|In front of Heunginjimun Gate- One of 8 gates of Seoul|
With its more than 5000 years of history and culture, stunning landscapes and impressive places to visit, no doubt that Korea is one of the many countries sought after by travelers all around the world. The economy of this country is also on the verge of glory with many manufacturing firms developed that is why there are a lot of people who wanted to work in the land of the calm morning. Not only that, the Kpop and Kdramas start to dominate the world of entertainment and people from different countries appreciate it despite the language barrier. All that and more are the reasons why Korea should be on your travel bucket list.
|At the Namsan Seoul Tower of Korea|
However, obtaining a visa to go to Korea is not a simple process. They’re very strict when it comes to approving Visa especially for the tourist visa. Here is a good news, it is now possible to go to Korea from Philippines and other selected countries without a VISA. The Korea Immigration office has recently announced the conditions to be satisfied for a VISA free entry to Korea. Check the following conditions below and see if you are qualified for this offer,
1. Frequent Visitors
If you frequently travel to Korea, you may have the chance for a free visa. How frequent is frequent? Well, you should have traveled at least 11 times to Korea for the past two years. This could be true to people doing business in Korea, or for somebody who has big reasons why he needs to travel to Korea that often. Of course, they will also check if you have no Immigration offence or other criminal records before the free visa will be granted. This condition is applicable to all countries including Philippines with the exception of China, Cuba and Macedonia.
2. Transit tourists bound for another Country
This may sound expensive but this could be good news to all hardcore travelers out there. If you are going to travel to U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, you can drop by at Korea without being questioned of a Visa. These five countries should be your final destination. So all you need to do is to acquire a visa to any of the 5 countries mentioned and then you can go to Korea with no Visa. In order to be qualified with this condition, you must have a confirmed onward flight ticket for departure. You can stay up to 30 days in Korea, and at the 30th day, you must leave Korea and proceed to any of the 5 countries I mentioned. But of course, this condition is on top of you having no record of criminal offence in those five countries. This is applicable to all countries including Philippines except Macedonia, Cuba, Syria and Iran and to unincorporated territories of US which are Guam and Saipan.
|Wedding rites at Korean Folk Village|
3. Special Entry arrangements for the Jeju island
So you think the first two conditions are too difficult to satisfy? Why not check out this 3rd condition, the special entry arrangements for Jeju Island.
You can arrange a trip to Jeju Island from Philippines. Korea will not require Visa for visitors who will arrive directly into Jeju Island by flights or by ships. You can stay up to 30 days in this very famous island of Korea. However, the special entry arrangement is not applicable for the following 11 countries: -Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Cuba, Syria, Macedonia, Palestine, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Ghana
4. APEC Business Travel Card(ABTC)
If you are an APEC Business Travel Card(ABTC) holder, visa-free entry is permitted for you. As of October 2009, 18 countries are eligible for this condition namely Korea, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Mexico.
Please note that ABTC holders are given Short Term Business or a C-2 Visa status and they can stay in Korea up to 90 days.
|Enjoying the sand and sunset at Muchangpo Beach|
So there you go everyone. If you are from Philippines, you can check the four conditions applicable to that country in order to enter Korea without a Visa.
If you are not from Philippines, check the complete list of conditions for a No Visa Entry in the Hi-Korea website. There are also special arrangements for China, Japan, Europe and many more. Before you get your sleeves up for a hard procedure of processing your Korean Visa, you may want to check first if you can have options to go to Korea with no Visa.
See you soon here in Korea!!!