29 °C Manila, PH
December 5, 2023

South Korea relaxes visa requirements amid MERS outbreak


The Republic of Korea has issued visa extension and revoked the submission of ITR as visa requirement for select Filipinos traveling to the country.

“The validity of every single-entry visa that was issued before and after the MERS development (from March 1 to June 30, 2015) was extended from the current three months to six months,” wrote the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a notification dated July 3.

In light of the MERS outbreak, the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs reasoned that the decision “would prevent them [foreign tourists] from going through inconvenient procedures such as visiting Korean embassy to have their visa extended.”

The South Korean government has also exempted Filipinos who have gone to the country as tourists at least once within five years from submitting ITR copies, according to a memorandum circular distributed by the Philippine Travel Agencies Association.

“Starting July 1, 2015, all visa applicants who have travelled as tourist to Korea at least once within 5 years will be EXEMPT from submitting their ITR copies. Processing time will also be reduced to 3 working days. They are still required to apply at window 1 or 2,” wrote PTAA in the circular to members.

It added: “Those who have travelled to Korea ONCE within 5 years with purpose other than TOUR such as business, church visit, family visit, are still required to submit ITR copies. They are required to apply at window 1 or 2. Processing time is 5 working days.”

“Those who have travelled to Korea MORE THAN TWICE within 4 years are exempt from submitting ITR copy and may apply at window 3 (frequent travellers).”


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