Korean Visa Requirements for Students: A Guide


written on March 2013, updated on September 2015

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 2 months. Yes, two months!

First, download and print the visa application form for Filipinos (link) on A4 paper.


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 (link) 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)
  • certificate of employment (ORIGINAL) or DTI, SEC, Mayor’s Permit

Update: Additional information is needed for certificate of employment, bank certificate, and ITR copy as of March 1, 2015. Click here to view.

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


The Korean Embassy located at McKinley Hill is open from Monday to Friday only. Applications can be filed from 8:30-11 am only, while results can be gotten from 1:30-4 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.


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.


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!

71 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 August 2018 (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. 🙂

  9. Can I have? o.O Actually I have many questions yet I’m shy to put it here. :3

  10. Ahm, what should I put in DSWD clearance? I have a friend going with me to Korea. She’s not a relative of mine. Is it okay if I put alone? Or friend?

  11. Doesn’t matter if he or she isn’t a relative—state your relationship with him/her on the paper. The person’s contact number and address should be included as well. 🙂

  12. Hello. What if i want to go to korea but i stopped studying for 1 semester?

  13. Hi this is Lin. I’m planning for a tourist visa but I stopped studying for 1 semester

  14. As long as you’re able to submit the requirements of a student for a tourist visa, then you’re good. Well, are you on LOA (Leave of Absence)? If so, I’m not quite sure if your school/university will be able to give you a school certificate. Hopefully they would, but do inquire about that. 🙂

  15. Haha, I can’t speak for the people of the embassy, but my only guess is that they need ‘proof’ that an applicant is an official student of a school. Knowing he or she is currently enrolled, it gives him/her a reason to go back to his/her country of origin. I think that’s what embassies try to avoid—you know, people hiding and the like. 🙂

  16. hi.. i’ll be going with my mom and we can only go before classes start this june but our school id pic will be taken some time after the classes start. and i lost my previous school id. do u think it’s okay to submit just a copy of my temporary school i.d? what do u think should i do?

  17. Definitely 🙂 Yep, I think that you should submit one even if it’s just temporary. That’s better than having nothing to present, because if your requirements are incomplete, they’re really not going to process your visa at once (yep, speaking from experience!). Do you have a much older school ID? Maybe that would do, or you can try to show another identification card. Do try to call the embassy beforehand! Won’t hurt to make sure 🙂

  18. I am currently not enrolled in my university. Can I still ask for a school certificate?

  19. Hello! Sorry for the late reply. I’m not entirely sure about this because I think that it would depend on your status in your university (like if you’re on a leave of absence or what). But personally, in my university, school certificates are not issued to those not enrolled. You can try contacting your school’s registrar office to make sure.

    I suggest that you ask the Korean embassy if they allow any school-related substitute documents for the school certificate. From my experience, they are very efficient about inquiries and the like, so don’t hesitate to ask. I hope this helps! 🙂

  20. Hello, good morning. I’ve been reading blogs till now about my plan to visit South Korea this October.. I’m 17 yr old and I’m not enrolled this year as a college student but I had once a student in DLDU-D. Any advice on what should I do about this? Thank you and your reply will be appreciated.

  21. Hello!

    I suggest you try calling the embassy to ask if you can submit other related documents. For example, you can ask them what can be substituted to a school certificate or valid school ID. Or you can choose not to apply for a visa as a student; instead, choose another category which you may fall under and submit the requirements of that. There are different types of visas for different statuses, so you may want to check out on that.

