and my parents we’re both in Italy. They don’t have bank accounts here. Is it possible if my older sister can sponsor her? thanks!

    • Jan

      Hi Princess. Yes, the older sister can sponsor. Just present all the documents pertaining to the older sister PLUS their parents’ marriage certificate, the older sister’s birth certificate as well as the applicant’s (minor’s) birth certificate.

  • rane

    Hi Jan,
    Just a quick question… mentioned that some have said that almost all with OECD used visas are granted Korean visa….my Japan visa expired just last June of this year and we already applied last Friday, Sept 9 of this year…will it still count even if its expired for only a few months? All other documents were completely submitted including credit card statements from BDO. Thanks =)

  • Nailyaj

    Hi, I’m planning to bring my cousin to Korea next year as my graduation gift to her. I hold a Canadian passport so visa is not needed for my travel. I will be shouldering all our expenses and I was thinking of giving her an Affidavit of Support that she can submit with her requirements. Do you think I need to give her my bank certificate and statement as well? Any insight would be much appreciated. Thank you and have a good day!

  • Mark

    Hello po ! Student/minor po ako I have been to an OECD Member Country which is Italy in fact resident po ako. Kaya po I don’t hold an Italian visa nor schengen I only have An Italian permanent residency card and residents id. May stamps naman po ako sa passport ng Italy. So should I present them my Italian residency card ? baka po kasi hindi nila ibalik
    Another question po is both my parents are living abroad na they do not have local bank accounts as residents na din sila ng Italy, may alam po ba kayong pede nilang esubstitute sa Local Bank Certificates and Statements ?
    Thank you po:)

  • abby

    Good day po! I want to ask po sana kung ano po requirements for unemployed since wala pong category for that status. I recently graduated from college and passed my board exam so going to SoKor will be my grad gift from my parents kaso I’m neither a student nor employed. My father, who is an OFW, will shoulder all my expenses pero I will be travelling alone. I have a Korean co-intern who will send me a letter of invite para mas malaki chance ma-approve yung visa. Wala din pong ITR yung father ko since OFW siya. Hoping for a reply po. Thank you in advance!

    • Lou Brigette Ramos

      Hi there. Your travel cost will depend on how long you’re going to stay in South Korea. When I applied, I put 600USD since I’m going to stay there for only 4 days (at least 150USD per day). My visa is approved, then.
      Hope this helped. 🙂

    • Jan

      There is no hard and fast rule, Minhyung. It will depend on your itinerary and it should also be commensurate with your financial standing (based on the docs you will submit for visa application). Suppose your itinerary will entail you 30k for 4 days. Your bank account should be able to support that. Hope this helps.

  • MARK

    Hello! We’re scheduled to travel ni misis sa Korea next month. Problema ko lang is yung visa application ko. I’m working as an online freelancer since August 2016. Si employer is based in Singapore. Nitong June lang ako nagstart magbayad ng tax kaya wala akong maipapakitang ITR. Ano mas magandang gawin? Mag-apply as online freelancer then submit the monthly and quarterly tax receipts/forms? Or mag-apply na lang as unemployed (wife is working as a regular employee)?

  • liza

    Hi Jan. I just wanted to know if there’s a possibility to approve korean visa without bank account? my partner has a work and on his payroll account there’s not enough money to show,so he opted not to submit a bank cert and bank statement,instead he wrote a letter stating that he dont save money in the bank and willing to spend money in korea.I just can’t sleep well because I’m just so worried. pls help my burden.

  • Caroline eduyag

    Hi. I’m pregnant and my boyfriend is korea we decided to visit korea so he will invite me to have tourist visa. But I my CEO was past August because I leave due to my pregnancy and I don’t have itr. What should I do so I can have a chance to approve my visa?

  • Hong Mei Ling

    Hi Jan!

    I have some questions:

    Is it okay if I pass BIR Form 2307? I am a contractual employee sa government (scientist).

    Is USD 500 enough to declare for a 4-day stay?

    I am planning to save up 40-50k for my bank certification. Is it okay if I deposit 10k a week? I earn 27k monthly, and I actually started saving up in September. However, I wasn’t able to deposit my savings to my main savings account immediately after withdrawal from my payroll ATM (ang layo kasiiiiiii), so I only started depositing this month (October). I’ll be applying for my visa by November 9.

