It is compulsory to have a VISA for Indian passport holders to visit South Korea main land but no need of visa to visit Jeju island which is an Island under South Korea’s Government. Normally people would seek help from some visa agencies like VFS global. But sadly guys, for South Indians, we must only apply through the nearest South Korean consulate since VFS service is not available in South India for South Korean visa processing. As Keralites, our nearest consulate is located in Chennai and we had to go there and apply directly. First make sure what type of VISA we needed and it is important. If you do not specify your type of VISA or purpose, it may lead to VISA rejection. South Korean consulate is very much strict on each and every single thing.
Our VISA type is ‘Short Term Single Entry (nonprofit & stay Visa)’ which is Temporary Visit (C-3) for those who seeking short term stay for travel/transit, market research, liaison, observation, consultation, contract, installation / repair/ inspection / operation of machinery for import / export, medical treatment, visiting relatives, a major sporting event, attending conferences, various cultural or artistic events, religious ceremony, or other similar reasons. They will allow you to stay 90 days in Korea with this type of visa.
My advice: Please do not go through some local visa agencies. South Korean consulate in Chennai blacklisted many of the agencies and they won’t accept applications from them. We have seen a blacklist notice on the notice board at the consulate office. Its better go directly to the consulate and apply.
Eligibility Criteria for South Korea Tourist Visa for Indians
- You must have a valid passport with at least two unused pages for visa stamping.
- Your passport must have a validity of at least 6 months.
- You must have a copy of the duly filled and completed application form.
- You must provide proof of confirmed hotel reservation. You can book a hotel through https://www.booking.com/ or https://www.agoda.com/ without initial payment. Book a hotel and take a print out. You don’t have to stay there. You may cancel after your visa approval and book another one of your convenience. This is only for visa application submission purpose.
- You must provide proof of your financial ability so as to support yourself financially during your stay in South Korea and for your return transportation.
- You must provide a formal statement of your financial situation from your bank for the previous 6 months with an amount of 1 lakh [approx. 1,405 USD] duly stamped and signed by the bank.
- If you are not from India, then calculate your flight charge, hotel stay, transportation, food, purchase, etc. You should have to show that the sum of money in your bank account.
- You must provide proof of employment and a copy of your income tax return (ITR) for the past 2 years.
- Your employment letter/ No Objection letter should include your full name, address, company details, designation, leave approval, etc. please see the sample which I submitted. CERTIFICATE OF EMPLOYMENT.docx-SARA-2018.
- If you do not possess an ITR, then provide a convincing letter of explanation why you don’t have an ITR. Please check the sample of no- ITR letter I have submitted. NO ITR letter
- Your last 3 months salary slip.
- You intend to leave South Korea at the end of your authorized stay.
Once you are aware of all the details regarding the application, you can go ahead with the following procedures.
Download the visa application form from the website of Embassy of South Korea in your country of residence or you can download it from here 사증발급신청서(‘18.06.12. 개정, 한영문) (2)
Fill out the details required in the application form carefully. Do not make mistakes or overwriting. It may cause to rejection of the VISA. Do not forget to put your signature on your completed application form. Contact us if you have difficulty in filling the form.
Make a checklist of the documents that you need to submit along with your application form. Gather all the documents and keep them ready for submission.
Provide your recent color photograph for the visa application. Make sure that your photograph matches or corresponds to all the specifications required for visa photographs. In any case, your photograph must not be more than 6 months old. You will need to submit two copies of your passport photograph along with your visa application form. The required size is 35X45mm, white background, mat finish, and 80% face size.
Make sure that your application is complete in all aspects as incomplete applications are not accepted.
Check the fees required for your visa application. Keep the fee ready for submission along with your visa application form. Remember to check the mode of payment accepted for the visa application by the Embassy of South Korea located in your country of residence. In Chennai consulate, they accept only liquid cash. So keep the required money with you.
Fees for South Korea tourist visa for single entry for Indians (up to 90 days) – 51 USD (INR 3500)
Please keep it in mind that your application fee will not be refunded if your application for a tourist visa is refused or rejected for any reason. The visa application fee is subject to change at any time.
*The conversion into Indian currency is based on current conversion rates, which may change.
Submit your completed visa application form at the Embassy of South Korea nearest to you, along with all the required documentation. They will check all the documents and application form at the time of the submission and let us know if something is missing.
As for me, the nearest consulate is in Chennai. The address is
Consulate General of the Republic of Korea
5th Floor, No 29, Bannari Amman towers
Dr.Radhakrishnan Salai Road
Mylapore, Chennai 600004
Tel: +91 44 40615500
Then pay the relevant fee for your visa application at the time of submitting your application form. You will get a receipt and then you have to wait for 5 working days to collect your visa and passport.
After your visa is issued, you will be notified regarding the issuance. Collect your visa on time. We have submitted our form on a Monday and collected our Visa through a friend on Friday.
Dos and Don’ts to remember
You must remember the following dos and don’ts while applying for South Korea tourist visa.
- Apply for a tourist visa at least 4 weeks in advance of your planned travel date so that there is enough time for the application procedure to be completed on time
- Fill up your application form carefully with all accurate details. No strikeout.
- Take your original copies and photocopies of all supporting documents when you go to submit your visa application form at the Embassy of South Korea
- Be genuine in each procedure.
- Do not present false documents for your tourist visa.
- Do not hide or misrepresent facts in your application.
Once you submitted the application you should have to wait 5 working days to know your status of visa approval and now you can check VISA status in their official visa portal. Go to this website
It’s in the Korean language by default, change it to English then click the ‘check application status and print’ link. Then it will look like the below screenshot.
Type in your passport number, name in your passport and date of birth then click search.
You know what? This is the real tension. This checking will remind us of our university examination result. Do you know what I mean? There will be shivering starts from our fingertips, then it will spread through our spine. Anything can happen. Although we are not sure what will happen next, keep your fingers crossed and go for it!
One of the status among four types of status which will return upon clicking the search button. They are ‘Application received’, ‘under review’, ‘Approved’, ‘Denied’.
The second day after submission, we got ‘Application received’
Then after 2 days, we got ‘Under Review’
Then on Friday morning, we still have ‘Under Review’ on around 11.30 am, finally we got this ‘APPROVED’. Woo-hoo! What a delight!
O M G! I couldn’t believe my eyes. Finally after a lot of Adrenalin rush… My hands were shivering while checking the status on that day. I had to sit back and relax for another 10 or 15 minutes and then once again I checked in case I misread the result. It’s still ‘APPROVED’ .
In the evening one of our friends collected the passport from the consulate and courier us. On next Tuesday we received our passports with approved visas.
And South Korea… we are coming!
Extension for South Korea tourist visa is possible in special cases such as accidents, health problems, flight cancellation, etc. Application for visa extension must be made at a local immigration office in South Korea at least one day before the day of expiration.
Please check my post on Possible Reason For The Rejection Of South Korean Visa For Indians https://www.trackthetrails.com/possible-reasons-for-the-rejection-of-south-korean-visa-for-indians/
—Track The Trails—