MANILA (UPDATED) - Filipinos who wish to travel to South Korea may apply for a visa only through travel agencies, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines announced Tuesday.
The new policy will be implemented starting July 1, 2018.
According to the Korean Embassy, the new policy will be implemented due to the big increase in Korean visa applicants.
"Total number of visa applicants increased from 90,000 in the year 2015 to 120,000 by the end of 2016. In the year 2017, total number of visa applicants recorded was around 160,000," the embassy said.
The increase in number of visa applicants caused inconvenience to the applicants.
"This increase in number of visa applicants caused the applicants to stand in hot weather outside the embassy for hours to wait in line for their turn to apply for respective visas," the embassy said.
The embassy has assigned the following travel agencies to process all applications:
- Aboex Travel and Tours
- Adventure International
- Ark Travel Express Inc.
- Blue Horizons Travel and Tours Inc.
- Budget Travel and Tours Inc.
- Casto Travel Philippines Inc.
- City Travel & Tours Corporation
- Come On Phils. Golf & Travel Agency Inc.
- Constellation Travels, Inc.
- First United Travel Inc.
- Getaway Tours International Inc.
- Grand Hope Travel, Inc.
- H.I.S (Philippines) Travel Corp.
- Hanatour Manila Inc.
- HankookCeb Corp.
- Horizon Travel & Tours, Inc.
- International Journeys Inc.
- Island Resort Club Tour Services, Inc.
- JTB Asia Pacific Phil. Corp.
- KP Joeun Consultancy Inc.
- Las Palmas Tours and Travel Agency, Inc.
- Marsman Drysdale Travel Inc.
- MNK Travel & Tours Corp.
- North Star International Travel, Inc.
- Pan Pacific Travel Corporation
- Party-On Travel and Tour Community Inc.
- Rajah Travel Corporation
- Rakso Air Travel and Tours Inc.
- Reli Tours and Travel Company
- Sharp Travel Service (Phils.) Inc
- Swire Travel Phils., Inc.
- The Baron Travel Corporation
- Travel Pros
- Travelservices, Inc.
- Uni-Orient Travel, Inc.
From July 1, all walk-in applicants for temporary visitor's visa will no longer be accepted.
The embassy, however, will allow walk-in applicants for the following:
- spouses and children of Koreans,
- holders of visa issuance number,
- government employees with official business trip, and
- those with humanitarian reason to travel to Korea urgently.