Published: 2022 • 09 • 21
One of the countries I’ve been almost desperately wanting to return to is South Korea. So when the Korean government announced it would finally begin accepting tourist visa applications again, I was the first to book flights.
The problem is, Korea is an extremely popular destination, especially among Filipinos. While the Korean Embassy in Manila is still trying to get back to normal operations, visa applications started piling up. But that’s not all. The embassy has also posted a notice warning against submission of falsified requirements like certificates of employment, bank certificates, ITR or other documents, implying a rise in dubious documents it receives. According to travel agents we talked to, it’s because of this that the embassy became stricter and more meticulous in reviewing applications.
All these led to the Embassy limiting the number of applications it accepts per day. Walk-in applicants formed long queues as early as the night before just to make sure they make it to the cutoff. I know this because I have attempted multiple times! I fell in line for hours only to be told that they couldn’t accept my application because they had already reached the day’s quota.
Fortunately, the Korean Embassy recently launched an online appointment system! The good news is, it eliminates the need for applicants to physically spend the night lining up. The bad news is, as with any other new system, it can still be quite confusing. Thankfully, I was able to successfully reserve a slot while documenting the entire process. In this article, I’ll share with you exactly how to secure a visa application appointment with the Korean Embassy.
But first, a few reminders:
- Make sure you have the following with you:
– a working e-mail address. You’ll need this to retrieve an authentication code.
– your passport details, particularly your name and passport number.
- You can schedule an appointment for yourself, parents and children ONLY. Outside these conditions, applying for a group or other people isn’t allowed.
- The best time to book is Tuesday, when the embassy opens slots for the coming week. However, some slots do open up on other days if other applicants or the embassy itself cancels their appointment.
- Use Google Chrome. I find it to be more compatible to the website than other browsers.
- Be quick. The number of slots dwindle FAST and be all gone in a matter of minutes.
- This guide is only for individual applicants. You may also apply via a designated travel agency.
Here’s how to get an appointment with the Korean Embassy for visa application:
WHAT’S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?
You can find it at https://consul.mofa.go.kr/en/main.do.
Under the APPLY FOR A CONSULAR SERVICE tab, click on RESERVATION TO VISIT A DIPLOMATIC MISSION. It’s the first button under this tab.
On the next page, a pop up will appear: Please log in as a non-member to access this service. Click OK. Then, follow these steps.
- On the log-in form, click on the CONSENT TO ALL TERMS & CONDITIONS OF USE button. It will display the terms. Read and scroll down, and then click CONFIRM.
- Enter your name as indicated on the passport that you will use.
- Enter your email address.
- Click SEND AUTHENTICATION NUMBER. The system will send a code to the email address you just entered. It usually takes a minute or so, but at peak times, it can take as long as 30 minutes.
- Enter the authentication number you received and click VERIFY.
- Under contact information, enter your phone or mobile number.
- Click NON-MEMBERSHIP LOG IN.
Before you reach this type, you might be redirected first to a virtual “waiting room”, depending on how heavy the visitor traffic is at the time. The page will show you how much time (in seconds) you need to wait before it takes you to the reservation page.
Once on the Reservation page, choose the following:
- Under SELECT A DIPLOMATIC MISSION, choose EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA TO THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. This is the Korean Embassy in Manila. (It’s toward the bottom of the list.) Note that there are two Philippine missions on the list. The other is the Consulate General in Cebu. Make sure you pick the right one.
- Under SELECT A CONSULAR SERVICE, choose VISA (INDIVIDUAL APPLICANTS FOR TOURISM). And then, under it, tick the box next to VISA (INDIVIDUAL APPLICANTS FOR TOURISM). It’s the only selectable box.
You’ll see that not all dates are clickable. The grayed out dates cannot be chosen. Pick a date.
After you pick a date, click the radio button beside 09:30. This is the only available time of submission for tourist visa applicants. These are the time allocations:
- 08:30 AM – accredited travel agencies and individual applicants for family visit and Filipino spouses of Korean nationals
- 09:30 AM – individual applicants for tourism visa only
- 10:30 AM – agencies for PEA or seasonal workers and individual applicants for official conference, entertainment, sports, business, studies, religious visit, foreign diplomat, international organization, etc.
