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Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for a South Korean Tourist Visa for Filipinos [August 2023]

Korea Visa Application Center (KVAC) - Manila
9/F Brittany Hotel 6 McKinley Parkway, Aura Complex, Taguig

South Korea is a beautiful country with a rich culture and history. It is also a popular tourist destination for K-pop and K-drama fans while still offering something for everyone, from ancient temples and palaces to modern cities and vibrant nightlife.

If you are a Filipino citizen and you want to travel to South Korea, you will need to secure a visa first. The process of applying for a South Korean tourist visa is relatively straightforward, but it is important to be prepared and to have all of the required documents in order.

In this blog post, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of applying for a South Korean tourist visa for Filipinos. We will also provide you with some additional tips and advice to help you make the process as smooth as possible.

How to apply for a South Korean tourist visa for Filipinos:

1. Gather the required documents.

There are different types of Korean visas so the requirements will vary. However, we will only be tackling how to get a tourist visa for employed individuals (C-3-9) in this post. Make sure that all of your documents are complete, accurate, and in order. 

Handwritten application forms are not allowed, so you need to download the latest Application Form, and fill it out. For sections that are not applicable, leave them blank.

2. Submit your application to the Korea Visa Application Center Philippines (KVAC) 

From August 29, 2023, online appointments will no longer be required to apply for a Korean visa. Submission of visa applications and release of passports will only be available at KVAC. The embassy will no longer accept visa applications or release visas.


KVAC is located at 9F~10F, Brittany Hotel BGC (right beside SM Aura), 6 McKinley Pkwy, Taguig City, Metro Manila.


Walk-in visa applications at the new Korean Visa Application Center (KVAC) will be accepted on any working day (Monday-Friday except for holidays). The number of walk-in visa applications accepted per day will not be limited. Visa applications will be accepted only if submitted in person by the applicant or by one family member on behalf of the rest of the family, or through one of their designated travel agencies.


Step-by-step instructions for submitting your requirements at KVAC:

1. Get an initial queueing number (QN) from the building guard on the Ground Floor of Brittany Hotel, then you may proceed to the 2nd Floor.


2. Surrender the 1st QN to the KVAC staff to get your 2nd QN, then wait for your number to be called. 10 QNs are called per batch. According to the staff, it usually takes 10-20 minutes for your QN to be called. 


Waiting isn't actually so bad since they have this big and aesthetic waiting area on the 2nd Floor. There are plenty of chairs and tables, and there are even outlets so you can also charge your gadgets and get some work or studying done while waiting.


3. Once your QN is called, proceed to the 9th Floor.


4. Make sure your requirements are complete, and go to the KVAC reception area. One of the two receptionists will assist you and check your documents. Once they have confirmed that your requirements are complete, you will be given your 3rd QN. Otherwise, they will give you further instructions.


By the way, they have free WIFI access. If you need to print/re-print your application form, you can have it printed out by sending the soft copy of the form to their email:

5. Once you have your 3rd QN, you may proceed to the 9th Floor waiting area. Wait for your QN to be called. There are two big TVs that display the QNs and their corresponding counters. The QNs and their corresponding counters are also announced over the loudspeaker.


You can opt to wait outside or even have brunch/snacks at the Mess Hall, located on the 2nd floor.


When I applied last September, it took me about 2 hours for my 3rd QN to be called so I opted to have brunch first. I ordered the Creamy Truffle Penne Pasta and Brownies. They're a bit pricey but at least they both tasted good.


6. Once your 3rd QN gets called, you may proceed to the 10th Floor. You will be assigned to a specific counter to submit your requirements. To get to the 10th floor, you will need to pass through this clear door and another door which seems like a Fire Exit door, then use the stairs to reach the 10th Floor.


7. Submit all your requirements to your designated counter. The staff will then instruct you to go to the payment counters (any from counters 26-28) to pay the P900 visa fee. After issuance of receipt, go back to your designated counter. The staff will give some instructions and reminders regarding your application. 

You have the option to pick up your passport or have it delivered to your address. Below are the delivery lead times per region and area.

Upon confirmation, you will be issued an Application Receipt. Take note of the re-visiting date as this is the date you can pick up your passport. Also, take photos of the slip just in case. Otherwise, if you lose this slip, you will need to go through a lengthy process just to claim your passport...

8. You can check your application status online. The Application No. is your Registration Number found in the Application Receipt.

Step-by-step instructions for claiming your passport at KVAC:

1. After 5-10 business days or once you have received an SMS from KVAC, you can go back to Brittany Hotel and go straight to the 9th Floor.

2. Present your Application Receipt to the receptionist. They will give you a Releasing/Issuance QN.

3. Once your QN is called, you may proceed to the 10th Floor, and head straight to counters 1-3, located on the other side of the room.  Present your QN and Application Receipt. That's it! 

Tips and advice:
  • Make sure that all of your documents are complete and accurate.
  • Submit your requirements in the order listed. Refer to KVAC's post above.
  • If you have missing or outdated documents, you might need to explain why in a cover letter.
  • Go earlier if you want to finish earlier. KVAC is already open at 9 AM, but you can go to Brittany Hotel earlier to get your 1st QN from the building guard.
  • Get approved for a visa first before you buy plane tickets and book accommodations/trips since your visa is not guaranteed yet. Some applicants have booked their trip before getting approved for a visa and have been denied a refund by the airline.
  • Be polite and respectful to the embassy or consulate staff. They are not the ones who will approve your visa. The final decision is up to the consulate.

I hope this blog post has been helpful. Now that you know how to apply for a South Korean tourist visa, it is time to start planning your trip! Comment here if you have questions and I'll try my best to answer. All the best and good luck with your application!


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