Thursday, November 8, 2018

How Our Family Got Korean Visa Despite NOT Having ITR's


Don't you just think airline companies has multi-faceted ways of luring you to buy flight tickets to one of the world destinations you have been dreaming off?

I've been sober from impulsive buying for a decade already, and being a learned frugal mom, I now know where to put our hard earned money.

Insurance investment and T-R-A-V-E-L.  Want me to spell it again?

"But traveling isn't cheap," as most would argue but it's one of the best investment you can gift yourself and your family.  Education should not be contained inside a four-walled room, kids will learn more through experience, culture and history.  History can be tangible and is not just written in textbooks.  My four kids would attest to that.


We've been traveling our beloved country for years now, and have been to more than 10 provinces as a family.  We're not done yet, as we have 81 provinces to explore.  However, my husband decided to give in and allow my girls this time to choose a destination.

The K-Drama, K-Pop enthusiasts chorused "South Korea!"  And I couldn't be more happier to implore this agreement to the man of the house.  Of course, my girls proved their Dad that they are worth going to Korea, as they have been doing well in school.  When he finally decided to say YES, I was already armed with an online ticketing application and ready to book us our fly.  In an instant (I made sure there was a Seat Sale) I was able to book us round trip tickets for a Winter dream tour to Seoul.

I knew then that even though I was able to snatch a deal, I should not celebrate yet as I need to fix our way there and be granted visas.  It took us two weeks to grab every paper that corresponds to the requirements.

Also, it took us a long time how to figure our way out without ITR's (both for my business and for my husband's job).  Another thing that worried us is how to explain why our two young adult kids are out of school and not working on regular basis. 

So, we will be traveling as a family of six, where I will be fulfilling requirements for business owners, my husband will be filling out for those employed under companies, my 2 girls as students and my two other kids as supported by my husband.

Allow me to share you the requirements.



To download the Application Form kindly go to this official website http://overseas.mofa.go.kr/ph-en/index.do, and click on VISA APPLICATION FORM. On the same sight, you will be led to other categories of your Visa Application and specific requirements.

NOTE:  MAKE SURE TO PRINT EVERYTHING IN A4 paper.


How to Explain Why you can't submit an ITR

Also, applying a Korean Visa is actually easier than you think.  All you need to do is find a legit and designated (certified) travel agency to assist you in filing your documents.  We went to Flight Center at Market! Market!, they are located at the third floor.  They were actually friendly and will give you good advise on how to go about your documents.

So, if you have the same dilemma as we did, applying for a visa without an ITR (Income Tax Return), here is how you can go about it.

Although, I've been running our Water Refilling station business for more than 5 years now, I never applied for an ITR.  We pay huge amount of taxes already whenever we apply for renewal for our business permit and I never issued any receipts or have we gotten any for our customers. So, I just had to explain that to the embassy through a formal letter.

Same goes with my husband, as he works under a Singaporean company but his work is based here.
I’ve read stories about submitting a letter of explanation and I did just the same.  He only receives a commission on the company sales and is given allowances.  All we needed to do is to explain all that to them in a letter.

However, submitting a letter of explanation does not guarantee visa approval.

Below is a sample pattern of letter you can also follow after.

          [date]
Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Republic of the Philippines
122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center,
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig city 1634, Philippines
Dear Sir / Madam:
1st paragraph: I am personally writing this letter to explain why I failed to present an Income Tax Return (ITR) as part of my requirements to obtain a Tourist Visa to South Korea.
2nd paragraph: explain why you don’t have an ITR.
3rd paragraph: brief background of your travel experiences in other countries
4th paragraph: explain why you want to visit South Korea [Korea has always been on top of my list, mainly because of the food and awesome theme parks. Nami Island is also part of my itinerary. I plan to stay 7 days maximum to give me enough time to experience and embrace the local culture.]
5th paragraph: closing statement 
Best regards,
[Name]

What to submit if your kids does not have a job or is out-of-school? 

Our next concern is if we would be allowed to bring our two young adult kids with us even if they could not submit Certificate of Enrollments, School ID's or employment documents.

We have a 22 year-old son and a 20 year old daughter who quit school for the moment and are working on part-time jobs.  Can they be also given visa's?  The answer is yes.  As long as the financial provider of the family can submit a Certificate vouching for them and testifying that he will handle all the finances that will be incurred upon by the beneficiaries.

For this we went to a Notary Public to help us make a certificate saying that my husband will be supporting the travel finances of our two kids.  Make sure to make for one each if you have more than one kids traveling with you.

Since my husband already have his bank statements and certificates with him showing that he can truly provide for all of us while on tour in Korea, it can somehow provide necessary details on that.

Another thing that somehow bothered us was that the agency, didn't get details of my husband's credit card, even if it was Gold.  According to the agency staff the Korean Embassy only accept BDO credit cards that are GOLD, Titanium and Platinum.  I do have a BDO Visa but it didn't fall under those categories, and my husband is under Citibank, so it was worthless on the application.  But you see whatever credit cards you have it should matter when traveling right? It did when I applied for ShenGen Visa for Italy last year.

After you have accomplished everything, submit them to the agency and they will do the rest for you.  Visa application in Korean Embassy is actually FREE, however, agencies would require fees so that they can submit your application to Korean Embassy.  We paid P 700 each.

No need to go to the embassy for an appearance or interview, you just need to wait for your agency to call you whether your Visa has been DENIED or GRANTED.


 Processing Time: 
  3 working days (for those who have been to OECD member countries within 5 years as tourist)
  5 working days (for those who have not been to OECD member countries within 5 years)

I guess for me and my two girls fall under the 3 working days since we went to Italy last year.  But since we applied as a family, we submitted our documents last October 25 and we got our passports back November 5, it actually fell under five days not counting of course the holidays and weekends.

So, yes!  Thank God, we were granted our Korean Visas!

If you're like us dreaming to go to South Korea, I pray that you can also ace the Visa requirement compliance and see you there!

Winter in Korea, here we come!



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