How to Apply for First Time Korea Tourist Visa in the Philippines

My first travel for this year is to Korea. So a month from my departure, I made sure to complete all my documents for visa application. Good thing Korea has relaxed its visa requirements, especially to qualified BPI and BDO Gold or Platinum cardholders until December 2016. So, yes, I was able to get a 5-year multiple-entry Korean Visa on my first application. Yay!

You don’t have to personally apply for your visa, but I like doing things on my own for experience. Without further ado, here are the requirements for employed yuppies:

Good thing I’m a BDO cardholder so I’m exempted from submitting numbers 7, 8, and 9. I just have to present my BDO card, a photocopy of my credit card for submission, and the latest Statement of Account. I have 2 qualifying cards, but keep in mind that you just have to submit ONE (1).

Common rules/questions in completing the application form:

  • Don’t leave any field/item blank. Please put N/A instead
  • Please avoid erasures at all cost!
  • Be sure to glue your ID photo and not staple it
  • 1.7. National Identity no. – please put N/A
  • 9.4. Address in Korea / 9.5. Phone No. in Korea – I just put undecided
  • 9.7. This is where I think you can somehow show your travel capacity. If you have traveled to anywhere abroad in the last 5 years, please note it down. Luckily I went to many places in the past 2 years that I was able to fill in this table completely. Bring your old passport, too, just in case.
  • 10.1. For estimated travel cost (in USD), I just allocated USD500.00 per day. But if you are submitting your bank statements, be sure that the amount you put here is enough to be covered by your bank account, minus the maintaining balance required for that account.
  • 10.2 Who will pay for your travel related expenses? I just noted myself… and my mom for emergency.

Just like for BDO and BPI qualified cardholders, frequent travelers who have traveled as tourist to OECD member countries within 5 years are exempted from submitting ITR.

After completing the needed requirements, go to the Korean Embassy at 122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. It would be ideal to bring a driver. You can park for free and probably have breakfast first at the Jollibee before you reach the embassy–so be early!

The Korean embassy is very efficient. I was able to submit my documents in less than an hour. I was there about 9am. Visa processing starts at 8:30am – 11:00am, while the releasing of visa is at 1:30pm-4:00pm

Processing Time:
– 3 working days (for those who have been to OECD member countries within 5 years as tourist)
– 5 working days (for those who have not been to OECD member countries within 5 years)

Korean Visa application is FREE if you are staying for less than 2 months. For those staying 60 days to 90 days, a fee of Php1,800.00 is needed. Multiple-entry Korean visa holders are allowed to stay for 30 days.

For updated information, visit the Korean Embassy website of the Philippines.

UPDATE [01.05.2017] BDO and BPI Gold and Platinum cardholders can continue to enjoy this promo until Dec 2017 –>

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80 responses to “How to Apply for First Time Korea Tourist Visa in the Philippines”

  1. Yurianne Kim Avatar

    Did you pay any visa processing fee for this? I also have a card and I want to apply for the mutiple-entry too. Thank you! 🙂

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      No fee for applying Korean visa if your stay is less than 30 days.

    2. Ria Avatar

      Hi valid prin po b yung bdo gold card promo pra mkapagapply ng multiple visa for Korean tourist visa?

  2. Mickey Avatar

    Hello! quick passport is going to expire next year May..If I will be granted multiple entry visa with my current passport..and when I renew it next year..will the multiple entry stamp be carried to my new passport? I was planning to go to Korea this November and was thinking if I needed to renew my passport first.

    Also, I thought you need pre book tickets to apply…looks like it is not a requirement

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      Yes you just have to bring along your old passport to show the multiple entry visa that’s still valid in it.

      1. Mae Avatar

        i have a question, iregarding travel cost, in the application form.. do ihave to fill up per day or it is ok to just write for example: usd500?

  3. Mae Avatar

    i have a question regarding travel cost in the application form, if im applying for BDO promo do i have to write on the application form the exact amount in the bank or its ok to put bigger amount and base on the credit limit of the card na lang?


  4. micky Avatar

    Hello! Just wanna make sure that if you are a BPI/BDO cardholder there’s no need for Bank Statements too? You didn’t submit yours, right? ’cause in the the blogs i’ve read, they still submitted their bank statements and as much as possible i don’t want to submit mine haha bec i withdraw all once payroll goes in. Thanks!

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      No I did not submit any bank statements anymore.

    2. Jules Hung Avatar
      Jules Hung

      How many months bank statement did you submit?

  5. knottygem Avatar

    Hi, My BDO credit card was issued like 4 years ago. Would you know if the promo is open only for credit cards issued this year 2016?

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      It’s open for all bdo gold and platinum card holders.

