Monday, June 3, 2019


There are plenty of reasons for Filipinos to travel to East Asia. There have been good employment opportunities there for one. Second, the cultures of countries such as Japan and South Korea have been major draws for Filipino tourism. Whether it is the pop music, or the food, one can never go wrong with taking a trip to South Korea. Perhaps in recognition that international relations between them and the Philippines is now seven decades old, South Korea has made an announcement that will ease the burden of Filipinos looking to get visas there. The requirements for such have been made easier to fulfill now.

ABS-CBN News reports that South Korea has indeed relaxed certain requirements for Filipinos to get a visa for their country. It was announced by the South Korean ambassador to the Philippines, Han Dongman, just this Sunday, June 2. He explained that the simplification for the application process of a visa to South Korea was in line to further encourage Filipinos to travel to their country. It is understandable considering that they and the Philippines celebrated 70 years of diplomatic ties in Manila last year. Han noted that roughly 500,000 Filipino tourists went to South Korea back throughout the year 2018.

In specific terms, Ambassador Han announced that Philippine-based travel agencies are now cleared to course South Korean visa applications, in a move to decongest lines of applicants at the embassy itself. The amount of necessary documents will also be reduced, and particularly so if the visa applicant is either a qualified professional, a member of the media, or working for the Philippine government. These sectors in particular will be able to apply for multiple-entry visas to South Korea with validities that will last them from 5 up to 10 years.

Aside from the relaxation of requirements for work and tourist visas, South Korea is increasing their scholarship slots for Filipinos to twice the previous number. This will enable more fortunate hopefuls to study in South Korean schools. "For those qualified for the multiple visa, they can submit only one paper saying I am working for this company," noted Ambassador Han for professional working Filipino applicants, adding, "We are encouraging people-to-people exchange, not only tourists but also students. So we are inviting many Korean students to study in the Philippines, and also we are inviting many qualified, talented Filipinos, in particular, university students to get scholarship."

This is an appropriate reciprocation considering how many South Koreans have been coming as tourists to the Philippines over the previous decade. In fact, they are now the largest number of foreign tourists from one country coming to visit ours.

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