How I Got A Multiple Entry Korean Visa

I received a call from a BPI sales rep back in May saying that I am pre-qualified for a BPI Gold card. I immediately declined the offer because credit card = debt. She gave me an email address where I can reach them in case I change my mind, but I wasn’t paying attention and did not bother writing it down.

For some strange reason, I had an urge to check out the card’s features as soon as we ended the call, and I saw their Imagine Your Korea promo. It says that BPI Gold cardholders will be entitled to a 3-year multiple entry Korean visa while BPI Platinum and Gold Express Teller Debit cardholders may be issued 3- or 5-year multiple entry visas. Additionally, said cardholders will be exempted from submitting financial documents (ITR and bank certificate).

So I did what any travel junkie would and frantically searched online for BPI sales’ email address. LOL Thanks to their responsive Twitter account handler, I got hold of the email address and was able to request a call back. I think my card arrived within a week from our correspondence.

Now, I could have applied a month after receiving my first statement of account, but I was so swamped with work.

When my schedule finally cleared up earlier this month, I decided to lodge our Korean visa application. I made a last-minute decision to include my mom in the application because why not? It’s free anyway, and you’re not even required to book tickets and accommodation. Totally risk-free!

Just to give you a brief background of our profile:

Me: 31 years old, single, self-employed, no OECD visa but traveled to 12 countries in the last 5 years

My mom: 61 years old, widow, unemployed, no OECD visa but traveled to 4 countries in the last 5 years

Please take note that the requirements I’m going to list here only apply to self-employed individuals and, specifically, to BPI Gold cardholders.

Here are the requirements I submitted:

  • Duly accomplished application form with recent passport size photo
  • Original passport and photocopy of bio page (Page 2)
  • Photocopy of my BPI Gold card (front only)
  • Photocopies of latest 3 months BPI credit card Statement of Account
  • Photocopy of my DTI Certificate
  • Photocopy of my BIR Certificate of Registration (Form 2303)
  • Photocopy of my birth certificate from NSO (proof of relationship for family applications)

Click here for the list of requirements for employees.

The only requirements I submitted for my mom were:
  • Duly accomplished application form with recent passport size photo
  • Original passport and photocopy of bio page (Page 2)
  • Photocopy of her birth certificate from NSO

On her application form under Section 10.2a (Funding Details): Who will pay for your travel-related expenses? I just wrote my name and contact details.

***

I went to the embassy last September 7, 2016 and arrived at around 10:30 am.

I signed in the logbook, had my bag checked, and went inside the consular office.

As expected, there were lots of people. Not sure if that’s always the case or because of the BDO and BPI promo. :p

I lined up to get a number, and prepared our documents while waiting in line. I informed the officer that I am a BPI cardholder. He checked our documents, and gave me a number for Window 3.

The current application being processed at Window 3 was 455. I’m 457, so I had my NSO birth certificate photocopied first. Then I saw my number flashing on the screen. I didn’t have time to double-check our documents and ran to the window.

I handed the consul our documents, and she went through it swiftly. The only questions she asked me were if I am traveling with my mother and if I am a BPI Gold cardholder.

After a few seconds, she gave me a claim stub with a tentative release date of September 13, 2016 (September 12, 2016 was a holiday). Imagine, it took me 3 hours to get to the embassy and less than 5 minutes to lodge the application. Unbelievable!

Then I realized I forgot to submit a copy of my bank statement, and couldn’t go back to the window because the consul was already entertaining another applicant. I was worried it might affect our application because I’ve heard stories of people who got denied even though they have complete requirements, stable job/business, and more than enough money in the bank. Bahala na si Batman!

***
 

September 13, 2016, moment of truth.

I arrived at around 1:00 pm, and there was already a long queue even though releasing starts at 1:30 pm.

Probably due to the number of people, they decided to start releasing earlier (around 1:15 pm), but they also announced that those with claim stubs with a tentative release date for that day will have to return the following day. I was about to lose it, but they quickly clarified that it only applies for applications lodged in Windows 1 & 2. Applications lodged in Window 3 can get their passports that day.

By the way, make sure to write down your name and contact number at the back of the claim stub. Only write one name even though you’re claiming more than one passport.

I think I waited about 15 minutes before my number was called. Imagine my delight when the lady told me that my mom and I were both given 3-year multiple entry Korean visas. Yey!

I’m really happy because not only can I go to Korea anytime I want in the next 3 years, but I also now have a valid OECD visa. This means it’ll be easier to enter other countries, too, like Taiwan because I’ll just need a travel authority. Hopefully, it’ll have a bearing on my other future visa applications too. 🙂

K

Korean Embassy Manila
122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City

How to get there:

  • The Korean Embassy is located at the corner of Upper McKinley Road and C5 Road right beside the British Embassy.
  • From Guadalupe MRT Station or Market! Market!, take the FTI-C5 jeepney. It will take 20 minutes from Guadalupe MRT Station and 7 minutes from Market! Market!
  • From Venice Piazza at McKinley Hill, there is a free shuttle bus that will take you to Upper McKinley Road. The ride will take about 10 minutes. The embassy is within walking distance from the last bus stop at McKinley Road.
Visa Application: 8:30 am to 11:00 am
Releasing of Passports: 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Visa processing takes 5 working days for first time travelers and 3 working days for frequent travelers to Korea (or with OECD visas/BDO/BPI, basically, all applications processed at Window 3).

13 thoughts on “How I Got A Multiple Entry Korean Visa

  1. I was just wondering if your visa actually had bpi written in the remarks part of your visa? I used my bdo card when I applied & the remarks part was left blank. Thanks

  2. Hello there Im just a little bit worried, my flight on korea will be on december. I plan to get our visa this october and I’m considering to get a multiple entry visa using a bdo gold mastercard but to be honest I will only apply for that mastercard right now. Is it advisable?? I’m worried because it was only 1 month by that day?? Can you give me some advise?? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Mau,

      I’m not sure. As per the BDO promo, it doesn’t exactly say how long you should be a cardholder or the number of billing statements required. It just says ‘recent monthly statement’. But as usual, visa issuance is the sole discretion of the Korean Embassy.

  3. Hello! I would just like to ask if application for multiple visa were totally free? I mean did you pay for a multiple visa application fee? Thank you 😁

    1. Hi Louise,

      It’s free. The multiple entry visa is for stay of up to 30 days per entry.

      You only have to pay if you’re applying for a visa for stay of 60 to 90 days.

  4. Hi,

    Tanong ko lang po, do you indicate in your appli that you’ll be the one sponsoring your mom? Or dapat supplementary nyo po siya? Thanks

    1. Hi, as I stated in the post “On her application form under Section 10.2a (Funding Details): Who will pay for your travel-related expenses? I just wrote my name and contact details.”

  5. Hi..thanks for this post. Question: since you just got your BPI Gold when you applied for the Visa; I would assume that there would be little (if none) transaction on it.. was it a factor? or just having the BPI gold card photocopied together with the SOA from BPI… Or you applied after accumulated “transactions” with the card?

    1. Hi,

      I had some transactions on my BPI card when I applied for the visa. I’m not sure if they consider the credit limit as a factor, but I would assume that you should have more than enough credit available on your card at the time of application to reflect that it can cover the cost you stated on your visa application form. I think that’s important since you won’t be submitting any financial docs other than the credit card statements and copy of the card.

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