Korean Visa Requirements for Students: A Guide

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After all these weeks of prolonged anxiety (prolonged being the operative word), I finally have the answer to what would make or break my summer! Yes, it was the result of the visa application. Things were sort of delayed, from stage one to the date I got my passport back, but now, after weeks of my passport parting from me, I was able to get it back, with results I prayed for. I was probably the most overacting person in the embassy today because of my exaggerated reaction and klutzy way of rejoicing, and I’ve had the biggest smile on my face since this afternoon. I’m more than grateful and I’ve never been this satisfied and happy in a really long time. Thank you, Lord!

Compared to the visa applications for a lot of countries, applying for a Korean visa is a lot simpler and easier. Results can be gotten in no more than a week. Plus, visa application is free if the trip is for 59 days (or less), or 3 months. Yes, 3 months!

First, download and print the visa application form on A4 paper.

Requirements

Here are the requirements for students who will travel for tourism purpose, as written on the Korean Embassy website:

  • visa application form (link above)
  • 1 piece passport size colored picture
  • passport, 6 months valid (ORIGINAL)
  • passport first page (PHOTOCOPY)
  • valid visas and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years (ORIGINAL and PHOTOCOPY)
  • school certificate (ORIGINAL)
  • school ID (PHOTOCOPY)
  • birth certificate (PHOTOCOPY)
  • invitation letter and invitor’s passport (PHOTOCOPY) if personally invited by a Korean

Also, parents’ documents are required:

  • bank certificate (ORIGINAL)
  • ITR or Form 2316 (PHOTOCOPY)
  • employment certificate (ORIGINAL) or DTI, SEC, Mayor’s Permit

Note: Requirements may differ per person (e.g. businessmen, exchange students, employees, etc). Here they are.

Schedule

The Korean Embassy located at McKinley Hill is open from Monday to Friday only. Applications can be filed from 9-11 am only, while results can be gotten from 2-4 pm.  There is no need for an appointment, and it is on a first come, first serve basis. You simply get a stub with a number, and patiently wait on the comfy, gray chairs. That’s it.

Procedure, in a nutshell

  1. Sign the logbook at the gate. Deposit an ID and get a visitor’s ID.
  2. Get your number stub at the entrance.
  3. Sit and wait for your number to be called. Be aware of the counter number.
  4. When number is called or flashed, present the number stub and the documents. When everything is okay, you will be given a releasing slip. Do not lose this! You will need to present this when you go back. Written on the releasing slip is the tentative date of your passport release, whether a visa is granted or not.
  5. Leave. Get your ID back.

  1. Sign the logbook at the gate. Deposit an ID and get a visitor’s ID.
  2. Present the releasing slip at the entrance. You will get a number stub. Attached is a blank paper where you write your name.
  3. Sit and wait for your number to be called. Be aware of the counter number.
  4. When your number is called or flashed, simply present the stub.
  5. Voila, your passport is in your hands. Take a peek… dun dun dun.

Location

The Embassy of the Republic of Korea is located at 122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Philippines. Other contact numbers can be found here.

Tips

Come as early as possible. Prior to my visa application, I read different blog entries of those who had also applied for the Korean visa. In one blog post I came across, it said that it would be better to come near closing time since the applicants have already left and that there would be no line anymore. From my experience, this did not happen. Even if I came an hour before cut-off time, my number was served five minutes before time.

MAKE SURE TO BRING ALL THE REQUIREMENTS NEEDED! Forgive me for the virtual screaming, but as “given” this tip is, really do have everything you need. Before you leave the house or ride the car, check if you have all the documents required, because you will regret it and cry, like what happened to me. On my first visit, as I handed my documents to the consul (or whoever the man was), I forgot one thing—the mayor’s permit. Everything was already okay and when he asked, “Mayor’s permit?” I did nothing because I didn’t have it with me that moment, so he handed all my documents back to me and called the next number, and I was there by the side of the counter, standing like an idiot. Painful, really. Not only did I waste gas, time, and effort, I let my anxiety prolong and prolong because of the delay. Let this not happen to you!