    Thank you! 🙂

  • maerin1992

    Hi Jan!
    I have some questions:
    Is it okay if I pass BIR Form 2307? I am a contractual employee sa government (scientist).
    Is USD 500 enough to declare for a 4-day stay?
    I am planning to save up 40-50k for my bank certification. Is it okay if I deposit 10k a week? I earn 27k monthly, and I actually started saving up in September. However, I wasn’t able to deposit my savings to my main savings account after withdrawal from my payroll ATM, so I only started depositing this month (October). I’ll be applying for my visa by November 9.
    Thank you! 🙂

  • djkit

    Hi po i just want to ask. i don’t have COe or itr, pero i work homebased as an ESl teacher, , i do have US visa and a good bank statement. ok na po ba yun? thanks

    • Jan

      Hi. I have not applied for a freelancer but have interviewed some who got their approved visas. In lieu of the COE or ITR, you may submit a letter from one or two of your clients stating that you are a freelancet and that you have rendered or are under a contract to render services for them. And as a contingency measure for your lack of ITR, prepate a copy of your Transcript of Records. This validates that you are qualified to render the services as a freelancer. Hope this helps.

      • djkit

        Thanks for the reply.. anyway meron din ako BPI skymiles Master card i think exempted na ako sa ITR , ang ma pepresent ko lang ay, bank statement, US visa, may byahe kasi ako ng US this dec. pero uuwe din ako ng january. Inaalala ko lang yung strong ties in the phlippines. 6 days lang namin byahe ko .

        • Jan

          I see. Just double check if your card is included in the BPI tie up with the Embassy. As far as I know, BPI Skymiles Platinum card is included while regular Skymiles is not.

      • djkit

        yah nag check ako, kasama naman yung card ko.. problema ko nalang yung trabaho ko as ESL online, korean student pa naman ang hawak ko at chinese..

  • Kay

    Hi! If I’m still a student but my parents have a BPI Gold Debit Card, can I submit it too as part of my requirements? And if ever, possible kaya makakuha ng multiple-entry visa as a student? I have been there naman last March. Thanks!

    • Tifarose

      Hi Kay I think your parents should apply a visa too for you to be able to get a multiple visa or might grant a visa under family application. My niece will submit her application tommorrow, shes a student also but i will be her guarantor, i will submit an afffidavit of support and my korean visa issued. all the requirements listed on korean website should be presented accordingly as a sponsor. I hope this will help you 🙂 Good luck.

    • Jan

      Hi Kay. Since you’re a student, you may file all the documents that your parents would file as if they’re the ones applying for a visa. Thus, if your parents have a BPI Gold Debit Card, you don’t need to file their bank statement and bank certificate and just submit their latest debit card statement instead. The grant of multiple-entry visa though is not guaranteed because the debit card is under the name of your parents, not yours. Also, a previous visit to Korea is also not a guarantee. I’ve had clients who have been to Korea multiple times in the past and they were only granted multiple entry when they submitted their BDO/BPI credit cards. Good luck!

  • percy

    Hi Jan!
    My auntie is planning to take her sister in a trip to korea for a week. But the problem is she is unemployed. But the whole trip will be sponsor of my auntie which is a visa holder of Japan. Does affidavit of support suffice instead of EMPLOYEE CERTIFICATE and itr.may you kindly answer.Godbless

    • Fe

      Same here. I want to apply my sister. She is unemployed and separated with her husband. I can sponsor her trip but im not sure if she will be approved since she’s of legal age with no work. Can i apply her as nanny?

    • Jan

      Yes Percy. There is not need for Certificate of Employment if the sister is really employed. No need to make it appear like she’s a nanny or something. Just make the affidavit of support state that the sister is unemployed. During application though, the visa officer may ask your aunt though why the sister needs to travel. Have your aunt prepare to answer the question in case she’s asked.

  • Nao Zulueta

    Hello 🙂 I’m applying for a Student Visa, our school schedules a study tour in seoul south korea this November 2017. I would like to ask if paano po kung yung father ko po yung mag sponsor ng financial support ko pero he already resigned from his work since July 2017, and his company id po kailangan ibalik sa company kasi nga since he resigned. Pwede po ba yung requirements na ipasa ko is for housewife (bank cert. and marriage cert?) Thank youuu.

