After seeing one of the most popular South korean actor of all time Lee Min Ho last night (he was in Manila for the Kyochon Phillipines Grand Launch) this news just hit me in the heart as a person who dearly loves and promotes everything about Korea. A post of a friend in Facebook of which came from Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines and Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines Facebook pages said that there are new requirements needed to get a South Korean Visa that will be effective by March 1, 2015. Below is the original post in Facebook coming from the said Korean entities. Click here (Item No. 20) for reference on the original announcement.
Based on the announcement, they have added Bank statement for the last 3 months as a requirement in addition to Certificate of Employment (COE), Bank Certificate and ITR copy. A more detailed Bank Certificate is also required now that should include account details such as type, current balance, account opening date and 6 months ADB (average daily balance). In addtion the COE requirement now has to have these details: applicant’s position, date hired, compensation, address, office landline and email address (I’m assuming these contact details pertains to employer’s).
For someone who has applied twice for a South Korean Visa and being approved on both cases my first impression here is really why are they somehow more keen and strict on adding these requirements. After relaxing the requirements on multiple entry visa in 2013 (see my blog post here for this) this is the next big shift from their original protocols. Securing a South Korean Visa is by far one of the easiest to get compared to Japan or China mostly in terms of the bank and show money requirements but with this it seems the three now requires a detailed ADB meaning your account should really be active for some time. In a more positive note I think they have carefully thought of this and just want to be sure that tourist will come back home in the Philippines with the surge of Filipinos wanting to go to Korea both for vacation and work (I admit, myself included, its a dream LOL).
Just to share some light that in my personal experience I think having your bank account for some time and having your money intact for several months before applying for a Korean Visa did help me secure my very first SK visa. With only Php 25,000 show money back in 2010 that I opened around 9 months before Visa application I was approved and granted a Single-entry visa (Disclaimer: This amount might not be applicable for now as it is 5 years ago). I was clueless then and that was all I have prior to application and surprised but yes I managed to be approved by just that. I think I got approved because I was working for around 5 years already with the same company and as far as I have researched employment is one the things they are looking into to determine if you really will go back to your home country more than the show money (strong economic and family ties with home country). Read this post (Item No. 7) on Visa denial reasons also from the Korean embassy website as reference. And I have friends who got rejected because they are new to their job and still on a probationary level (less than 6 months with the company). What I’m saying is that more or less these details were already looked on before but are just formalized now. I have also read it before that date of account opening is a must in the Bank Certificate though my bank didn’t put it in the certificate I requested and mentioned that the Korean embassy are just calling them for more details during the application screening process. And the compensation and date hired in COE is already part of the required details before. For the 2 times I have applied what I have been providing contains all of the details mentioned (except for the address and see I got approved) and maybe they just aid them in verifying my employment. See this post (Item No. 4 – Updated Visa Requirements) on the detailed process and guidelines which is what’s been in effect prior to the announcement, also from the Korean embassy website. Please refer to the last slide for reference on the examples I gave.
In the midst of this lil’ tightening or should I say expanded tourist Visa requirements to enter the land of k-pop and korean dramas I’m so thankful that my multiple entry visa that I got last October 2013 is still valid up to Oct of 2016, waahh! But of course I wanted to help and get more info on this to help friends and all those asking me tips on how to apply for a South Korean Visa and get approved.
I really don’t know the rationale for these new requirements, how will they evaluate the detailed Bank Certificate and Statements and what would be the impact to the % of approved Visa for Filipinos. I will try my best to get first hand info regarding this and share tips in the coming days once it is already in effect by March, wahh! We all can do this, we will get an approved South Korean Visa if we will follow and submit all the requirements needed. After all one has to have savings aka extra money to fly to Seoul. Aja! 🙂
Disclaimer: Info above except for the news/announcement/links part from the Embassy of South Korea in the Philippines are just my opinion and not full proof that you will get approved of a South Korean Visa. Its best to submit all the requirements and fill out the application form leaving no blanks (put N/A if not applicable) for great chances of having your application approved.