South Korea Visa Refusal – It’s Heartbreaking but Time to Move On

I’ll share my experience about this South Korea Visa Denial. You read it right, I’m sharing with you my South Korean visa denied story. It was May 2016 when I booked a promo flight to South Korea. I was waiting for this because I wanted to experience winter in South Korea which is just a 4-5 hours flight from Cebu. On January 25, 2017, I went to the Consulate of the Republic of Korea in Cebu. My scheduled trip is from February 15 to 22, 2017.

South Korea Visa Requirements for Filipino Businessmen

  1. South Korea Visa Application Form
  2. One piece of Passport-size colored picture
  3. Original passport (valid for more than six months)
  4. Photocopy of Passport Bio-page (page 2)
  5. Original & Photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps of OECD member countries for the past five years (if applicable)
  6. Photocopy of Business Registration from SEC or DTI
  7. Photocopy of Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit
  8. Original Personal Bank Certificate (must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB), a bank certificate for visa is a must at least PHP 50,000.
  9. Bank statement (original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last three months)
  10. Photocopy of ITR or Form 2316 (checked by BIR with Stamp)
  • If personally invited by Korean: Invitation Letter & Copy of inviter’s passport
  • If invited by Company in Korea: Invitation Letter with company stamp & Copy of Korean Company Business Permit
  • Visa fee: 59 days or less stay in Korea – GRATIS; 60 to 90 days stay in Korea – PHP 1,800

Also read: Go To Boracay – Moving on from a Failed Winter Trip

Requirements I Submitted as an Independent Contractor and Solo Traveler for South Korea Visa without Income Tax Return

I submitted my application on January 25, 2017, at their office. Their address is:

Consulate of the Republic of Korea in Cebu

12/F Chinabank Corporate Center

Cebu Business Park, Cebu City

6000 Philippines

  1. Application Form
  2. One piece of Passport-size colored picture
  3. Original passport (valid for more than six months)
  4. Photocopy of Passport Bio-page (page 2)
  5. Two arrival stamps of Japan visa which Japan is part of the OECD member countries
  6. Original Personal Bank Certificate (must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB)
  7. Bank statement (original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last three months)
  8. Letter of Explanation
  9. Certificate of Work Contract as I am an independent contractor.
  10. Stock Certificate from COL Financial Philippines
  11. Certification of Involvement in a Non-Profit Organization

South Korea Visa has stricter visa requirements. I got a request for Additional Document(s) for Visa Application

I received an email on January 30, 2017, that I was advised to submit two (2) guaranty letters.

  1. Filipino guarantor must be (1) government official or officer, and (1) your company owner, department head or HR manager;
  2. Guarantor must duly accomplish the Letter of Guarantee (see attached form); and,
  3. A letter must be submitted together with Guarantor’s Passport bio-page copy (if available), a Photocopy of the Guarantor’s government office ID (for government officer guarantor) or company ID (for company guarantor), front and back.

In addition to the guaranty letters, you are required to submit an explanation letter describing the following:

  1. Exact Annual Income
  2. Companions to/in Korea

What Went Wrong with my South Korea Visa Application?

To be honest, I am sad by the fact of the South Korean visa denial, but I already expected this when I received an email for additional documents. Here are some of the reasons what went wrong:

  1. I don’t have a Filipino guarantor (a government officer) to sign the guarantee letter. I mentioned in the letter that it’s a personal expense, a gift to myself.The reasons for having a Filipino guarantor to sign the letter is that:
    (a) the guarantor ensures that the applicant abides the laws and regulations of Korea,
    (b) the guarantor will shoulder the travel expenses for the applicant’s return if he/she is unable to pay them,
    (c) the guarantor shoulders the expenses arising from the applicant’s stay or detention in Korea if he/she is unable to pay them.
  2. I don’t have any companions to/in Korea as I mentioned again and again that I am a solo traveler.

My Speculations for Denied South Korea Visa

Since I’ll be traveling solo, maybe the embassy thought that I would illegally stay in South Korea and look for a job which I don’t have a plan. My only ultimate goal is to experience winter.

Remember my Denied Canada Visa Application? It was also my chance to experience winter last January 2015, but it never happened. No more winter experience for me.

South Korean Visa Denial Reasons

You read it right, “You and/or your family failed to prove strong economic ties to the home country.

My affiliation with a non-profit organization I am involved with is not considered a strong economic tie to the home country.

South Korean Embassy Philippines Address

Korean Consulate in Cebu
Address: 12F, Chinabank Corporate Center, Samar Loop, Hipodoromo, Cebu Business park, Cebu city, 6000 Cebu

Korean Embassy Manila
Address: McKinley Town Center, 122 Upper McKinley Rd, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila

My Travel History

As a Filipino traveler, you might ask where I’ve been. So yeah, I’ve been to Five Countries in 2015Β including Japan and Taiwan. But then, wherever I’ve been to, it’s useless. Sad.

Well, maybe South Korea doesn’t need Filipino tourists because of the stricter rules of visa requirements. Perhaps, I’ll just say goodbye to my wasted ticket to South Korea, will never experience snow and maybe avoid to visit this country for now.

Well, I am heartbroken since this trip to South Korea is a gift to myself for a solo traveler like me. I’ll just shaveΒ ice and eat halo-halo instead.

Somehow, I was able to Go to Boracay – Moving on from a Failed Winter Trip.

Check out the comments below as you can also read other people sharing their South Korean visa denied stories.

Roxanne is an aspiring digital nomad. A virtual assistant since October 2009. She is a hobbyist blogger, photographer and travels a lot.