    • Jan

      Hi Nao. You can still submit your father’s documents. Upon his resignation, his company would have issued him a final certificate of employment stating his tenure at the company and that he is cleared, plus the updated BIR form 2316. You can submit those documents along with the bank cert, etc.

  • DZeusDacz

    Hi to all! Inputs naman po kung paano ang pag apply ng K Visa kung ang husband ko is currently working as OFW in Singapore at ako naman ay housewife dito sa Philippines? Dito ko po ba sa pinas I-apply ng visa si husband or mag apply sya on his own sa Singapore? Hope may makasagot! Thank you in advance. 😊

  • barbie

    hi miss jan, I am planning to have a vacation tour in korea with my 2 kids next year on their summer vacation. I am self-employed and have a small bussiness. The only ITR I have is ITR FORM 1701. As I am reading your article BPI bank is their accredited bank, I felt a little nervous because my bank accnt is not on BPI. This is our 1st travel abroad and I am hoping that our plan will succeed, I want my children to experience the excitement and pleasure lies within the KPOP land. please enlightened me miss jan about this thank you God bless po!

    • Jan

      Hi Barbie, you might have misunderstood that the Embassy has “accredited” banks. There is no such thing. You can present a bank account from any bank. They only give certain documentary exemptions for BPI and BDO credit cardholders but it does not mean that if you don’t have a bank account with BPI or BDO you can’t apply. Hope this makes it clearer. Good luck!

  • Jaja

    I am a government employee and our HR has already issued me an Authority to Travel Letter (this is necessary for govt employees if they are travelling outside the country). I have been in Korea last Oct 2013. I was in Japan last year and had traveled in several Asian countries as well. When I first went to Korea, I was working in a private company and now I am a government employee for 3 years. I will go to the embassy the first week of Dec since my target flight is Feb. My question is, do they usually deny government employees?

      • Jaja

        The thing is, I’m actually having thoughts of buying my tickets. However, the more my planned flight schedule nears, the faster the tickets gets higher.
        Do you think it’s okay for me to buy my tickets earlier or do I still have to wait for my visa?
        By the way, it’s personal vacation and not official matter. But since I am a government employee, I have to secure a Travel Authority.

        Thank you.

  • Anne Dominguez

    Hi po. Question lang po regarding korea visa application for unemployed filipino. I’m about to get married next week and he plans to have our honeymoon in korea for 4 days. Ano po need ko requirements if i dont have coe? Thanks

  • madenferrer

    Hi Jan, What if I recently resigned (October) and got a new job in October still. And plans to go to South Korea this January 2018. I will present my ITR with a different company. Will it there be any drawbacks with that scenario? Should I write a letter of explanation? Thanks!

    • Jan

      If I am not mistaken, you will only be presenting your 2316 for year2016 even if you transferred employer. And even if you have different ITRs/2316, thst is fine still.

  • Charlie V

    Hi Jan,

    Happy holidays!

    I find this post really helpful! Just a question though as I am confused. I visited Japan earlier this year with my single-entry tourist visa. Since it’s not a multiple-entry visa, is it still considered as a valid OECD visa?

    Thank you.

  • Skye

    Hey there,
    Im currently working under my parent’s company and Im also doing freelance work. My problem is producing an ITR since I just started working for them this October 2017. Would it be okay if I dont have my ITR submitted? I already have all of the documents needed except for the ITR and more (like Parent’s Bank Certificate, Business Registration and Permit) since I put my parents under Financial Support.

    • Jan

      Hi Skye. If you are submitting your parents’ financial documents as your visa sponsor, then you don’t need to submit your ITR. Instead, you need to submit your parents’ ITR along with their other documents. Hope this helps.

  • Mamoo

    Hi! When I apply for a Korean visa this coming March, I will take advantage of the BPI Gold card promo. Do I still need to submit a Bank Statement? It says on the site that only Bank Certificate and ITR are exempted. Thanks in advance!

    • Jan

      Hi Mamoo, you don’t need to submit the bank statement, bank certificate, and ITR. The only crucial requirement is that you need to submit the ORIGINAL CREDIT CARD STATEMENT. If you’re getting your statement online, i.e., by email, you need to go to your bank and request for an original which is something printed on their official letterhead. Hope this helps.

      • djkit

        hi po, ask ko lang what do you mean by the Original cc statement to be submitted for visa application? ito ba yung monthly statement niya to pay the bills? kasi kapag Gold master card exempted na sa bank cert at ITR.

