Published: 2022 • 09 • 21
One of the countries I almost desperately want to go back to is South Korea. So when the Korean government announced that it would finally start accepting tourist visa applications again, I was the first to book the flight.
The problem is, Korea is a very popular destination, especially among Filipinos. The Korean Embassy in Manila is still trying to get back to normal operations, with visa applications starting to pile up. But it does not end here. The embassy also posted a warning against submitting false requirements such as employment certificates, bank certificates, ITRs or other documents, citing an increase in suspicious documents received. According to the travel agents we spoke to, this is why embassies have become stricter and more careful in reviewing applications.
Because of this, the embassy limits the number of applications it accepts each day. Walk-in applicants form long queues the night before to ensure cutoff. I know this because I’ve tried multiple times! I queued for hours only to be told that they couldn’t accept my application because they had already reached their quota for the day.
Fortunately, the Korean Embassy has recently launched an online appointment system! The good news is, this eliminates the need for applicants to spend the night physically lining up. The bad news is that, like any other new system, it can still be quite confusing. Thankfully, I was able to successfully save a slot while documenting the entire process. In this article, I will 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 work e-mail address. You will need this to retrieve an authentication code
– Your passport details, especially your name and passport number.
- You can schedule an appointment for yourself, parents and children only. Outside of these conditions, applications for a group or other people are not permitted.
- The best time to book is Tuesday, when the embassy opens slots for the upcoming week. However, some slots open on other days if other applicants or the embassy itself cancels their appointment.
- Use Google Chrome. I find it more compatible with websites than other browsers.
- Be quick. The number of slots decreases rapidly and in no time they are all gone.
- These guidelines are for individual applicants only. You can also apply through a designated travel agency.
Here’s how to get an appointment at the Korean Embassy for visa application:
What is 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 Reserve a diplomatic mission visit. This is 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 and Conditions of Use button. It will display the terms. Read and scroll down, and then click make sure.
- Enter your name as indicated on the passport you will be using.
- Enter your e-mail address.
- Click to send authentication number. The system will send a code to the email address you provided. This usually takes a minute or so, but at peak times, it can take up to 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 may first be redirected to a virtual “waiting room”, depending on how heavy visitor traffic is at the time. The page will show you how long (in seconds) you have to wait before it takes you to the reservation page.
Once on the reservation page, select the following:
- Under A diplomatic mission, choose Embassy of the Republic of Korea for the Republic of the Philippines. This is the Korean Embassy in Manila. (This is towards 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.
- Select a consular service, select Visa (Individual Applicant for Tourism). And then, below that, tick the box next to Visa (Individual Applicant for Tourism). This is the only selectable box.
You will notice that not all dates are clickable. Cannot select date grayed out. Take a date.
After you’ve picked a date, click the radio button next to 09:30. This is the only available submission period for tourist visa applicants. This time is allocated to:
- 08:30 AM – Accredited Travel Agencies and Individual Applicants and Filipino Spouses of Korean Citizens for Family Visits
- 09:30 AM – Individual applicants for tourist visa only
- 10:30 AM – Agency for PEA or seasonal workers and individual applicants for official conferences, entertainment, sports, business, studies, religious tours, foreign diplomats, international organizations etc.
Although this is the only option, do not forget to tick at 09:30. You cannot proceed to the next step otherwise.
If all dates are grayed out and not clickable, it means there are no more slots available at that time. You can wait and refresh.
Note: Embassy only opens slots every Tuesday for the coming week. This makes Tuesday the best time to try to get an appointment. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a slot on any other day. Sometimes, the embassy or the applicant itself cancels their appointment, leaving refreshed slots up for grabs.
‼️ Under the specific request, enter your passport number! If you are also applying for your parents/children under this appointment, you must enter all your full names and corresponding passport numbers.
If you do not fill in the specified request field, the embassy will automatically cancel your appointment And you have to find a new slot. I learned this the hard way, so don’t make the same mistake.
Once everything is OK, type the captcha code and click Make a reservation.
A note will pop up. Check that all the details are correct. You won’t be able to modify it later. If you want to make any changes, you must cancel and make another reservation. If everything is correct, click OK.
You will be taken 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! Be sure to print or save a copy of this receipt. They will check this when you go to the embassy on your appointment date. Without it, you will be denied entry to the premises.
You will also receive a confirmation via email.
Bring the following:
- A printed or soft copy of your reservation confirmation
- Completed visa application form
- Passport and Identity Card
- All other required documents
‼️ Important! Only visa applicants whose name and passport number are indicated on the reservation receipt may enter the embassy. If you are caught applying for someone other than yourself, your parents or your children, You will be blacklisted by the embassy.
I have not made an appointment. Can I still go to the embassy?
no Walk-in applicants will no longer be accepted regardless of the visa you are applying for.
An appointment is required to allow entry.
I can’t find a slot. Is there any other way to apply for visa?
Yes. You can apply through a designated travel agency. They are given their own slots and hours.
However, agencies are also subject to a certain quota or limit set by the embassy. Depending on the volume of the application, travel agencies may refuse to accept the application, especially if your travel date is approaching.
If I apply through a travel agency, do I still need to make an appointment online?
no The nominated travel agency must make the appointment on behalf of you and other applicants
Can I make an appointment for my spouse (husband/wife) or siblings (brother/sister)?
no You can only apply for yourself, your parents or your children.
Someone asked this question on the official Facebook page of the Korean Embassy. It said that husband and wife should make separate appointments. I know it sounds awkward, but here’s a screenshot:
All notices published by the embassy refer exclusively to parents and children. Spouses and siblings are not included, although they are also immediate relatives.
The embassy adds: “The embassy will cancel your appointments for your cousins, nephews, nieces and other relatives.”
Can I make an appointment for my friends who will be my travel companions in Korea?
No, they must secure an appointment slot even though you will be traveling together.
Each applicant can book only for himself or for a parent or child. If your partner is not a parent or child, they will need to secure a separate appointment.
Can I make multiple appointments in my name?
no Appointments will be accepted for self, parent or child only. The embassy will cancel all your appointments.
If you are caught making two or more appointments under the same name, you and all other applicants associated with you will be blacklisted by the embassy.
I keep getting this error: The system has temporarily failed. Please try again later. What does this mean?
It reads: The system has temporarily failed. Please try again later.
You can just refresh the page because it will keep giving this error no matter what you click.