The Philippines May Push For Visa-Free Entry Into South Korea

Visa-free entry to South Korea? Yes, please!
PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO/TATIANA

The Philippine Ambassador to Korea Noe Albano Wong said that the Philippines may push for visa-free entry of Filipinos to South Korea, according to a report from the Philippine News Agency.

The ambassador said that Koreans do not need to obtain a visa when staying in the Philippines for 30 days or less but Filipinos will need one when visiting Korea.

Ambassador Wong explained that Filipino tourists have been complaining about the length of time it takes to secure a visa from the Korean embassy. The process usually takes anywhere from 15 to 45 days.

Meanwhile, Inquirer.net reported that South Korean Ambassador Han Dong Man said that visa-free entry could be possible, but pointed out that there are quite a number of Filipinos staying illegally in South Korea. In recent years, that number has reached about 15,000.

In a press briefing, the Korean ambassador said, “We hope that in the near future we could have a visa-free passage between Korea and the Philippines but so far, there are a certain number of illegal Filipinos in Korea that’s why… If we’ve decreased our illegal people naturally, we can have a visa-free policy.”

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The news outlet added in its report that in the past years, South Korea has been the top tourism market for the Philippines. At present, there are 93,000 Koreans living in the Philippines, while there are only 58,000 Filipinos in Korea. In December 2018, 1.6 million Koreans visited the Philippines and the government is targeting to reach 2 million by the end of 2019.

The issue on visa-free passage to Korea will be raised in the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea (ASEAN-ROK) Commemorative Summit on November 25 and 26.

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