UPDATED 16 MARCH 2019
Planning to visit the land of K-dramas and K-pop and Kimchi?
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines have announced that starting 1 July 2018, visa applications will be processed through approved travel agencies only.
However, the embassy will allow walk-in applicants only for spouses and children of Koreans, holders of visa issuance number, government employees with official business trip, and for those with humanitarian reason to travel to Korea urgently.
At first I was disappointed with this news because I have always applied for a tourist visa directly through a country’s embassy. But after my recent experience, this change wasn’t that bad after all.
Here are 3 tips to make your visa application easier:
1. ALWAYS CHECK THE EMBASSY WEBSITE FOR UPDATES
While it’s good to browse through travel blogs for information, the best way to check for travel requirements is the Korean Embassy website.
Visa-related information change all the time. Updated list of requirements and accredited agencies are posted online. This will save you the hassle of submitting a document that is not needed, or applying through an agency that is not on their list anymore.
2. CHOOSE A GOOD TRAVEL AGENCY
Here is the list of approved agencies as of 1 July 2018.
I did my application through Travelpros (North Edsa Branch). For 700 PHP, they study your application, advise you of your documents and submit your papers to the embassy.
In 2018, Faye handled my application and she was brilliant! She even went out of her way to computerize my form.
This 2019, Noda helped me through the process and Faye popped up to say hi. Super nice ladies!
3. EXPECT DELAYS
When applying through an agency, give enough time for their handling and transport. Though the embassy may grant your visa in just a few days, the travel agency needs more time for pick-up and delivery to their branches.
I got my passport back after 8 days, even if my visa was approved in 3 days (the usual period for frequent travellers). Their website was pretty clear about the timeframe, so I wasn’t disappointed at all.
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