After my traumatic but successful Schengen Visa Application, you would think that I’d be more confident in applying for another visa. NOPE. My next international destination after Europe is South Korea. Another visa country. *gulp*
I’ve read pages and pages in various forums about their experiences in applying for the SK visa to the point of psyching myself out. Most have favorable outcomes. People would console the aspiring applicants that as long as they submitted the complete documents, it is highly probable to be granted the visa. I kinda over-analyzed and played a dozen “what-would-go-wrong” situations in my head.
When I checked the Korean Embassy’s website back in late October 2011, the website enumerated less requirements for applicants who visited OECD countries for the past 5 years. I briefly encountered the term OECD in my previous job. So... it resurfaces in this trip. Hahahaha.
I’ve already done Netherlands, Germany, Italy and France (naks, yabang daw!) which are all OECD countries so I was hoping that it would be easier. The recent version of the website leaves out the information which is still being used in the Korean Embassy.
List of requirements for employees according to the website:
What is handed out in the embassy:
Requirements for South Korea Tourist Visa – For Employees:
- Application Form
- 1 pc. Passport sized colored picture
- Passport Original (6 months valid from travel date)
- Copy of Passport of First page
- Original & Copy of valid visa and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past five years.
- Original Certificate of Employment (COE)
- Original Personal Bank Certificate
- ITR (Income Tax Return or form 2316 Copy)
Some of the questions in the form:
#12. National Identity Number – NOT APPLICABLE
#14. Passport Classification: ORDINARY (OR)
#26. Purpose of Entry: TOURISM
#32. Who Will Pay For The Expense For Your Stay: PERSONAL FUNDS
- Read Page 2 of the Application Form for the guidelines.
- Photocopy all the necessary documents. There's also a photocopying machine in the embassy (for a fee, of course).
- They have an area where they have pens and paste.
- Note your claim date and time – 2pm to 4pm.
- Application time is from 9am to 11am
- Have a pen handy
- Have a reading material handy (while waiting)
How to go to South Korea Embassy:
Ride a cab from Makati! Tamaders mag-commute eh. The Embassy’s website has map and directions if you want to commute. From the Glorietta vicinity, the cab fare cost me Php 100 (meter read slightly less but I wasn’t feelin’ exactly generous to add). The ride lasted for around 20 minutes. I was in the embassy past 9am.
This is the process as of mid-March 2012: (One month prior to my departure date.)
- Get a number/visitor’s pass at the guard’s gate after listing your name.
- Upon entering the door, there is a desk where you log your name. The guard/assistant will ask if you have a previous OECD visa. If so, write your name down in the “Window 3” list. They will give you another number.
- Wait patiently for your turn.
- I had around 30 numbers before my number in Window 3. I think they issue duplicate numbers. When a number is called, around 10 people stood up and fell in line. The line moved fairly quickly.
- I sat in the window and handed my documents. After the lady checked them, I was handed out a piece of paper reflecting the claim date.
- The visa release is one week from the date of your application.
- Taxi fare from Glorietta Makati to SK Embassy – Php 100.00/way
- Photo for visa application for – Php 75.00
- Bank Cert – Php 100.00
Remember to check the details in your visa before you leave. Check if you your name is spelled correctly, and if the visa's validity is within your travel period.