  • Djkit

    Hi ask ko lang po. I have a bpi skymiles regular master card.. ndi nga lang listed para maexempt ka sa itr, since part time lang work ko at pwede naman ako mag submit ng bank cert and or statement. At coe my question is yung itr ko. Pwede na kaya yung CC ko? Thanks sa sasagot

    • Jan

      Hi Kit, qualified credit card holders are exempt from presenting the bank cert, bank statement and ITR, not just the ITR alone, or just the bank documents alone. If your credit card is not among those qualified, then you need to submit all documents.

  • Jsy893

    Hi 😊
    I just wanna ask regarding my bank account. Actually, I have no problems with all other documents they require except for this.
    I’m worried about it kasi I just opened a bank account in BDO last November 7 2017, and my flight to SK would be on March 13 2018. I’m planning to apply Korean Visa on February 2018 when my bank account reached 3 months. My bank account was previously in AUB (I closed it already) as time deposit and I just transferred them to BDO as savings account. I’m not sure if the embassy would consider it. Is there anything I can do with it?
    I also have time deposit with Chinabank pero joint account siya. So wala masyadong movement. Is it okay to submit a bank cert? (Parang 2 bank cert na isusubmit ko if ever)

    *I am employed in a bank for 3 yrs. I can present ITR and COE naman. My only problem is the account opening date of my bdo savings.

    Help? Hehe thank you.

    • Jan

      Hi. No problem with the BDO account even if it’s just 3 months old. But if I were you, I will submit the Chinabank documents too. It’s ok if there’s no movement because they’ll figure out that it is a time deposit, but you need to still submit both the bank certificate or bank statement for the two bank accounts. Hope this helps and good luck!

      • Jsy893

        Last na 😋

        Is it okay na gumawa din ng letter of explanation na parang transfer of fund lang siya from AUB to BDO then I’ll attach the scanned copies of my previous certificate of time deposit i had with aub?

        Thank you so much! 😊
        Thank you.

        • Jan

          I think there is no need but if the BDO account has the more substantial amount than the one in Chinabank and you feel that you want to prove that the funds were legitimately accummulated from a previous bank account, then you may do so as a security blanket.

  • djkit

    hi, I already replaced my CC from skymiles to Gold which makes me exempted I hope sa ITR,but i will still submit Bank cert for sure however, yung meaning ng frequent traveller sa OECD member within 5 years, ang question ko.. for example i am in the US now, stayed here as a tourist for 1 month, the last time na nagpunta ako ay 2014 pa, that makes 3 yrs. ago, considered bang Frequent traveller ako? pagkakaintindi ko kasi is taon taon ang frequent flyer eh. thanks po sa reply.

  • Melody Luczon

    Hi! Thank you so much for this article. Really appreciate all the information you have shared. Very useful talaga! Btw, would like to ask lang – I left the company I used to work with April/2017 because I wanted to rest, since I had my 2nd miscarriage March/2017. My partner and I recently booked a trip to Korea for Feb/1-5 2018. Since I am currently unemployed and we are not married, what other supporting documents should I submit since I can’t provide the COE? What can I submit to establish our relationship as live-in partners? We both have previous trips to other OECD member countries (Australia, France & Japan) for past 5 years… Appreciate your help. Thanks in advance.

    • Jan

      Hi Melody. Thanks for dropping by. Glad that you found the post helpful 🙂 You don’t need to submit an alternative to the COE. If your company issued a final certificate stating your length of stay at the company as well as their waiver of any claim against you (sort of a clearance), you can submit that. Even without that, it’s fine. At any rate, your company would have issued you BIR Form 2316 for all the taxes they withheld from you. The covered period in the 2316 is enough to indicate that your employment has ended on April 2017. As regards your live-in partner though, there is no other way to establish personal relationship. You may opt to show some sort of a business relationship but that would require business documents. Ultimately, you’ll be considered as individual applicants with no relationship to each other (i.e., not considered family application).