      1. may Avatar

        i’m bdo gold card holder, how they will know that i’m card holder do i need to put in application form

  6. Chesca Avatar

    Hi! I came across your blog because Ive been searching on applications and tips for Korean Visa. Ive read every single comment however I felt a strong need to ask you personally on what your thoughts are regarding my situation. So my mom and I are planning on visiting Korea on June next year and we’re ready to book plane tickets (we luckily found a promo) but the problem is we’re torn if we should book first or apply for a visa. The problem is, it takes 6 months before you could reapply and its so hard to book a flight without reassurance of getting approved. Also, it’s gonna be my first time to travel out of the country if ever but based on what I’ve read it doesnt seem to matter a lot to them whether youve travelled a lot or not but it would still be a plus, i guess? So Im thinking if we should actually apply for a visa now to see if we’re qualified. Since its only valid for 90 days, we will just apply for another one when June is near. Do you think that sounds good? Also, do you know if they will grant another visa to those who were granted before but wasnt able to use their visas? Or were there like instances that they were granted before and then denied the second time they applied? Hope you could reply to this asap. Thanks!

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      Hi, your financial records would be the heaviest weight in considering visa approval. Granted that you have sufficient proof that you and your mom are financially stable and able to provide for the trip, I don’t think there would be an issue getting a visa.

      1. Chesca Avatar

        Noted 🙂 Thank you!

  7. M Avatar

    Hello! Do you know if the embassy called your company to verify? thanks 🙂

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      Yes they do and they will.

      1. M Avatar

        I see 🙁 because we’ll be claiming our passports tomorrow but no one called the office 🙁

      2. J Avatar

        Hi M,

        Has no one from the embassy really called your office? Did they grant you a VISA?

        Thank you!


      3. M Avatar

        Yup no one called but they still granted us multiple entry visa 🙂

    2. J Avatar

      wow! this lifted my spirits up haha i recently submitted my application and no one from the embassy has called our HR office yet. i was getting worried because they’ve already called my friend the other day. i’m still hoping for the best. thanks for the reply! 🙂

  8. Nina Avatar


    So if you are a BDO card holder you don’t need to submit the bank statement?



      1. may Avatar

        Hi, just asking lang how they will know that an applicant is BDO credit card holder, please let me know pls. i’m planning to apply for korean visa next month for October travel.

  9. Ermalyn Avatar

    Hello..may i ask if you know the meaning of x1 in your claiming stub cause we have the same..hope my apllication will be approved by the korean a litrle bit nervous but I know God is with me.

  10. jay d. Avatar
    jay d.

    I just open a personal bank account (passbook) today and I’m planning to travel Korea by September this year. Do they require tenured bank account or more than a year old account? I’m worried that they’ll deny my entry due to my account is fresh and young. The amount required like most of the bloggers mentioned on their site is achievable in my status as a regular employee, too bad it never crossed my bloody head the importance of having a personal bank account – it’s just yesterday when friends talked about korea. I hope you could give me some advise, thank, jayD.

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      I think the bank account has to be 6 months and older

  11. kim Avatar

    Hi! If you apply in the morning, can you get your visa the same day?

  12. Hye Avatar

    Hi i was just wondering you mentioned about “if you’re submitting your bank statement” so it means it’s okay not to submit a bank statement? I am planning to go but I am unemployed and my parents would be the only one who’d cover all my expenses.

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      If you have a gold/platinum bdo or bpi credit card you ate exempted from submitting financial documents.

  13. Archie Avatar

    Hi me and my friends are planning to appy for korean visa. Granting that all of us will be approved, does the embassy allow for a representative to claim our visa? Thanks!

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      yes 🙂 no need personal appearance both in application and claiming.

  14. gles Avatar

    hi i dont have any bank
    accounts can i show my sponsors bank statements instead?

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      Try to also supplement with a letter from your sponsor.

  15. erik Avatar

    Hi! do i need to have a copy of my parent’s marriage certificate kung yung mom ko lang ang kasama ko pag travel?

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      I don’t think marriage certificate is ever required.

      1. Erik Avatar

        Nakalagay kasi sa site ng korean embassy na for student need ng marriage cert ng parents 🙂 anw, meron pa po akong tanong. Mag reretire na po kasi mom ko next month ang plano po namin is magapply bago sya mag retire. Tatanggapin pa din po kaya yon kahit 60 na sya pero di pa retiree?

  16. jrb237 Avatar

    Hi ask q lang if ever mg apply q ng korean visa s pnas pguwi q for vacation dis mid of sept.ok lang po ba kc plan q pasyal s korea s 1st wik of oct.til 7 of oct.kc nid q rn balik pnas bgo q balik dubai mid of oct.nid q po b mgbgay supporting letter ng amo q & nid q po b mgsubmit ITR? Ok lng po b previous 3 mos.savings ung psbuk q po ay bdo ofw savings account.thanks

  17. Molly Avatar

    Hi! Should i write N/A to ALL blanks that are not applicable to me? As in ALL except, of course, in the section that stated ‘for official use only’? Thanks

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      Yes n/a if it’s not applicable to you

  18. mrsco Avatar

    Hi i want to ask i am working in qatar and i want to apply for BDO gold master card is it okay? i have existing account in BDO only for savings. thanks

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      Honestly, I’m not sure about that. I think you would have to be a resident here to qualify.

  19. Lynn Avatar

    hello, 3 questions though. 1st, one of the requirements is the certificate of employment, what if i am self-employed, how should i make such certificate? where do i get the application form? thanks and really thanks.

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      Pls check the Korean embassy website. You have a separate list of requirements to submit.