    This is a question I’ve also been curious about. I’m pretty sure there are a lot of people who are in the same situation as well, so they probably have an answer to that. I’ll also try to inquire and if I get a reply, I’ll get back to you 🙂

  22. Hi. Me and my friends are planning on going to Korea next year (oo ang layo pa, excited lang ako hahaha). Ang problema eh next year graduate na sila pero ako hindi pa… so ako lang ang kukuha ng student visa by that time. Since you’ve already experienced it, tanong ko lang yung requirements sa parents, kasi nakalagay sa website nila “Original Certificate of Employment (or DTI or Sec and Mayor’s Permit)” tas dun sa post mo hinanapan ka ng Mayor’s Permit. Ibig sabihin ba nun kahit may isubmit ka nang Certificate of Employment eh kailangan mo paring magsubmit ng Mayor’s Permit? Original or Photocopy? Sorry kung medyo bobo yung questions, sigurista kasi ako eh, hihihi. Sana masagot mo yung mga tanong ko. Thanks 🙂

  23. Medyo excited nga! Haha. Hehe tama ‘yan, at least prepared diba 🙂

    Depende—kung may business yung mga magulang mo, kailangan ka magbigay ng kopya ng mayor’s permit; otherwise, certificate of employment lang ang kailangan kung employees man sila. Pero kung may business and at the same time employed din sila, kailangang pareho. Photocopy lang 🙂

  24. […] and the most random thing ever, and it’s something I owe to this blog. I published a guide on how to get Korean tourist visas for students a long time ago. It garnered quite a few comments a […]

  25. Hi! Thanks for posting something like this because me and my sister really needs this ^^ We’re both students by the way hehe I’ll just ask if you submitted a Travel Clearance from DSDW? I’m 19 and my sister is 16. Do we need to secure this first then submit or we can secure a travel clearance after knowing the result of the visa application? I hope you;ll see this :(( Thankiiess!!

  26. Hey! Yup, I secured a travel clearance from DSWD because I was a minor back then during my trip. Since you’re 19, you don’t need to secure one. Your sister needs to though because she is 16 years old; therefore still a minor.

    I suggest you secure one right after knowing the result of the visa application! I recently wrote about securing one here, in case you might want to read more about it. As I mentioned on the post, applying for a travel clearance isn’t as ‘risky’ as applying for a visa, but then, if ever you are denied of a visa (not hoping though!), then the travel clearance will be of no use—especially considering the fact that the travel clearance has a fee, while the Korean tourist visa valid for two months is free.

    You’re welcome and thank you too! I’m glad I was able to help you with your trip in some way. 🙂 So cool! I actually had a similar situation with you—traveled with my then-18-year old bro when I was 16, and it was a trip of our lives. Good luck! Korea is a beautiful country and no doubt you guys will have a blast.

  27. Thank you so much for replying!!!!! So we don’t really need to submit a travel clearance when applying for visa right? Kasi we’re kind of namomroblema because of this HAHAH and by the way, notarized ba ung written consent niyo? Sabi sa site, “written consent” so i know, not notarized. But i asked thru twitter ng dswd dito sa pampanga na need…so i actually don’t know what to do lol THANKS!!!!!!

  28. Sure!

    I don’t think it’s necessary to submit a travel clearance when applying for a visa, since it’s not written on the requirements of the embassy anyway. Personally, I didn’t submit one and only secured the travel clearance a few weeks before my trip.

    Nope, hindi naman notarized yung sa’kin. I don’t think naman kailangang notarized unless may problema or kailangan ng clarification for something na legal matter? Haha. Yung sakin, handwritten lang siya. 🙂

  29. Thanks again!!! We’ll lodge our application forma sa May 7!!

    I have a question sana hehee did you submit an affidavit of support from your parents or no need na?^^

  30. Woo, exciting! Good luck! Tell me how it goes 🙂

    Nope, I didn’t. Is it a new requirement ba by the embassy? Hehe. During the time I applied, I didn’t hand out anything else other than the requirements listed on their website.

  31. May I ask. How about if the Mayor’s Permit was expired already… is it valid to submit?
    thanks in advance…

  32. What if my sister had already graduated in high school. Does she need to ask for a school certificate or can she hand her school diploma instead? Thank you!

