You read it right! Starting July 1, 2018, Filipinos who wish to travel to South Korea may apply for a visa only through officially designated travel agencies.
What Does this Mean?
The Korean Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines will no longer accept walk-in applicants or any direct applications for a temporary visit visa. Some exemptions though apply here.
What’s the Reason of the Korean Embassy?
This new policy, to be implemented starting July 1 this year, was due to the big spike in Korean visa applicants.
“The total number of visa applicants increased from 90,000 in the year 2015 to 120,000 by the end of 2016. In the year 2017, the total number of visa applicants recorded was around 160,000,” the embassy said in a statement.
The increased number of visa applications caused inconvenience to the applicants, saying: “This increase in the number of visa applicants caused the applicants to stand in hot weather outside the embassy for hours to wait in line for their turn to apply for respective visas.”
Who are Exempted from this Policy?
The embassy, however, will allow walk-in applicants for the following:
- spouses and children of Koreans;
- holders of visa issuance number;
- government employees with an official business trip; and,
- those with humanitarian reason to travel to Korea urgently.
Korean Embassy-Accredited Travel Agencies
Aboex Travel and Tours
Unit 14 Upper Ground Globe Tower Plaza 1 Pioneer St., Cor. Madison St., Mandaluyong
G/F 3rd & 4th Floor Eurovilla 2, Rufino St. Legaspi Village, Makati City
Blue Horizons Travel and Tours, Inc.
23 Floor Pacific Star Bldg Makati Avenue Cor Sen Gil Puyat, Makati City
Budget Travel and Tours, Inc.
Suite 3, Metropolitan Tower, Mabini St. Malate Manila
Casto Travel Philippines Inc.
2/Flr Tuscan Bldg., 114 VA Rufino St., Legaspi Village, Makati City
City Travel & Tours Corporation
LG8 Cityland 10 Tower 1, H.V Dela Costa St., Salcedo Village, Makati City
Come on Phils. Golf & Travel Agency, Inc.
A-36 HK Sun Plaza Macapagal, Pasay
Constellation Travels, Inc.
11/F Pryce Center Condominium 1179 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Bagtikan St., San Antonio Village, Makati City
First United Travels Inc.
Garden Level Corinthian Plaza Paso de Roxas, Makati City
Getaway Tours International, Inc.
02-524-2202 / 02-524-2252
576 San Andres St. near corner Adriatico St. Malate, Manila
H.I.S. (Philippines) Travel Corp.
2/F Serendra Bonifacio High Street Bonifacio Global City, Fort Bonifacio
02-776-0253 / 032-238-2595
Trans Asia Building Room 301 Cor. MJ Cuenco Ave, Osmena Boulevard, Cebu City
JTB Asia Pacific Phil. Corp.
02-894-5528 / 02-854-5514
18th floor, RCBC Savings Bank Corporate Cntr., 26th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
KP Joeun Consultancy Inc.
02-4511282 / 02-998-6639
Retail 9, Goldland Millenia Tower J., Escriva Drive Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Las Palmas Tours and Travel Agency, Inc.
G/F Unit b2 Imperial Bayfront Tower, 1642 A. Mabini St. Malate, Manila
MNK Travel & Tours Corp.
802 One Corp. Center, Julia Vargas Cor., Meralco Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City
North Star International Travel Inc.
19F Trident Tower 312 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
Party-On Travel and Tour Community, Inc.
Unit C2 17th Flr. Strata 100 Bldg. F. Ortigas Jr. Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Reli Tours and Travel Company
3rd Floor Dusit Hotel Corner Edsa Pasay Road Makati City
Sharp Travel Service (Phils.) Inc.
Suite 504 Alexander House Bldg. Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City
Swire Travel Phils., Inc.
6th Floor Country Spacel Bldg. Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
The Baron Travel Corporation
3F PCCI Corporate Center 118 L.P. Leviste Street Salcedo Village, Makati City
6340265 / 6340266
5F SM Megamall Bldg B. Edsa Mandaluyong City
2F Trinity Insurance Center 7504 Bagtikan Street, San Antonio, Makati City
Uni-Orient Travel, Inc.
447 Juan Luna Street, Binondo, Manila
Group Visa and e-Gropu Visa Accredited Travel Agencies
In addition, the following agencies that have been accredited to process group visa and e-group visa last year are also allowed to accept temporary visit/tourist visa applications.
Travel agencies for Group Visa
Ark Travel Express, Inc.
02-246-1518 / 02-816-6416
146 Alfaro Place, L.P Leviste St. Salcedo Village, Makati City
Grand Hope Travel, Inc.
Lower Ground Level, SM City – NRA, Cebu City
Hanatour Manila, Inc.
2/F Damon Bldg., Macapagal Avenue, 1011 Pasay, Metro Manila
Horizon Travel & Tours, Inc.
490 Potenciana Mansion Sta Monica St., Ermita, Manila
Island Resort Club Tour Services, Inc.
Unit 109-P, G/F Five Ecom Center, Pacific Drive, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City
International Journeys, Inc.
Unit 2 Third Floor Altra Center 1663 Jorge Bocobo Street Malate, Manila
Marsman Drysdale Travel, Inc.
19th Floor Robinsons Summit Center Ayala Avenue, Makati City
Pan Pacific Travel Corporation
353 E.T. Yuchengco Street, Binondo, Manila
Rajah Travel Corporation
3/F 331 Building, 331 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
Rakso Air Travel and Tours, Inc.
3F Rico Bldg. #112, Aguirre St., Legaspi Village, Makati City
Travel agencies for E-Group Visa
- Hanatour Manila Inc.
- International Journeys Inc.
- Island Resort Club Tour Services, Inc.
- Pan Pacific Travel Corporation
- Rakso Air Travel and Tours Inc.
How Much Does a Korean Visa Cost?
While the visa itself will most likely remain free-of-charge, however, these agencies will surely be collecting processing fees.
TIP: Since rates will most likely vary, contact these agencies and compare prices and identify which one is the most convenient to get to.