      • Marione

        Hi Ms. Jan, I am currently unemployed. I resigned from my previous job last Sept 2017 and my trip to Korea will be on Mar 2018. Dito lang po sa thread niyo na nakita kong I have 2 options.
        1. I can submit my COE, clearance and BIR Form 2316 from my previous job?
        > Meron po ako both COE and clearance from my previous company. I can ask them for my BIR form 2316. So even the bank docs will be under my name.
        2. I can submit an Affidavit of Support (under my mom)
        > So bank docs will be under her name

        I have no problem po with the bank acct kaso po ang worry ko is regarding my unemployed status. So my question is, which of the 2 options do you think will lead me to a higher chance of being approved a Korean visa?

        Thank you so much!

      • Melody

        Hi Jan!
        Thank you so much for ypur help. The information you have shared has really helped me a lot… It actually calmed me down! Haha!
        I have already received my passport, 2 days ago and was granted a visa! Woohoo!
        Time to shop for some winter clothes! 😅

  • alex

    Hi. My cousin and I are both fresh graduates and are both unemployed (since we’re going to take medicine this school year) and we’re planning to go to Korea for a vacation before school starts but how are we going to apply for a visa?

  • maerin1992

    Hi. I hope my post gets noticed this time. LOL
    Do I still have to pass an ITR? I already went to South Korea last December 2017, and I’m planning to go again this Holy Week.

  • Alvin

    Regarding sa Bank Certificate from BDO, as of January 29, 2018 ay meron daw silang bagong format ng certificate kung saan walang nakalagay na Account Opening Date at ADB.
    Okay lang po ba yun as is kahit walang account opening date at ADB?

  • sunshine

    nagpunta na po ako sa korea last year (end of february 2017) then nag apply po ulit ako ng visa. employed and my coe and itr naman. may chances kaya na ma approved po ako ulit? medyo ng woworry lng 😦

    • Jan

      Hi Sunshine, unless may reason not to approve this time, I don’t think your application will be denied assuming your circumstances and documentation are the same as when you applied before.

  • djkit

    Just an Additional information- Tinawagan ko mismo ang Korean Embassy sa BGC at nagtanung ako ng requirements-
    if BPI Gold master card holder – no need to pass ITR and Bank statement – What you need to pass along with the important documentation are Billing statement lang ng Latest BPI CC mo and Xerox Copy ng CC mo back to back.
    off course you need COE, IF member ng OECD, as usual Xerox and original copy Passport and US visa.
    Passport size picture
    Application form ng VISA
    hope it helps…

  • Jeel

    I hope someone could help me with our application. Now sk has no work, no visa policy. Last oct. my husband (unemployed) applied for a visa to sk and got denied but i was his guarantor at that time. I figured maybe he got denied bec we didnt pass a affidavit of support and we were unprepared and we applied the visa separately because im an ofw in the middle east. So, i got my visa and he wasnt approved and we just went to jeju island.

    Now, i was hoping to apply a sk visa together with my husband and son this may when i get home. Im really nervous that we might get rejected again as i dont have bank account in the phil. I mostly remit through cebuana or my husband’s account which is newly opened last jan.
    Please what would be the best advice to pass ? ?? Im really confused. Thank you

  • Maria

    Hello! magaapply po ako ng Korean Visa this March, ask ko lang kung okay lang po bang puro deposit yung movement ko sa bank account ko? No withdraw. Thanks

  • Mia katrina balahay

    Hi miss jan,

    Ask ko lng po kung anu po mganda gawin,employed po aq and im planning mag apply ng korean tourist visa dis may,yong payroll account ko po kasi di po aq nag iiwan ng pera,may other bank account po aq na open ko sya last march 2017 peru dko rin sya nalalagyan ng savings,yong savings ko po kasi now nkatabj lng sa office namin sa vault nsa mga 50k po sya,ask ko lng po sana if saan mganda i deposit yobg pang show money ko sa payroll account po ba or don sa isang kong account.

    Thanks po sa rply.

    • Mia katrina balahay

      dagdag ko na rin po pla,kaya po solo aq may pinsan po kasi aq duon,pru di nya pa po aq pwd ma invite kasi po di pa sya citizen,mas mganda po ba sabihin na mag visit aq duon sa pinsan ko or,mag tour lng po tlaga aq duon.

    • Jan

      Hi Mia. It does not matter but if you choose to deposit it in the other bank account, still get a bank cert / statement for the payroll account. Personally though, if I were to apply in your shoes, I would just deposit the money back into the payroll account and get bank docs just for one account.

