It’s frustrating when you encounter an airline’s seat sale and you are itching to book that destination.. only to realize that you have to obtain a visa for that country. So, you postpone buying the ticket and instead prepare for the documents necessary for the visa application, however, the stress and anxiety of the ticket prices going up is intimidating.
Whether we like it or not, Philippine passport holders only have a limited number of countries that grant a visa free access and visa on arrival. Unfortunately, the country of kdramas is not included in that list. However, recently, South Korea has relaxed its requirements and visa application process to Filipinos, and what’s more, visa fee is also waived.
Fortunately, I have been in Dubai and was employed during the time when I applied, hence, the visa requirements were easier and more convenient compared when the visa is applied in the Philippines, as the procedure for the latter is mandatory to go through Embassy of South Korea’s accredited travel agencies. Not only more documents were required, but you have to pay for the travel agency fee as well. The process takes longer as well, according to my boyfriend his application took 2-3 weeks when he got approved contrary to mine in Dubai which only took 4 working days.
Further, I am going to list the requirements normally asked by the Embassy of Korea in Dubai for Filipinos residing in UAE under employment with a sponsor, which is also as per their official website.
Disclaimer: Do check from time to time their requirements as it is subject to change and can be updated without further notice.
1. Visa application Form
Should be answered completely and accurately, and duly signed by the applicant. It is better to submit a computerized form as handwritten forms sometimes can pose a problem especially if the handwriting is not legible.
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / KOREAN ONLY
You may download the latest format of application form in their website.
2. Passport Sized Photo
Must be taken within the past 6 months and pasted on the application form.
3. Original Passport and copy
The passport must be valid at least 6 months from the travel date and must have 2 blank visa pages.
4. UAE Residence Visa copy
VERY IMPORTANT AND FOR STRICT COMPLIANCE. Must be valid at least 6 months from the travel date. If less than this period, visa must be applied in the home country.
5. UAE Company Letter / No Objection Certificate from the Company
A duly stamped and signed letter from the Company which states that they have no objection with your travel and the purpose of applicant’s travel to Korea. Details such as applicant’s name, birthdate, passport number, nationality, position, salary, date joined and other pertinent information shall be reflected.
Do not also forget to include the name, position and contact details of the authorized signatory and attach a copy of his passport for verification and reference.
6. Original stamped Bank Statements
Should be original and stamped for the past 3 months in order to prove the applicant’s capability to travel. Online bank statements and payslips are not accepted as replacement for the above mentioned requirement.
7. Detailed Schedule of Stay / List of Itineraries
Unlike Japan, it doesn’t really have a specific format for the schedule of stay. However, include the necessary and standard details such as date, specific name of destinations and the hotel you are staying.
For reference, you may see the sample itinerary I used for my application below:
8. Confirmed Flight and Hotel bookings
Yes, they required a confirmed roundtrip booking, and I did present to them my booking ticket from Air Asia. For the hotel booking you can always choose the booking with flexible and free cancellation terms which will not require you to pay instantly.
Other documents I submitted:
Being a perfectionist as I can be, I always prepare a lot of excess and extra documents which I think if not needed, will provide strong and more support on my application:
- Travel Insurance
There’s no harm in purchasing travel insurance regardless if it is needed for visa application. Afterall, you may never know what the future beholds. And believe me, some Immigrations require this on the date of your arrival, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
There are a lot of travel agencies who offer travel insurance quotations, and normally they would know the specifications of a specific travel insurance needed for the country you are applying for.
Note: Actually during my time of application, travel insurance was required. I think recently they relaxed a bit the requirements though.
- Emirates ID copy
Yes, there is already a residence visa copy, so what’s the need? Still, I think it is common sense to submit as it proved to be your main identity card in UAE.
- Trade License copy of your Sponsor
During my application, I remember this has been part of the requirements also. Also, it is better to submit this document to strongly support that you are working in a licensed and stable Company.
- Previously issued visas / departure and arrival stamps from other countries, copies only
If you have travelled to other countries before, then this will be an advantage, as it will prove that you do not have history of overstaying in other countries. If you have a previous Korean visa, then you need to submit a copy as a mandatory requirement.
1. Upon completion of necessary requirements, you have to go to the Consulate of South Korea in Dubai personally. Note that there is no online appointments and only walk in accepted.
2. The Consulate is located at Villa 39, St. 24b, Area 342, Jumeirah 2, Dubai.
How to go there thru public transportation:
– Using the metro, get off at Business Bay Station and exit at the seaside portion.
– Take the Bus 9 and alight at Al Wasl, Street 35, Dar Al Bar Society Bus stop.
– Walk a little until you see a gas station . Go behind the gas station and look for the Korean Consulate office in Street 35.