Get answers to the most commonly-asked questions regarding tourist visa applications to South Korea

Based on our experience in handling tourist visa applications to South Korea, the following are the things you need to know beyond the list of requirements. Answers are either based on actual guidelines or on our experience and therefore may become in-applicable in a certain point of time depending on the regulations of the Embassy/Consuate of the Republic of South Korea. Please note that we are a Cebu-based travel agency, and that there are times that guidelines and procedures followed in  Manila may vary from those followed in Cebu.

For any pressing concerns, please feel free to email or call us so we can assist you accordingly.

It depends on where you are applying. The Embassy in Manila has released guidelines that applicants must go through accredited travel agencies. However, in Cebu as of this writing, applicants have the option to go directly to the Consulate or to ask help from travel agencies like Green Earth Tours and Travel.

Green Earth Tours and Travel is a Cebu-based agency which can assist in processing your application for a tourist visa through the Cosulate of the Republic of South Korea in Cebu. To be able to process your documents with the consulate, Green Earth Tours and Travel had to submit pertinent business registration documents like Business Permit and SEC Certificate to the Consulate. However,  the agency has no personality to deal with the Embassy in Manila.

Yes, Green Earth Tours and Travel can assist anyone holding a Philippine passport to lodge an application at the Consulate of the Republic of South Korea in Cebu. Transactions for non Cebu-based applicants are done via courier and bank transfers. Documents are sent to our office, while payments are wired via bank transfers.

We review your documents thoroughly and give you inputs on how to establish your financial capacity and rootedness to the Philppines. We also take care of loding your documents at the Consulate so you do not have to fly to Cebu if you are based elsewhere. Please note that while the Consulate accepts walk-in applicants, it does not accept documents sent directly via courier.

No. It is never guaranteed as the approval/denial of your application rests solely at the discretion of the Consul after careful evaluaton of the documents you submit. Green Earth Tours and Travel NEVER gurantees approval. We only do our best to ensure your documents are complete and sufficient. However, there are limits to what we can do. For example, even if your documents are complete but your funds do not seem sufficient to justify a visa grant, there is a big chance you will get denied. We will then advise you to get an Affidavit of Support from a direct family member who can possibly answer for your financial needs for your trip to South Korea.

As of this writing, the Consulate releases results of application within 14 working days (starting 03 February 2020) from the time of lodging. By working days, this means that weekends and public holidays are not counted. For those based outside Cebu, please note that you need to factor in the time it takes to send docs via courier which is approximately 2-3 working days.

No, there is none. The Consulate adheres to the timeline of 10 working days (starting 01 October 2019) and this is in fact subject to extensions in the event that applicants will be asked to submit additional documents. The only time that you can possibly request for express processing is for humantiarian reasons, as when a relative in Korea is sick or dying and you are needed to tend to that relative. Leisure-goers must be responsible in filing applications way ahead of time. 

It is prudent for you to apply 3 months or 2.5 months prior your trip in the event of change in guidelines/processing time or in the event of denied applications, so that you still have time to reasses your documents and request for consideration.

Normally, first-time travellers are granted Single-Entry visas only. The Consulate has parameters for you to be able to apply for a Multiple-Entry visa, as when you are a frequent traveler to South Korea for justified reasons, or if you are a BDO or BPI Gold or Platinum cardholder. However, you can only request for a multiple-entry visa. Ultimately, it will be the Consulate which will assess whether or not you should be granted one.

  1. All Annual Income Tax Returns must be with BIR/BIR Authorized Agent “RECEIVED” or “BIR CERTIFIED TRUE COPY” stamp.
  2. If stamps cannot be obtained from your Revenue District Office (RDO), you may submit a copy of the Alpha List or Transmittal Letter/Sworn Declaration with BIR stamp together with your unstamped ITR.
  3. If the applicant is a Minimum Wage Earner (MWE) or an Overseas Contract Worker (OCW) or otherwise exempt from paying taxes under the National Internal Revenue Code or other laws, you may secure a certification from the BIR to that effect.

For applicants who have been to OECD countries, the Consulate in Cebu will still require that you submit your ITR.

However, if you have been to Korean within the past 5 years, you will no longer be required to sumit your ITR. 

OECD stands for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Its member counties are the following: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg,

Mexico, Netherlands. New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States

If applying via Manila, your documents like Bank Certificates and the like must be addressed to:


122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center

Fort Bonifacio, 1634 Taguig, Philippines

If applying via Cebu, your documents must be addressed to:


12/F Chinabank Corporate Center

Samar Loop, Cebu Business Park

6000 Cebu City, Philippines

You may send your documents to:


Suite 203 Cardoc Building, No. 5 Mango Avenue

6000 Cebu City, Philippines

If staying in South Korea as a tourist for 59 days or less, it does not cost anything for you to apply for a visa directly at the Consulate. However, if you go through travel agencies and request for their assistance, travel agencies will be charging you a service fee, which will vary per agency. Choose the one you feel comfortable wih and you feel can help you out with your needs.

If you apply via Green Earth Tours and Travel, we lodge your applications between 0900H-1100H from Mondays through Fridays unless there are public holidays. This is the window given by the Consulate for us to lodge applications. Beyond that, we will have to wait for the next business day, and still betweein 0900H-1100H. 

If you are based outside Cebu and your documents are delivered by the courier on Day 1 (example, Monday), we will be able to file your applicatgion the day after (ie, Day 2 or on Tuesday).

Upon lodging, we will be given a slip to inform us of the estimated release date of the result of your application.

Results are released by the Consulate between 1400H to 1600H only. If we are unable to claim within the window, we will have to return on the next business day. For applicants outside Manila, this means that your documents will be sent back via courier the day after. We will give you the tracking number so you can monitor and trace your parcel.

Green Earth Tours and Travel has no strong preference as to courier used. Most guests outside Cebu send documents via LBC, 2GO or JRS. In our case, we send documents back to you via 2GO and on special cases, LBC or JRS.