As you give your documents on the counter, hand them as they are—remove all paper clips, envelopes, and even the passport jacket.  You wouldn’t want to waste the time of the person by the counter verifying your documents asking you to remove them. Also, arrange them properly, placing the visa application on top. then the supporting documents. I don’t remember the exact arrangement of the documents but there is a small guide on the wallI had mine arranged with the help of one of the lady guards seated by the entrance. Ask them and they will be happy to help.

Regarding the invitation letter, I’m not exactly sure how useful it would be, but have one in case. I asked Joy (my Korean best friend slash classmate slash the person who made this all possible!) to write invitation letters for me and my brother, as it was written on the requirements for a student applying for a visa. My brother submitted his documents along with the invitation letter and Joy’s passport copy. According to my brother, the person simply glanced at these and handed them back to him. It wasn’t the case for me though. The person got all my documents, including the letter and passport copy. I can’t think of any reason why it was like that even if we were (are) both students anyway. Maybe because I’m a girl, but I don’t know, really. In the end, my brother and I were able to get our visas. Having an invitation letter is recommendable but not exactly necessary, I guess.

The nearer the date your visa application is to your trip, the better. My visa was issued on 03/14/13, and will expire on 06/14/13. Good thing my trip falls in May, so my visa will still be valid. The date of issue of your visa is your releasing date, and is NOT dependent on the date your trip falls in. Applying for a visa in April when your trip falls in September (just in time for Chuseok) is not exactly the best idea.

Pray, pray, pray! Not because you have successfully gone through stage one of the visa application, that is already a certainty that you will be granted a visa. I personally know people who were declined of a visa because of unknown reasons. The embassy wouldn’t state why though, but pray hard that you will be given the opportunity. This was why I was restless and anxious the past few weeks! I didn’t really tell anyone about this trip because all the while I wasn’t sure at all if it would happen, even with my visa application and all that. But now that my bro and I have been granted our visas, it’s official. Yes, I’m going to Korea! I still have to fix a few things here and there, but things have been going smoothly. Excuse the abused punctuation, but yes, yes, I am!!!!

Please note that these are based on my experiences during the visa application as a student. Here is the official website of the embassy!
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12 thoughts on “Korean Visa Requirements for Students: A Guide

  1. Just inquire at the Office of the Registrar of your school or university. Usually, they would charge a minimal amount for the processing fee and let you fill up a form for some details. Like in my case, I got one for 20 pesos :)

  2. Hello. Can I ask, what if my passport is not a 6months valid. I got my passport last february. Was that okay?

  3. By 6 months valid, it means that your passport must be used at the most 6 months before its expiration date. In your case, since you got it last February, it will be valid until February 2019 (after five years). So yes, that’s very much okay! Enjoy Korea :)

  4. Last question. Those requirement lists, is that it? Nothing more else? Or should I inquire first? And do I need a parent’s consent. Since I’m 17 years old gonna go travel in Korea.

  5. The list above is what I based my visa application on last year. Although I believe that it would more or less be the same as the current requirements, I suggest that you double-check with the official website of the Korean embassy to be sure, since it’s been a year since the info above was compiled. Nope, you don’t have to inquire—simply have all your documents with you on your trip to the embassy.

    You don’t need a parental consent if you are traveling with your parents. Otherwise, if you are alone/traveling with someone else, then you would need to secure a travel clearance for minors from DSWD. :)

    Oh cool, I’m 17 too!

  6. Haha! That’s great thanks! :) Ahm, so it’s okay if there’s no any invitation or something to get a DSWD clearance? I just want to go travel in Korea for trip. :)

  7. You’re welcome. :)

    The requirements for the travel clearance are all written on the DSWD website. You’ll need to fill up the application form (which can be downloaded from the website as well) before submitting what is needed to a DSWD regional office.

  8. You’re welcome :) Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any more questions, be it about tourist spots or what. I love helping people with their itinerary and travel plans! You can talk to me through my contact form if you wish. :)

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