I would like to reiterate that I am not a professional visa consultant. I am only sharing my knowledge of what I know about Korean visa application here in the Philippines. If you have questions, it’s best to ask the embassy directly. I wouldn’t mind answering some of them in the comments section below or via my facebook page though.

Important Reminders

  • Download the application form directly from the official website of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea. They update their forms from time to time and make small minor changes. Do not print or download from anywhere else as they can be outdated.
  • It is advised not to purchase your tickets prior your application since visa issuance is subject for approval. Again, do not buy the ticket until the visa is grantedUnless it’s super cheap and you’re willing to risk at all.

Visa Application and Release Time

  • Although the consular office is open until 5:30 PM, applicants can only file their visa applications from 8:30 to 11:00 AM, every Monday to Friday. It is advised to arrive before 10:30 AM to allow enough time for processing. Those who arrive after 10:30 AM may not be accommodated. No appointment is needed, because it is on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Applicants or representatives may claim visas from 1:30 to 4:00 PM. Just don’t forget to bring the claim stub with you on the day your passport is scheduled for release. Please be advised that first time travellers should personally claim their visas at the embassy as an interview with the Consul may be required before the result is given or visa is issued.

New Requirements

  • Required documents depend on the applicant’s occupation and purpose of visit to Korea. You can see the list of visa requirements at the official website of the embassy and determine what type of applicant you fall under (eg. Employee, Businessman or Housewife)
  • These are the new requirements for Korean tourist visa effective March 1, 2015.  All documents must be issued within 3 months on the date of application. This is taken from the official website of the embassy under “Visa Announcements” section, page 2.

Visa Processing

  • Processing takes 5 business days for first-time travellers and will be accommodated in Window 1 or 2. While it’s 3 working days for frequent travellers (those with valid or used OECD visa) and will be accommodated in Window 3. Depending on the Consul’s decision, the processing time may be extended. The embassy will ask for additional or supporting documents if your papers are not deemed sufficient or unable to verify your application.
  • Applicants who have travelled as a tourist to Korea at least once within 5 years will be exempt from submitting their ITR copy. Processing time will also be reduced to 3 working days. However, they are still required to file their application at window 1 or 2. But to those who have travelled to Korea once within 5 years for the following purpose: business, church visit or family visit, they are still required to submit ITR copy (Form 2316).
  • Please be informed that families applying for Korean Visa should apply together at one window. Do not separate and proof of relationship must be provided such as Marriage Contract, Birth Certificate, and etc. A representative can submit multiple applications as long as the documents given are complete.

Visa Information

  • Temporary Visitor’s Visa or Tourist Visa may be granted a regular period of stay for 59 days. A maximum period of stay for 90 days can also be requested. Transit Visa for Seafarers is granted period of stay for 59 days.
  • Validity of visa is only 3 months from the issue date. Do not apply more than 3 months prior to the date of travel. For example, if the month of your departure to South Korea is in December, the earliest you can apply is October.

Source: Official Website of the Embassy of Republic of Korea in the Republic of the Philippines
Should you find any incorrect information in this post, please let me know.