My South Korea Visa Application Experience

Hello there! Last night I received the good news that my South Korea visa application was approved and I am beyond elated. I mean, it’s the first piece of good news I’ve ever had this week. Work this week was tough and there’s an uncle who was hospitalised and I missed my cats’ vaccination schedule so I really needed just one piece of good news 😩.

First off, let me tell you that this is not a comprehensive guide on how to apply for a South Korea visitor visa. I’m too lazy for that and anyways, so many bloggers already did that. Instead, I want you to visit a few of these blogs because they helped me a lot when I was preparing my documents πŸ™‚

I’m just gonna tell you about my experience in applying for one now that the ever evasive Company Alphalist is now part of the requirements.

***UPDATE: The Embassy of South Korea has removed the Company Alphalist on the list of requirements. Which is really good because I don’t think there’s an employer who would provide one to their employee for security reasons.

I was given a claim stub dated April 23rd. I applied only recently– April 16, 2018– and checked my visa status online last night. Yes, it is already available and yes you can check your status online by visiting the Korea Visa Portal. I found out about this from the website pinoyadventurista.com. Click the link for the step-by-step guide on how to proceed. πŸ™‚

For a step-by-step guide on how to accomplish the requirements, you can check out iamaileen.com. Not only did the author provide detailed information, but this blog is also very interactive. I learned helpful tips especially from the people commenting on their blog sharing their experiences, good or bad, when they applied for their visas.

For instance, that’s where I found out that the lines outside the embassy are really long especially during peak season and that not everyone gets accommodated so my friends and I came prepared. The Embassy didn’t entertain people until 8 in the morning but we went at around 4 in the morning and there was already a long queue. When I filled up the log sheet, I was visitor # 135. I heard the guard say that they are letting in 250 people. Visa application time is from 8:00-11:30 am only. We were safe! Haha. BTW, this is in Taguig, BGC, Metro Manila.

And here’s another helpful website — laagankaayo — detailing how to fill up the application form. But before following this guide or any other helpful website, please make sure to visit the embassy’s official site for the up-to-date list of requirements and application form.

When I was preparing the requirements, I made sure that there will be no loopholes as much as possible. I even submitted a cover letter explaining why I am travelling to South Korea. I gave my all, made sure that no more information will be needed from me by the Embassy. They do call applicants if they require more information.

One of my friends joining me on this trip received a call from the Embassy. She was asked why she declared on her application form that she’ll be staying in Seoul for 7 days but on her Certificate of Employment (COE), she had 9 days of vacation leave approved. She was also asked whether she’s travelling alone or not, where she works and how long she’s been working on her present job. Also, this is going to be her first out-of-country trip. She answered all questions truthfully and guess what, her visa got approved! πŸ™‚

BTW, on the COE, it is not a requirement to include your approved leaves at work but as there is such option to include in our COE (we work for the same company), we asked for our approved leaves to be included for an extra boost! We’ve both been working for the same company for over three years now. πŸ™‚

The most challenging part is obtaining a copy of the Company Alphalist. Our employer doesn’t issue one due to confidentiality — we have over 41,000 employees in Metro Manila alone and we’re big on information security so I can totally understand.

I logged another request to our HR Dept that they provide a letter explaining why they can’t issue me an Alphalist. It took two follow up requests to get an answer, which I understand because I bet I am the first (or one of the firsts) employees to request such document. They issued not only a letter but also a copy of the stamped BIR Transmittal Form and a copy of a notarized Sworn Declaration form. Aww.. Very supportive, right? I so love my employer! πŸ’ž

I immediately gave my travel buddies a heads up to send a follow up on their requests. They got theirs only a couple of days after I did. Sweet life.

As for the Bank Certificate and Statement, I got mine from BPI using my payroll account since it is more active. The amount, to be safe (or so I have read), make sure you have at least P10,000 for each day of your stay plus extra amount as some sort of an emergency fund and to assure the officer that you still have enough to live by after your trip and that you are not planning to exceed your time there. Prolly it’s safe to have at least twice the amount of your budget. I am not sure how much the ADB matters but I have read that it is safe for it to be P10,000 and above.

Anything to satisfy the officer-in-charge that you are financially capable to fund your travel. I don’t know if the process is different if you have a sponsor.

If you have a PRC card, do submit a copy, too. I have one (I’m a Registered Nurse). I think it’s a boost on my application.

Oh well papel. That’s all I could think of right now. But one thing’s for sure.. Someone’s excited to claim her passport on the 23rd!

And that’s me! πŸ˜‰

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