Filipino and other Southeast Asian travelers planning to visit South Korea may soon be able to do so with a visa-free entry scheme.
In a report by Manila Bulletin, Philippine ambassador to South Korea Raul Hernandez said that the Philippines is included in the Korean government’s plan to issue electronic visas and allow visa-free entry in to mainland South Korea for five days to Southeast Asian citizens whose itinerary includes Jeju Island via Seoul’s Incheon and Gimhae airports.
Currently, Philippine passport holders have visa-free entry to Jeju Island, but require visa to enter the mainland South Korea.
“Yes, the Philippines is one of the beneficiaries but only selected tour agencies are included in the program,” he told Manila Bulletin. “But based on the latest info, they are still working on the guide for implementation.”
In an email to Manila Bulletin, Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said it “is still in discussion with relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Justice on this matter, but hopes to implement the detailed plan within May of this year.”
“It is true that at the moment, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia among the Southeast Asian countries are being considered to be included in the electronic visa program,” the email added.
MCST said under the electronic visa program, “group tourists will not have to go to the Korean Embassy to get a visa, if your country is eligible for electronic visa, since it can be issued through the accredited travel agency.”
On the other hand, the five-day visa-free entry scheme for group tourists from Southeast Asia will be implemented starting in June.