    2. Odz Avatar

      Hows your application? I’m also self employed

  20. Lynn Avatar

    the last question, ticket or visa, which should come first? thanks again.

  21. Angel Avatar

    Hi,I have a friend who invited me to visit Korea and he says he will pay all my expenses.. My question is ,is it possible to get Korean visa without any bdo/bpi card? Its my first time and I don’t know anything at all…u think I can get Korean visa without it? … Please reply thanks!

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      Hello pls always refer to the embassy’s official website.

  22. Simon Avatar

    Hi, thank you for your very informative blog. I was just wondering if you have any idea about this. We are planning on visiting Korea early next year. My mom is not employed as she is a widow, and my sister is a student. I am working abroad.
    I checked the embassy website and I’m a bit worried about getting a visa for my mother; she is neither employed nor a businesswoman as I am fully supporting her. I am not sure what would her requirements be. Any idea would be appreciated?

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      You can attach your financial statements and a written letter saying you will be sponsoring the entire trip and you will be with your mom. Please update us how it would turn out for you.

  23. Mika Avatar

    Hello! My sister and I recently applied for supplementary credit cards of our mom’s BDO Gold cc since we also found out just recently that even supplementary credit card holders are qualified for the multiple entry visa promo. As our flight to Korea is already on June 8, we plan on applying with the embassy around May 15. However, as our credit cards were issued just recently, we will not be able to get the latest billing statement before our application. Would the photocopy of the actual credit cards suffice? Or should we just not submit the photocopy at all?
    We’ll be applying as a family, with my mom submitting her billing statement and everything so would that be okay? I mean, if we only submit our mom’s billing statement and credit card, would we also be granted multiple entry visas? Sorry for the long post. Looking forward to your response! Thank you! ?

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      Your mom’s gold card will only exempt your mom from submitting financial statements for her visa application. You and your sister will still have to submit proof of financial capacity for yourselves.

    2. Odz Avatar

      Hows your application?

    3. Dan Sy Avatar
      Dan Sy

      Hello Mika hows your application now?

      1. Mika Avatar

        Hello! Our application was successfully processed and approved within 3 working days and thankfully, all three of us were granted with mutilple entry visas. My sister and I just submitted a copy of our supplementary credit cards (even without any billing statement). Hope the same goes for you guys!

  24. Jeremy Paola Ojerio Avatar
    Jeremy Paola Ojerio

    hi can i submit 2 bank statements because i transferred all my money to second account just this february. but the first account is still valid i havent closed it yet because of some reason. can i submit two bank statements? thank you.

  25. Jeffrey Avatar

    We’re first timers (for international trip), and we will be applying for a passport this July (rush). Do you think we have a chance to get our Visa considering we only recently got our passport?
    Is our financial statement enough to convince the consul? Or do we need to show enough amount (in our bank statement) for them to consider us?

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      No problem for newly issued passports. Kapag renewal mukhang first time flyer din naman. Yes your financial statements with a good amount should suffice. Estimate 10k per day of travel dapat nasa savings. So if you’re going 5 days, minimum 50k nasa statement. If 2 kayo, 100k. That’s just an estimate…so take it with a grain of salt. It may not be true for all countries.

  26. Nico Avatar

    Hi Just came across your blog. Will ask questions lang, since Korea has promo for bdo credit card holders, I’m planning to apply for a BDO Gold Credit Card this month, it it okay if bago lang un credit card? Then I’ll apply for a korean visa after a month sana pag meron na statement of billing.

  27. Queencierin Avatar

    Hi ask ko lang what if bago palang un credit card di pa nagamit ok lang kya un mkakakuha kya ako ng multiple entry visa? And db as you said 5years un valid non ibig sbhin ba non kht 5years kang mgstay sa korea pde? Im planning to get my daughter 3years old a visa to can she get a multiple visa also just like me? Im looking forward for your feedback. Thanks

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      30day entry only. But the visa is valid for 5 years.

      1. Queencierin Avatar

        So kylangan pa unuwi ulit ng pinas after nun 1 month?

    2. Odz Avatar

      Hows your application?

  28. Kim T27 Avatar

    Hi, I was just wondering if bdo was written in the remarks part of your actual visa coz I also applied using my bdo card as well but the remarks part was left blank. Thanks

  29. Meloyka Marie DG. Tallo Avatar
    Meloyka Marie DG. Tallo

    Hi question pano pag2nd time na pupunta ng korea pero this time di n kame mgagency need bang fill-upan ung no. 2 sa page 2 sa application form? thanks!

  30. hannah Avatar

    Hi, acceptable ba yung credit card e-statement for bdo credit card? Or do i still need to go to bank to have it certified?

  31. Kay Avatar

    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!

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      The visa applicant has to have the bpi or bdo credit card. If you have your own gold credit card under your name, then you can use it for application.

      1. MP Avatar

        Hello Jirbie, I wonder kung anung BDO Credit card ang pinasa mo? Guaranteed ba na pag Gold 3 years at pag Titanium or Platinum ay 5 years ME visa? Thank you

        1. CouchWasabi Avatar

          may nakita ako nareject din

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