This was the tricky part… the visa application stage. Why? Because I had to do everything myself. There was many documentations that is needed, and every website had a list of different items with some cancelling out some required items. So it was a bit overwhelming and confusing until I made my first stop to the consulate in Toronto. From there, it was clarified that all I needed to provide was from their own website requirements (so not exactly the same as from the Korean immigration website).
Here is the list of required items to apply for Canadians (Toronto area residents):
- Healthy and young people aged 18 – 30 at time of application not traveling with dependent family members
- The completed visa form
- One recent passport-type colour photo (4.5cm x 3.5cm)
- Passport with remaining validity of 6 months and a photocopy of the passport
- Travel itinerary
- Updated resume
- Documents, such as a bank statement, proving that you have the ability to cover travel and living expenses for the first 3 months of the stay
- Criminal background check issued within 3 months
- Certificate from the most recent school attended (school letters or transcripts allowed)
- A complete physical examination performed by a physician within 3 months including a chest x-ray, urinalysis, blood test, and HIV test.
- A Return flight ticket
- CAD $90 (cash or money order)
Toronto Korean Consulate Office website: http://can-toronto.mofa.go.kr/english/am/can-toronto/main/index.jsp
Address : 555 Avenue Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 2J7
Let me break each step down to clarify what exactly is required and what worked for me.
- I am healthy and young without any dependent family members – check
- I downloaded, printed, and filled out my visa application form without any problems
- I got ripped off by Shoppers Drug Mart passport photo service $12.99 + tax for 2- I suggest using an Asian photo service shop found in any Chinese shopping center in Toronto (Pacific Mall, First Markham Place – $7 for 2 photos, $10 for 4 photos)
- My passport was expiring April 2015, so I just applied for a new passport (10 year validity for $160 outside of Scarborough Town Center, 5-10 business days processing)
- Travel itinerary, I just wrote a list of places I would like to visit and do during my stay in Korea (Jeju Island, Busan, Gangwon-do, Japan, etc.)
- Resume is just my job resume
- Bank statement, I just printed out my account summary online banking
- Criminal background check, I applied for it from Toronto Police services ($20 – 5 business days processing)
- I applied for my transcripts for both Ryerson ($15) and George Brown College ($10) – 3 to 5 business days but the fastest way was to just print out my unofficial transcript online
- Doctor check up was done in 2 visits: First visit, getting the referrals and doing the chest x-ray, urinalysis test, blood test. Second visit, receive the results and complete full physical examination. $40 for signed forms of results and doctor letter stating I was physically healthy and fit to travel abroad.
- Return flight ticket I did last after submitting all the other paperwork. It was not possible to book a ticket more than one year away for the return leg so I just bought one for 6 months with the intention to return to Toronto for a week during March break and then purchases my second ticket back to Korea for another 6 months or use my frequent flyer miles.
Visa processing time takes 5 – 10 business days. I got mine in 4 days, I guess they weren’t too busy.