Traveling to South Korea requires a tourist visa. My sister and I have never applied for a visa before. It turns out, unlike in the Philippines, for Filipinos residing in the UAE, getting a South Korean Tourist Visa from Dubai is actually a piece of cake.
First, we’ve completed these requirements:
- Completed visa application form dated and signed. (You may download the form here)
- A color photo taken within last 6 months, full face without hat, and front view against white or off-white background. (35mm×45mm)
- Signed and stamped employment/no-objection letter from your company which clarifies your full name, nationality, passport number, position, salary, the purpose and the date of the visit.
- Recent original stamped bank statements and/or financial records in order to determine your financial stability for three months.
- Copy of the travel itinerary such as a round-trip ticket and hotel reservation.
- Original Passport, which must be valid for more than 6 months and has more than two blank visa pages left, and a passport copy (A-4 size).
- Copy (A-4 size) of the UAE residence visa.
- Do not leave any blank field on the application form. Just write in N/A if it’s not applicable.
- 10.1 Estimated travel costs (in US dollars): Don’t be too overboard with this; what you put in there should be near the amount of what is in your bank account.
- There is no set amount for how much money you should have in your bank account. Ideally, your money should be enough for your length of stay.
- You can try Booking.com for Hotel/Guesthouse reservation, you will have an option to book without a credit card and cancel without being charged.
- For the round-trip ticket, you can always take the risk and book flights in advance, or, there are travel agencies that can provide you with confirmed booking a.k.a dummy-ticket from 0-50AED, just let them know you’ll use it for visa application and they will know what to do.
Then, with our complete set of requirements, we take a deep breath and proceed to the South Korean Consulate, as applications should be submitted in person. Time for visa application: 09:30 – 12:00 Sundays to Thursdays.
(To reach the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Dubai, take Al Wasl Road from Al-Deyafa Street and drive towards Jumeirah 2 and then you will find a petrol station Eppco on the right; before the station there is a traffic light signal and before the signal, take right turn into street (No. 23b) and then turn into the second left to street number (24b). As you enter 24b street you will see the consulate villa which is the first building on the left; which is Villa # 39.)
Address: Villa #39, Street 24b, Area 342, Jumeirah 2, Dubai +971-4-344-9200
After submitting our applications, we were given a small slip that serves as our passport claim stub. We were asked to comeback after 4 working days. This is when the waiting game begins, the season of agony, the longest 4 working days of our lives. Oh the sleepless nights of overthinking, mulling and pondering. LOL.
Then the day comes to collect our passports. Time for visa collection is from 15:00-16:00. We were excited and nervous as hell, my knees-are-weak-and-palms-are-sweaty as I accepted our passports from the clerk. We were granted a C3 Visa, valid for 90 days from the date of issue, maximum of 30 days stay. Yipee!!! Oh, did I mention it’s free of charge? 🙂
I’ve heard through the grapevine that the South Korean Embassy seldom deny tourist visa for Filipino applicants, however, they are very strict with the screening of applications. They might not accept your application if your documents are incomplete or if your (though not confirmed) travel is more than three weeks from the application date. There’s this two Filipina applicants that was turned away and was asked to comeback because their travel date is four weeks away.
Anyhoo, please visit the Consulate’s website for more info.