Going abroad with the family is one of my dreams, but I didn’t know that it will happen unplanned. It was an abrupt decision to go to South Korea just because some friends at work begged at me to fly with them. Well, to be honest, I wanted to experience what it’s like in South Korea since I’ve watched several KDramas and follow some Korean artists, but to my mind, not this year, coz I’m not prepared (I guess).
It was late June when I told my husband about some colleagues (and our boss), who insisted that I join the SK trip. To my surprise, he positively replied and said, “Why not push it on your birthday come October?”
And that’s where it really all started. In less than four months, the dream of going abroad with the family will happen.
As I said, it wasn’t a planned trip, but I got so excited that I bought flight tickets first through Cebu Pacific seat sale. Little did I know that there were so much things to do like passport renewal. We cannot proceed applying for a South Korea visa coz our passports were about to expire by September 2019.
But God is good, our company had a scheduled DFA passport caravan last July and I was able to secure our slots. By mid-August, we received our e-passport.
So the next step – visa application. I thought it’s an easy one, but there were so many documents needed. If you’re thinking of going to South Korea with the family, here’s what you need to accomplish.
- Application Form ( Download from Korea embassy)
- 1 pc. Passport size colored picture
- Photocopy of BioPage of Passport
- Original and photocopy of valid visa and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years (if applicable)
- Original Bank Certificate (must include account type, account opening date and account balance)
- Original Bank Statement ( for the last 3 months)
- Original Certificate of Employment with date of hiring and salary indicated
- Income Tax Return
- Birth Certificate
- Marriage Certificate
- Original School Certification
- School ID
- PRC ID/IBP ID (if applicable)
It’s important to secure these documents as early as possible because processing of visa application now takes 20-30 days. I’m lucky enough to trust Rakso Travel Agency, I submitted the documents to them days before the South Korea embassy implemented the longer processing time. The agency charged P2,800 each per visa application.
Frankly, I was too nervous because I already have plane tickets even though we don’t have visa yet. Imagine if I fail to get visa, I will also bid goodbye to P42,000. Lessons learned for our next out of the country trip to secure visa first before buying plane tickets.
The good news unravelled a week before our flight, our visa were approved and by Oct 4, our passports were released from South Korea embassy.
What transpired during our South Korea trip? I’ll share to you on my next post.