  33. Hi!!!!!!! We went to te embassy yesterday and yaaaay! We’re going to korea in 12 days!!!! Thanks for the help!!!

    I have one more question, you travelled with your brother right? He was 18 nung time na yun, what are the things you handed to the immigration or all the things you prepared? We’ll get na a travel clearance for my sister, hehehe

  34. Oh, I’m not really sure about that. But if I were you, if you have nothing else, do submit it 🙂 Better than having to present none. Good luck!

  35. Hi! I’m not too sure about this either 😦 Really sorry! Did she recently enroll in college? Maybe a school certificate from the university would be apt. From my experience, the embassy is very accommodating when it comes to inquiries, so I suggest you call them beforehand 🙂 Always better to make sure!

  36. Hey!! Woo, congrats! Pasalubong, pasalubong! Hahaha 😀

    Sorry late reply, been swamped with so many requirements for school. Actually, wala namang hiningi yung immigration sa amin. Just presented the travel clearance when they asked for it. I also had a photocopied birth certificate to complement it just in case, although it wasn’t really necessary. Haha, don’t worry too much! Your flight’s three days away if I’m not mistaken, right? Omg, that feeling! How’s your itinerary like? Are you joining a group tour or what? Just realized, the same week you’re flying to Korea is the same week we actually flew way back our trip! Too many coincidences, wow! Maybe we’ll also share the same places visited, haha. Ingat and enjoy! Exciting!

  37. Hello po, ask ko lang po kung paano if wala akong bank statement ng parents ko kasi hindi na sila nagtatrabaho matagal na, and hindi naman sila yung gagastos sa trip ko.
    By the way 16 years old palang ako.
    Sana po masagot niyo.

  38. Hello again! I wanna ask if when is the best time to apply for a visa if our scheduled flight for korea is on march 2016?

  39. Hi! I’m not exactly sure about that, pero yung masusuggest ko, try mo isubmit yung bank statement ng taong gagastos sa trip mo, hopefully kamag-anak sila 🙂 Tapos siguro sabay mo isubmit with an authorization letter from your parents.

  40. Hey! If you’re applying for a visa as a tourist, then an interview isn’t needed. From my experience, I just submitted the requirements and left immediately.

    I suggest applying around two months before your trip, so January 2016 might be a good time for you 🙂 Good luck!

  41. Hello, my parents are workin abroad how can i get the ITR and also the Certificate of Employment? Thank you 😊

  42. Hi! Super sorry for the late reply. Hindi ko talaga sure eh, sorry 😦 I’m just speaking from experience, so I’d suggest for you try to call the embassy to make sure 🙂

  43. Hello! Sorry for the really late reply. I’d suggest for you to personally ask your parents for the original copies (yung Certificate of Employment kasi, nirerequest yun mismo sa office/company kung saan sila nagtatrabaho), tapos pa-scan and e-mail sayo. Their ITR is most likely with them, so it might be a good idea to ask them to photocopy the documents/scan, then send to you 🙂

  44. Hi 🙂 Im planning to go back korea again by next year but this time my boyfriend will gonna sponsor me,the last time it was my aunt.,how did ur friend make ur sponsorship? Does my bf needs to go to a lawyer? Please please i need ur help 🙂

  45. Hi! I’m not sure what you mean. Could you expound a bit more? It wasn’t exactly a sponsorship; my friend simply composed a letter stating that she was inviting me to visit Korea 🙂

  46. Hello, So your friend just simply write a letter? what else did he/she send u? Copy of passport and also their Citizenship Id Card?
    Coz Nalilito kasi ako. if need nag atty.if mag gawa ng Invitation letter, nag insist kasi aku sa bf ku na mag need ng lawyer pra gumawa ng invitation letter. Thanks in Advance 🙂

  47. Ur friend is a Korean? Beside sa Invitation letter what else did she send you? ( Sorry naninuguro lang 🙂 ) Nakaka nervous nman kasi eh. yung feeling ng ganito 😦 .. Thx talga

  48. Sorry just i really need some idea. kasi i will apply in earlt january next year 😦

  49. Yup, my friend’s Korean 🙂 She gave me an invitation letter, as well as a photocopy of her passport. She didn’t give a photocopy of her identity card. Bakit daw kailangan ng attorney sa paggawa ng invitation letter? Yung sa’kin simple lang, sulat mismo ng kaibigan ko.