372 thoughts on “South Korea Visa Refusal – It’s Heartbreaking but Time to Move On

  • Hi!planning on a trip pero yung binigay ng company na ITR(2017) has no stamp unlike last year.sabi ng HR un lang daw binigay ng BIR sa company.and a bir staff said daw na its not neccessarily needed na kasi may bago daw sila memo etc. I don’t know if it was a mistake or misunderstanding ng HR/BIR. Un din talaga fear ko kc baka isipin nila it was just made up,thou nakalagay sa 2316,ung payment and signed by the president of the company i work for. Parang ITR’s are so hard to get.

  • Hi Yui.

    Based on my experience okay lng po na wlang stamp ng BIR. We applied din last Feb 8 w/o BIR stamps approved naman po visa namin. (It’s our first time travelling abroad) Im sure nag-ve-verify din sila sa BIR bsta make sure lng may TIN # indicated da form.

    Sana nakatulong πŸ™‚

    • Hello. I just got my visa denied πŸ™ Now, I am trying to appeal it to Consul. First time traveler din ako and i dunno bakit na-denied ang visa ko. I am pretty sure naman na yung laman ng bank ko is sufficient. Pero How much ang required amount? Any idea?

  • Hi, I’m planning to go to Korea this April and planning to apply visa this march. I am worried because I will use separate bank account. I mean, I open and account for my travel to Korea, and it’s 6 months already. Is that okay? my friends are using payroll accounts.

  • Hi! Me and my friends are planning to go to Korea this april and the ITR that was given by the HR has no BIR stamp, will that be accepted? And also, do we need to submit a bank statement or a bank certificate alone would be ok? Thanks

  • Hi! Me and my friends are planning to go to SK this april but the ITR that was given to us by the HR has no BIR stamp, will that be ok? Also, do we need to submit bank statement or a bank certificate only is ok?

  • Hi! We’re planning to go to SK this April? Which one do we need to submit for visa application? The Bank statement or bank certificate OR do we need to submit both of it? Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

  • hi. we are planning to go to korea this coming march 13 pero ang release palang ng visa is march 12. ang worry namin kasi yung napasa naming bank cert ay nasa 20k lng laman ng account namin since di na kmi nakapagrequest sa ibang banks namin. possible kaya kami madeny pa?but all other requirements are complete

  • Hello po, ask ko lang po kasi sponsored po ako at niece ko ng sister ko pag nag travel kami sa korea this May, do I have to request multiple copies of documents like COE, Bank Cert, Bank Statement and etc? we are planning to apply for a visa as a family po.

    Thank you in advance.

      • Thank you for your reply, Miss Roxanne.

        One more thing, (If you have an idea lang naman po) kasi yung niece ko may used Oecd visa na siya tapos ako wala pa since visa-free countries pa lang po napupuntahan ko, paano po yung sa pagpasa sa window ng requirements? magkaiba parin po ba or same parin since family application po kami? Sorry, I really don”y have an idea kasi paano kapag family application ng korean visa and tried asking friends also pero walang mga reply.

  • I’ll be using my payroll account for mu bank cert kaso di daw nila malalagay ung ADB since payroll account sya and may standard template na daw sila. Okay lang po kaya un? Thanks.

  • ilang days po binigay ng consulate para dun sa follow up requirements?? via email po ba pagsend nyo ng requirements?

  • Hi po, planning to go din po sa SOKOR this june .so nagopen po ako ng separate bank accnt para dito kaya lang po last dec lang yun. Do i have to wait for 6 months ba before I apply for the visa? Or okay lang po na kahit wala pang six months ung new bank accnt ko?. Thankyou so much po. 😘😘

  • Hi,ask ko lang kasi nag apply kame ng anak ko ng korean visa, nagwowork ako kaya lang hindi pa ko nakakuha ng employment cert and itr, ang ginamit ko yung sa mr ko as housewife, kaso hindi nila tinanggap yung employers cert kasi walang nakalagay na compensation, pero me dala akong bank statement ok nman yung savings ko, at meron din ako affidavit of financial support galing sa anak ko sa Canada, ibinalik nila yung documents pinalalagyan lang ng salary compensation,wala naman binigay sakin ng denied slip, pwede kaya ako ulit mag apply gamit na yung my my own documents like employers cert and itr form. Balak ko bumalik next week.

  • Umiiyak ako kagabi noong inabot skin ng bf ko ung passport ko dhil denied ang VISA application ko, im not qualify dw sa visa category that im applying for. Hay! i dont know what went wrong. Im a financial Advisor sa Philam Life, i submitted certification that i am a financial advisor, ITR, BANK CERT and Bank statement, I have previous travels just last January HK and Macau, my funds where just enough for 7 days trip to SK, my Bf is a businessman and nilagay ko pa sya as financer ko if ever.. But sadly, sya lng naapproved…. Here I am researching kung may pag asa pa πŸ™

  • Hello! Ask lang po ako kc aalis kmi this april sa SK. Naapprove ung visa nmin lahat except my partner’s visa. Is there any way na mgappeal sa embassy pra mareconsider ung visa nya? thank u

  • Ask ko lang po kung may sapat na budget naman para sa korea trip for newly weds, accept kaya Nila kahit walang bank account, ITR.. Pero gagawa nalang ako ng Cover letter.. Sariling ipon kasi namin yun..

  • hi! I will be applying for Korean visa next week pero natatakot ako kasi i do not have ITR since I am unemployed. Bank cert, previous travel to visa-free country and letter of explanation lang yung bala ko πŸ™ kakakaba! ask ko lang po if you have any idea what will they consider as strong ties dito sa Philippines? Thank you!

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