How are you guys doin? Been a long time.
As most of you know, I haven’t been updating this blog quite frequently. I am trying to stay away from our kitchen because I’m into the Cohen diet program. And just to update you about it, I lost about 19lbs for the first two months. Hurray! And tomorrow’s gonna be my third weigh-in and blood test. Wish me luck! 🙂 I’m actually not expecting to lose much because I’ve had sooooo mannnnyyyy cheat days this month 🙁 Then again, I’m hoping that, because I’m staying away from rice and I’m kinda watching what I eat even if they’re not technically allowed in the program, I’d still lose about, say 5 lbs? 😀 *keeping my fingers crossed*
So, what have I been doing lately?
First, I’m swamped with lots of things to do because I’m gonna put up my own business. Yup, it’s related to food and I’m doing it with some friends as partners. So all the preps, studies, reports, research, food development, etc… all the works… they’re keeping me super occupied. There’s also a slight opportunity for me to go to Taiwan to attend an expo or participate in a specific study about food. We’re also kinda pushing ourselves to launch something by end of October. So it’s pretty much toxic!
Second, I’m making an itinerary for our post-Christmas trip to HongKong. If you’ve been following my blog, you’d notice that I’ve been goin’ to HongKong every now and then, and this December is no exception.
And third, which is the most exciting update from me, I’m going to Seoul in March next year! 😀 Woohoo! And that’s what the title is all about.
I already got our tickets for Seoul and the only thing missing would be our visa. I heard it’s not easy getting a visa but some people told me that it won’t be as hard because I’ve been to the United States and that I have a valid multiple-entry visa for 10 years. Well, I’m really counting on that.
Anyhow, let me share with you some of the stuff I found out as I did my research on how to apply for a Korean visa. The details are below:
The photo above is a sample Korean visa that I got from their Immigration website.
A visa is required for foreigners who want to go to Seoul for tourism/travel/temporary visit except for those who are from countries who are under Visa Waiver agreements. To know if your country has a Visa Waiver agreement, go here. And for the requirements for a visa-free entry to Korea, hop on here.
But as for Filipinos, like me, we’re not under any Visa Waiver agreement and consequently, we have to apply for a Korean visa to be allowed entry there.
The appropriate visa for those who are going to stay in Korea for a short period of time for tourism, transit, visiting relatives, attending conferences, to receive medical treatment, and other similar non-profit purposes, is called a Short Term or C-3 Visa.
To apply for a visa, you have to file an application along with the required documentation with the embassy or consulate of the Republic of Korea. Here’s the address and contact details of the embassy in the Philippines:
- Address: Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines, 122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City 1634
- Phone No: 02-856-9210 with the following extensions:
- 260 – for passport
- 240 – for family registration and other related documents
- 220 – Visa 1
- 230 – Visa 2
- 302 – Visa 3 (Filipino)
- Fax Number: 02-856-9204
- Office Hours: 9AM-11AM only for visa application. Yup, you have to be there early.
- Release of Passport: 2:00-4:00PM.
And here are the documentary requirements:
- Original passport, at least 6 months valid
- Photocopy of the passport, first page
- Application form which you can download here.
- Colored photos (3.5cm x 4.5cm), taken during the last six months (brighter background is preferred than dark ones).
- Payment of visa fees. It’s US$30 for single-entry, and US$80 for multiple entry.
- These are the additional requirements:
- Employment Certificate or Business Registration issued by SEC or DTI
- Personal Bank Certificate (not a bank statement)
- ITR or Form 2316 of the previous year
- Airline tickets (just a security blanket)
- Itinerary (just a security blanket)
- NSO-issued Marriage Certificate, for married applicants
- In case you cannot submit any of the above additional requirements, you can submit additional documents such as Transfer Certificate of Titles (TCTs), vehicle registration, country club or golf memberships, etc.
- If you have traveled or has a valid visa to any of the OECD member countries within the last 5 years, you are only required to submit the Basic requirements plus OECD countries visa and arrival stamps.
I have good news for lawyers like (and other professionals like doctors or accountants) 🙂 We’re allowed to apply for a multiple-entry visa by presenting as an additional document, our IBP card or the PRC card in the case of non-lawyer professionals.
Ain’t it obvious that I’m soooo excited?!? 😀
In the meantime, I’ll be leaving you with some sort of questions that I have in mind along with the answers that I found online.
And with that, annyeonghi gaseyo! 🙂 Til next time.
I’ve been reading a lot of horror stories about how hard it is to get a Korean visa. I’m a professional with a steady source of income. What are my chances of getting a visa?
No one can really tell 🙁 However, based on statistics, people who hold valid visas from the US, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and Canada are almost always granted a Korean visa.
How long will it take before I get my approved visa?
It usually takes 5-7 days processing except for those with visas as above-mentioned, where processing takes about 3-5 working days.
I am leaving in March 2012. When should I apply for a visa?
A tourist/C-3 visa is valid for 90 days from the date of issue. My date of arrival in Seoul should fall on or before the expiry of the 90day validity. I just have to work backwards and compute. For example, I’m expecting to arrive on March 21, I probably will put an allowance for a possible extension of stay and just to be sure I don’t have visa-validity problems while I’m there, I’m gonna peg the end of the 90day period on March 30. Counting backwards, I should apply within the first week of January 2012, sometime within January 2-6.
One of the requirements is a Bank Certificate. How much exactly do I have to leave in there? I don’t want to show all my earnings.
Those who were successfully granted visas say that the important thing really is not how much the bank certificate shows but whether the applicant has a stable source of income. However, just to be on the safe side, a bank certificate showing at least P100,000 per applicant might do.
Is personal appearance required? Is there an interview?
I heard that personal appearance is not required. You may ask a travel agency to process the application for you. You may also ask any representative to submit your application and claim your passport. However, the recommendation really is for the applicant to personally apply so that in case of problems, they can be addressed timely. In case you decide to get a representative to claim your passport, just ensure that he brings the claim stub that was given to you when you submitted your application. He can’t claim your passport without that stub. As for the interview, I heard there’s none.
I’ll be traveling with my husband. Can we just file one application for the two of us as a family?
There’s no group application. There has to be one application form submitted per applicant. There is a section in the form, however, where you can list accompanying members of the family. Just use that to indicate who among your family members is coming with you.
Do I have to type in my entries to the application form? It’s in PDF and write-protected so there’s no way I can type my data using a computer.
It’s not needed that the entries are typewritten. Handwritten applications work just fine. In fact, if you can’t download it online, you can just proceed to the embassy, grab a form there, and write your answers right there.
Where exactly in Taguig is the Korean Embassy?
It’s in McKinley Hill. The suggestion is take a cab and say that you’re going to the British Embassy which is just beside the Korean Embassy. Taxis are more familiar with the British Embassy.