    Huwag ma-pressure! Kaya ‘yan. Hehe 🙂

  50. Haha^^ naku.. Kahit di ako magpa pressure Nkakakaba to the highest level ;( Peru nkarinig ako na mas madali daw ang pasok ng student tourist eh? Totoo bayun?

  51. Hello po,

    ganto po ung case ko

    my father is an immigrant sa USA, while my mother is a housewife. pano po ako makakapagpasa ng requirements, student po kasi ako, i plan to go to korea maybe winter or spring 2017. di ko po kasi alam gagawin since ang kaya lang makapag bigay ng requirements (itr, bank statement, etc) is my father. what to do po, first timer po kasi ako and i honestly have no idea sa mga gagawin. thank you po 🙂

  52. Haha, probably, pero sa totoo lang ‘di talaga ako sure about that eh. Ang inapplyan ko lang ay tourist visa as a student, so dun ko lang binabase yung experiences ko sa pagkuha ng visa. Sorry! Kaya ‘yan! Good luck 🙂

  53. Hi! Ask ko lang, may ticket na kami this April sa sokor, magapply pa lang sana kami for Visa, may question lang ako, for example ako college undergrad ano kaya ung hihingin na requirements? Employed ako as of the moment and ung bank statement ko over 100k naman. Natatakot lang ako baka madeny pa kasi i read na if college grad they require college diploma pano kaya if undergrad, umabot ako ng 4 years sa college one sem lang ung wala for graduation. I hope you can reply. Thanks! 🙂

  54. Hello po! Fresh grad po ako so wala pa akong work, graduation gift kasi sa akin ng parents ko 🙂 Tanong ko lang po may chance po ba na maapproved yung visa ko? Thank you!

  55. Hello. I’ve been reading blogs about securing a korean visa for students who wish to travel to Korea. It’s been almost 7 years since I traveled abroad and my passport has just been renewed and this being said I wouldn’t have any stamp of my previous trips outside the country. Moreover, my parents aren’t working or employed anymore for that matter, thus my older brother would sponsor my trip since I would be traveling with him. His visa has already been approved. I’ll have mine passed in the embassy next week. Is it possible to pass my brother’s bank certificate, ITR, certificate of employment, among other things, instead using my parents’? I’d really appreciate your response.

  56. Yung school certificate ba naka indicate yung naka enroll ka sa school mo?

  57. Hi! Would like to ask if a DSWD clearance really necessary for a minor when applying for the visa? Also, we are planning to go to Korea by early May next year and we are planning to process our visa by the end of March, i think classes have already ended by that time can we submit the IDs we are using for the current school year (School Year 2016-2017)? Thanks in advance!

  58. Hi,
    Did you bring your original Mayor’s Permit or just a copy? It’s actually posted on the wall of our store so I have misgivings about removing it to bring with him. You’ll never know when the City Hall officer would come and visit to check.
    Would appreciate your reply. Thank you!

  59. Hi Mai I just want to ask about the number 1.2 on the visa application form at the personal details section. What does that mean? Thank you 🙂

  60. Hi! I just want to ask this question: both parents’ documents are needed? Or is it okay if just one of them? Thank you so much!

  61. hi! i just want to ask if it is necessary to submit the dswd travel clearance in the korean embassy? since i’ll be traveling with my tita and not my parents.

  62. Hi, did you submit both of your parents’ documents or just either your mother or father? thank you 🙂

  63. I just want to ask by parents meaning both documents of my mother and father? Im travelling with both of them. Thanky!

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