Are you a BPI or BDO cardholder? A promo — recently extended by the Korean embassy to 2017 — makes it easier for you to get a multiple-entry Korean visa without submitting an ITR or bank certificate.
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea announced last November 16, 2016 that it was extending its visa promo for the following cardholders:
- BDO Gold
- BDO Elite
- BPI Gold Master Card
- BPI SkyMiles Platinum Master Card
- BPI Amore Visa Platinum
- BPI Gold Express Teller Debit Card
Under the promo, visa applicants who have any of the cards listed above will not have to submit a bank certificate and income tax return (ITR). They will also be eligible for a multiple-entry visa to Korea valid for at least 3 years (although the embassy reserves the right to grant only a single entry visa upon the decision of the consul-in-charge).
Note: Employment certificate / business permit and documents other than Bank Certificate and ITR are still required.
Korean Visa Requirements
Ordinarily, these are the documents that are required when applying for a Korean visa:
|Requirements||Employees||Businessmen||Students||Retired Senior Citizens**||Housewives / Househusbands|
|1 pc passport size colored picture||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Photocopy of passport bio page||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|OECD country visas & stamps*||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Certificate of Employment||✓||–||Of parents
|Bank Certificate||✓||✓||Of parents||✓||Personal or husband’s/wife’s|
|Bank Statement||✓||✓||Of parents||✓||Personal or husband’s/wife’s|
|ITR or Form 2316||✓||✓||Of parents||–||Of husband/wife|
|Photocopy of Business Registration from SEC or DTI||–||✓||Of parents
|Photocopy of Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit||–||✓||Of parents
|School Certificate (Original)||–||–||✓||–||–|
|Copy of School ID||–||–||✓||–||–|
|Copy of Birth Certificate||–||–||✓||–||–|
|NSO Marriage Certificate||–||–||Of parents||–||✓|
|Copy of Senior Citizen’s ID||–||–||–||✓||–|
*Only if applicable
**For senior citizens: If bank documents are under the name of another family member, proof of relationship (e.g., copy of Marriage Contract for spouse, Birth Certificate for child, etc.) must be submitted.
For all applicant types:
- Passport should be valid for more than 6 months.
- OECD country visas & stamps — refers to the original and photocopy of valid visa(s) and arrival stamp(s) to OECD member countries for the past 5 years. OECD member countries include Australia, Canada, Japan, the Schengen member countries, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. A complete list of OECD member countries can be found here.
- Certificates of Employment must be original and should include applicant’s position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR landline number (cellphone number not allowed), and the HR e-mail address.
- Bank certificates must be original and should include account type, current balance, account opening date, and average daily balance (ADB).
- Bank statement — original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months.
For applicants invited by a Korean citizen/company:
- If personally invited by a Korean:
- Invitation Letter
- Photocopy of invitor’s Passport or Identification Card (authentication not required)
- If invited by a company in Korea:
- Invitation Letter
- Photocopy of Korean Company Business Permit (authentication not required)
For a complete list of requirements for all applicant types, see: Visa Requirements.
Korean Visa Promo for BDO Cardholders
BDO cardholders who submit their credit card statements upon visa application are exempted from having to submit a bank certificate and Income Tax Return (ITR) and are eligible for a multiple-entry visa as follows:
- BDO Gold Cardholders : multiple-entry visa to Korea valid for 3 years
- BDO Elite Cardholders : multiple-entry visa to Korea valid for 3-5 years
Source: Korean embassy website
Korean Visa Promo for BPI Cardholders
The Korean embassy is giving multiple-entry visas — without the need to submit bank certificates or ITRs — to the following BPI cardholders who can submit their credit card or debit card statement of account upon visa application:
- BPI Gold Master Card : multiple-entry visa to Korea valid for 3 years
- BPI SkyMiles Platinum Master Card : multiple-entry visa to Korea valid for 3-5 years
- BPI Amore Visa Platinum : multiple-entry visa to Korea valid for 3-5 years
- Gold BPI Express Teller Debit Card : multiple-entry visa to Korea valid for 3-5 years
Source: Korean embassy website
Aside from BPI and BDO cardholders, who else are exempted from submitting an ITR?
- Those who have travelled as tourist to the OECD member countries within 5 years (Source)
- All visa applicants who have travelled as tourist to Korea at least once within 5 years (Source)
Please note the following:
- Print the application form on A4 size paper.
- The Korean embassy specifically advises not to buy plane tickets before applying for a visa.
- Validity of visa is only 3 months from the issue date. Do not apply more than 3 months prior to the date of travel.
- Applications may be filed by a representative as long as the documents are complete.
- Applications are accepted at the Consular Office from 8:30-11:00 AM only. Applicants should arrive before 10:30 AM to allow sufficient time for processing.
- Releasing time is from 1:30-4:00 PM only.
- Applicants, especially first time travellers, are advised to personally claim their visas. There may be an interview with the Consul before the result is given.
- 3 working days for frequent travellers or those who have been to OECD member countries within the last 5 years as a tourist
- 5 working days for first time travellers and those who have not been to OECD member countries within the last 5 years
- Expedited processing is not available.
- 59 days (or less) stay in Korea: GRATIS
- 60 to 90 days stay in Korea: PHP 1,800.00