  • Josebel Condino

    Good afternoon Ms. Jan!
    I’m planning to apply for Korean tourist Visa next month kasama po boyfriend ko (Korean). I’m just worried about kasi ITR. at meron po akong BPI account (open 3 years ago) pero naubos ko po and savings ko for my brother studies at expenses ng maaksidente Mom ko. nagstart po ako uli magdeposit this month. Okay lang po ba yon? At Korean boyfriend ko po magsponsor sa trip ko at sa kanila rin po magstastay. Ano po ba ang requirements na kailan niya? Online tutor po ako. Sa salary ko naman po mayroon po akong Korean ATM napinadala ng manager ko kaso under po ng asawa niy. Hindi po nkapangalan sa kanya. ano po ba ang dapat kung gawin?
    Maraming salamat po.

    • Jan

      Hi Anne. Same documents for employees. There are fferent requirements for “retired” senior citizens. But if senior has any means of income (from business or from employment), the requirements for businessmen or employees will apply.

      • jen

        hi domestic helper po ako dito sa.hongkong want ko sna mag tour sa.korea on july..ano po ba requirements pag ofw ang mag aaply..tnx

  • owtown

    Hi miss Jan..

    me and my parents we’re planning to go to SK this May.. i’m currently unemployed since 2016 but my mother will support my finance on our vacation and I don’t have a bank account by myself too.. and also how we can apply as a family on the embassy.. what do we need to bring.. and also do we need to be all present there or just one of us to pass the requirements and interview.. Thank you for your response.. 🙂

  • Lhove S Tolentino

    Hi JAN,

    We are planning a trip to Korea with my husband and daughter on December, would it be possible if we could apply for a Visa as early as now?

    I mean we can apply a multiple-entry visa, kasi we have a card BPI and BDO. the reason why i want to apply as early as now if we get approve kasi we don’t need to apply a visa na on November 2018. kasi we have travel dates na on december 2018.

    If ma reject naman yung application namin. we can apply on november for single visa,kasi diba after 6 months ka pa ulit maka pag aaply pag na denied.

    Thank you thank you… hoping to hear you back po. @

  • ana

    Hi Me and my husband (plus my 2 kids) are planning to visit korea in Dec. is 200k show money ok? and can we use our joint account since married naman kami. Or kelangan personal account padin? as for requirements kelangan pa naming parents mag submit ng birth cert or marriage cert nalang and sa kids birth cert? thanks in advance

    • Jan

      Yes, Ana. You can use your joint account but you need to present your marriage certificate to establish relationship. For your kids, yes, you need to present their birth certificates too.

  • Kmdbarredo

    I want to avail bpi credit card promo, since i have one that qualifies. However, i am currently unemployed (i’m a recent board passer). My parents and sister will be sponsoring this trip for me as a gift. 🙂

    Do you think i can apply using the bpi promo (sayang ang multiple entry opportunity. Hehehe) or should i try the “normal” visa application process?

    Thank you and God bless. 🙂

  • athena J deocampoi

    Hi po,ask q lng po na sa susunod q pong application po ng korean visa this upcoming july eh need q pa po ba magprovide ng itr with alphalist po kaht na kakatravel q lng po nitong march lang sa south korea? Pang 1st q p lng pong trip s korea ung nitong march po.slamt

  • Sari

    Hi! Just want to ask something since may bagong requirement for first time travellers. Also I’ll be availing the BDO promo and we’ll apply as a family. Would you know if paano or san makakakuha nung Company Alphalist (Form 1604 CF with BIR received stamp) since it’s needed for first time travellers for Windows 1 and 2? Thank you so much!

  • Trixia Uy

    Hi! Is it okay if I ask for a sample of letter and affidavit of support for my yaya. I’m planning to go to korea this year and I wanted to treat her. I hope you can consider my request since it’s our first time to bring her outside the country. Thanks

  • Alexa

    Hi Ma’am!

    I’m currently employed but 5 months pa lang. I am just a minimum wage earner so I need to save pa. My target is to travel on August. Do you think may chance? Or should I just take over sa family business but do you think they will be okay na maging self employed ako 3 months before my application?

    • janiscooking

      Hi Alexa. If you can get someone from your family to sponsor your visa, that might give you a better chance.

    • janiscooking

      Hi Tin. No need to submit a bank statement. But you need to present the required docs for BDO cardholders.

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