Business Owner – including sari-sari store and online shop owners, as long as it is a registered business.

We all dreamed of traveling. Well, most of us do. But for many Filipino, traveling to another country is kind of difficult to do with only very limited visa free countries to visit. Getting a visa is always a pain in the ass. First, there’s the paper work; second, the money involve; and most importantly, the fear of visa application being rejected after all the efforts.

After writing about how I got my tourist visa to South Korea, I received a lot of questions from my friends. I was working for a private company in Makati and was only granted a single entry tourist visa twice. So when I needed to go back for the third time, I had to re-apply. And yes, I feared that I will be rejected because I already quit my job.

My friend’s question “what if I am not employed, will I still be granted a visa?” was also my question at that time. So I did my research. I found out that there are other ways to get a visa other than being employed. So the answer is YES.

The first thing to do is to understand the requirements and your current situation. In my case, I wasn’t employed, I wasn’t a student nor related to any Korean or Organization in South Korea. However, I own a small retail store in the Philippines. Any business as long as it is SEC (for partnership and corporation) or DTI (for sole proprietorship) registered, with Business or Mayor’s Permit, you can use it for your visa application. And I said any type of business – including sari-sari stores and online shops, as long as it is a registered business.

Here’s the complete list of requirements I submitted:

  1. Application Form: Fill out completely. Write NA if not applicable.
  2. 1 piece passport size colored picture: attached to the 1st page of application form.
  3. Original Passport: should be valid for more than 6 months.
  4. Photocopy of passport bio-page: page 2
  5. Photocopy of Business Registration from Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
  6. Photocopy of Mayor’s Permit
  7. Original personal bank certificate: must include account type, current balance, account opening date, and ADB.
  8. Bank statement: original or certified true copy of statements/passbook for the last 3 months.
  9. Photocopy of ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316

If you noticed, I have submitted almost the same requirements as the previous ones. The only difference is that instead of Certificate of Employment, I submitted a copy of Business Registration Permit from DTI and Mayors Permit.

Related article: South Korea Tourist Visa for Filipino Employee

Moreover, you must also submit a copy of your valid PRC card if applicable. For example, if you are working as a nurse or a teacher.

For Filipinos who have traveled as tourist to OECD member countries within the last 5 years are exempted from submitting ITR, however, prepare your ITR as sometimes they still ask for it.

If you are personally invited by a Korean you must submit an invitation letter and photocopy of invitor’s passport or valid identification card. If invited by a company in Korea, submit an invitation letter and photocopy of business permit.

The processing time for travelers who have been to OECD member countries for the last 5 years is 3 days. If you are going to stay in Korea for 59 days or less, visa is free of charge (gratis). If you are staying for 60 to 90 days, you have to pay Php 1,800.00.

In addition to the tips previously given in my first blog post, you must answer the application form properly and completely. Indicate the name and address of hotel you are planning to stay in even if you don’t have a confirmed booking. Take note of the amount of money you have in the bank and the number of days you are planning to stay.

You don’t need an appointment to submit your application. You don’t even need to go there personally. If you are traveling with group of friends, one of you can submit the application for the entire group. You can go directly at the Korean Embassy located at 122 Upper McKinley Road, Taguig. It is a 7-10 minutes walk from Market Market and just along Jollibee and Petron. Contact Number: (02) 856 9210 local 270, 500

If you live in Cebu, you may visit their office at 12th Floor China Bank Corporate Center, Lot 2, Samar Loop Cor. Road 5, Cebu Business Park, Mabolo, Cebu City
Contact Number: (32) 231 1516 to 9

If you want to know more about the requirements for tourist visa, visit their website. If you have questions about my experiences on getting a tourist visa (3 times) leave a comment below.