I am writing this post as supplement to my original post on Applying for South Korea Tourist Visa.
I helped another friend get hers but the most important thing here really is submitting the complete requirements. When you have the complete requirements on hand, you don’t really have a lot to worry about. My write-up will be more about what you have to prepare before flying out.
Another reason I am writing this supplement is because my sister also applied for her visa for the first time.
She graduated from university last May, literally marched her graduation in June. She got her first job in June as well.
Since she is already employed by the time she made her application (October 2017), her profile and requirements must be that of an employee.
You can check the complete list of requirements on the Korean Embassy in the Philippines website (site is dead at the moment, will edit once they go live again).
Also, this is a long-ass post without pictures. This had been sitting in my drafts for who knows how long, I had to publish it to get this blog moving again. Also yey for my first post for 2018!
TIP: It’s always best to check the website for updated forms and requirements (granted, their server is usually down =_=)
Since my sister is an employee, one vital requirement for her application is the Income Tax Return. Note that this is given after the year is over (normally January or February, depending on the employer). Clearly, she doesn’t have this because she just began working.
The alternative she submitted is a copy of her Diploma. She personally submitted the application and was given 3 working days decision period. This happened during Chuseok week so there were a lot of Korean holidays in between. This was also her second time going to Korea (the first time, she was still a student and made her application through my financial records). This time, she used all documents under her name – bank records, employment, etc.
TIP: Try to avoid applying during Chuseok week. My sister made two trips to the embassy because during the first day, she missed the cut-off (they stopped letting people in after 9am). The second day, the cut-off was 10am.
I usually get asked of how much I spend for my trips to South Korea. It actually depends on the purpose of the trip, but recently I’ve been recommending $800 for a 4-day trip to Seoul – no thanks to the very bad conversion rate.
TIP: For your bank money, be sure that the amount is more than your planned expenses. In this case, if you put $800 as your expected expense (yes, you are required to declare it), be sure you have at least P55,000 in your account.
TIP: Make sure your bank account also have movement – preferably of money coming in rather than going out.
TIP: You can use your payroll account, just make sure there is money there. For obvious reasons.
The next part will be about what to bring with you when it’s your first time flying out.
I am not a frequent traveller but I’ve been out of the country a number of times to at least remember what the most important things to bring. It’s still trial and error for me, but these are the things you can find in my hand-carry whenever I fly out. 😉
- Travel Documents. Passport, visa, work permits, resident records, plane tickets
- Cash. Some stores at NAIA do not accept card, so make sure you have enough cash in local and foreign currency (just in case). Enough means you can buy food with it.
- Pen. You will be writing on departure and arrival cards for Immigration. Bring your own pen so you can write on this while waiting in line or while on the plane. (pen at NAIA1 costs P50! lol)
- Company/School ID. When it’s your first time flying out, the Immigration Officer might ask you about your employer or school. Bring your ID in case they also ask for it. I was asked for my company ID on my first trip to Korea, though technically that was my 3rd out of country travel.
- Health Card. My friend was even asked this. Especially if you have international coverage, bring your card in case you also get sick on your overseas trip.
- Approved leaves. The Immigration Officer might ask how long your trip will be so bring with you a copy of your approved leaves.
- Bonamine/medicines. For the motion-sickness prone people, this is a must.
- Print-out of your foreign address & contact number. This is required on your arrival card to another country. If you don’t have it memorised, print out a copy or save it on your phone. I recommend print outs (local alphabet included) because you can bring this with you while touring. You can whip this out and show locals in case you get lost.
- One set of clothes. You never know when your check-in luggage will decide to tour on its own.
- Gadgets. Phone, camera (seeing celebrities in airports may or may not have influenced this), laptop (basically since it’s not allowed in check-in), or Kindle (if you have one, for light reading if you can’t sleep in planes)
That’s it for now!
Got questions? Drop them on the comments below! Or you can visit me on twitter @jaegongju