Even though it’s the only option, don’t forget to still tick 09:30. You won’t be able to move on to the next step otherwise.
If all dates are grayed out and not clickable, it means there are no more available slots at the time. You can wait and keep on refreshing.
NOTE: The Embassy only opens slots for the coming week every TUESDAY. This makes Tuesday the best time to try to get an appointment. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find a slot any other day. Sometimes, the Embassy or the applicant themselves cancel their appointment, putting refreshed slots up for grabs.
‼️ Under SPECIFIC REQUESTS, enter your passport number! If you’re also applying for your parents/children under this appointment, you should enter all your full names and corresponding passport numbers.
If you don’t fill in the SPECIFIC REQUESTS field, the Embassy will automatically cancel your appointment and you’ll have to find a new slot. I learned this the hard way, so don’t make the same mistake.
Once everything is in order, type in the CAPTCHA code and click MAKE RESERVATION.
A note will pop up. Check if all the details are correct. You won’t be able to modify it afterwards. If you need to change something, you’ll have to cancel and make another reservation. If everything is correct, click OK.
You’ll be taken back to the RESERVATION page, which will now display your scheduled appointment. On the far right, under RESERVATION RECEIPT, click PRINT.
It looks like this:
‼️ IMPORTANT! Do not forget to print or save a copy of this receipt. They will check it when you visit the Embassy on your appointment date. Without it, you’ll be denied entry to the premises.
You’ll also receive a confirmation via email.
Bring the following:
- a printed or soft copy of your Reservation Confirmation
- Completed visa application form
- Passport and identification card
- All the other required documents
‼️ IMPORTANT! Only the visa applicants themselves whose names and passport numbers are indicated on the Reservation Receipt will be allowed to enter the Embassy. If you’re caught applying for someone other than yourself, your parents or your children, you will be blacklisted by the Embassy.
I didn’t make an appointment. Can I still make a walk-in visit to the Embassy?
NO. Walk-in applicants are no longer accepted, regardless of the visa type you’re applying for.
An appointment is required to be allowed entry.
I can’t find a slot. Is there any other way of applying for a visa?
YES. You may apply via a designated travel agency. They are given their own slots and hour.
However, agencies are also subject to a certain quota or limit set by the Embassy. Depending on the volume of applications, travel agencies may choose to refuse accepting applications, especially if your travel date is drawing near.
Should I still make an appointment online if I’m applying via a travel agency?
NO. The designated travel agency must make the appointment on your and other applicants’ behalf.
Can I make an appointment for my spouse (husband/wife) or siblings (brother/sister)?
NO. You may only apply for yourself, your parents, or your children.
Someone asked this question on the Korean Embassy’s official Facebook page. According to it, husbands and wives must make a separate appointment. I know it sounds inconvenient, but here’s a screenshot:
All the Embassy’s published notices exclusively mentions parents and children. Spouses and siblings are not included, even though they are immediate relatives, too.
The Embassy adds: “Your appointments for your cousins, nephews, nieces and other relatives will be cancelled by the Embassy.”
Can I make an appointment for my friends who will be my travel companions to Korea?
NO, they must secure an appointment slot on their own even though you will be traveling together.
Each applicant can book only for himself alone or for a parent or child. If your companion isn’t a parent or a child, they need to secure a separate appointment.
Can I make multiple appointments under my name?
NO. Only appointments for yourself, parent or child will be accepted. All of your appointments will be cancelled by the Embassy.
If you’re caught making two or more appointments under one name, you and all the other applicants associated with you will be blacklisted by the Embassy.
I keep on getting this error: 시스템에 일시적으로 장애가 발생했습니다. 잠시 후 다시 시도하여 주십시오. What does it mean?
It reads: The system has temporarily failed. Please try again later.
You may just refresh the page because it would keep on giving this error no matter what you click.