I traveled to South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan using only a single entry Japan visa. I was thinking of a way on how to save money on visa fees and travel taxes since I am traveling on a shoestring.
To enter South Korea using Japan visa, you need to have an onward ticket to Japan and a valid Japan visa. The route that I made was PHL-KOR-JPN. You can stay in Korea up to 30 days.
To enter Taiwan using Japan visa, you need to register online (for free) on Taiwan immigration website and they will give you a travel certificate which you will provide to the immigration upon arrival to Taiwan. You can go to Taiwan without having an onward ticket to Japan as long as the visa is unused and valid. If already used and still valid (validity date has not yet lapsed), you will only be allowed to enter Taiwan if it is on a continuing journey (PHL-JPN-TWN-PHL).
Getting a Taiwan visa in Manila will cost you 2,400 PHP while getting a Japan visa will cost you 800-1200 PHP only. It is easier to apply for Japan visa since they only ask for bank certificate unlike South Korea and Taiwan, they ask for Bank statement (6 months movement).
South Korea Immigration
I did not encounter any problem with my entry to South Korea even though I have no SoKor visa. I even remember sending a message to my friend who I’ll meet in SoKor to wish me luck as I line up to immigration that time. I told my friend I have no SoKor visa and my friend panicked and I said it’s fine I have a plan. I handed to the immigration officer my passport and my onward ticket to Japan. She checked my passport and did not find a korean visa, I pointed to her the paper (onward ticket to Japan), she said, “Oh, transit?” and I said yes. She asked how many days will I be staying, I said 4 days. She smiled then put a stamp on my passport. My epic plan worked! I was so happy that I forgot how hungry I was that time.
Being held at airline counter in Japan
Next plan is to enter Taiwan using my used but still valid Japan visa (I only have single entry Japan visa). This time, things didn’t turn out as smooth as I expected.
I handed to the check-in counter lady (Fly Peach Airlines) my passport, travel certificate and ticket to Taiwan. The lady checked my passport and she said if I have any other visas that are still valid. I said none. She said that I cannot enter Taiwan since my Japan visa is only single entry and it is already used. I told her that according to Taiwan immigration rule, I can use my used Japan visa to enter Taiwan, as long as it is on a continuing journey. My travel to Taiwan is a continuation of my Japan journey. She asked how do i know that rule, I said it is on their website (Taiwan immigration) plus I confirmed it by calling Taiwan embassy in Manila. The lady asked when did I call the embassy and I said three weeks ago. She again asked me the immigration rule, at this point I think she was just making sure whether my first answer will still be the same with the second one. So I told her again, that it is allowed per immigration rule. She asked me again whether I confirmed it in Taiwan embassy in Manila. I said yes. She then called her manager, they talked for a while and she instructed me to stay to the side until they verify things. People are already looking at me since we somehow caused a scene at the counter. After 10 minutes of waiting, she said that they confirmed it already and that I can already check-in. I said to the lady in a calm voice that what happened was an inconvenience and that they should’ve known that immigration rule. She immediately apologized and said that they are not aware of that rule and that this is the first time they heard of it.
Upon arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan airport (I was so hungry that time) I handed my passport and travel certificate to Taiwan immigration officer, the immigration officer looked at my passport and showed it to one of her peers. They were speaking taiwanese so I cannot understand it. Her peer replied and that the end of her sentence said “Mela, it’s ok”. (I guess Mela is the name of my immigration officer) Then the IO assigned to me immediately stamped my passport and allowed me to enter their country, then I went straight to the airport food court to eat.
Total cost of PHL-JPN-PHP ticket 3 weeks before my departure was 28k.
Total cost of PHL-KOR-JPN-TWN-PHL 3 weeks before my departure was 22k.
Jeju Air: Incheon(Seoul)-Osaka
Fly Peach: Haneda(Tokyo)-Taiwan
1. Eligible Applicants
Citizens of all countries except Cuba, Macedonia, Syria, Sudan, and Iran.
- Persons who hold a visa (re-entry permit, permanent residency, etc.) to enter the United States, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand (hereinafter referred to as “the four advanced countries”) and
- 1) who go to one of the four advanced countries in transit through Korea; or
- 2) who stay in one of the four advanced countries and take a direct flight from the country to Korea to go to a country of nationality or a third country.
- Please be noted that:
- – If you are a U.S. visa holder who transit through Korea and Saipan to reach the U.S. as the final destination, you are permitted to enter Korea without a visa. (However, if you depart from the U.S. and enter Korea via Saipan, you are not granted no-visa entry to Korea.)
- – If you are a Chinese group tourist holding a group-tourist visa to Japan and meet certain requirements (e.g. using a travel agency that only attracts Chinese group tourists), you are permitted to enter Korea without a visa.
- – If you hold an e-visa to Australia and a visa label is attached to your passport, you are permitted to enter Korea without a visa. However, if the label is not on your passport, you are granted no-visa entry only when you depart from Australia and transit through Korea.
3. Condition of Permission
You have a flight ticket that is scheduled to depart from Korea within 30 days, and have never violated laws (e.g. overstay, etc.) after entering the United States, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.