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

photo3
Deoksugung Palace

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.

Taiwan Immigration

photo1 (4)
Taoyuan Airport

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.

Airasia: Manila-Incheon(Seoul)
Jeju Air: Incheon(Seoul)-Osaka
Fly Peach: Haneda(Tokyo)-Taiwan
CebuPac: Taiwan-Manila

Update as of May 2016: Korean Embassy changed its immigration rule on Visa-free for Tourists in transit to third country by excluding Japan on their list.
1. Eligible Applicants

Citizens of all countries except Cuba, Macedonia, Syria, Sudan, and Iran.

2. Requirements
  • 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 β€œthe 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.

 

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98 thoughts on “Travel Tip: 3 Countries using 1 Visa

  1. To enter South Korea using Japan visa, you need to have an onward ticket to Japan and a valid Japan visa. —If I am just going to South Korea and no Japan ticket, my Japan visa is not valid? I should get a South Korean visa?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi, may I just clarify things? So you mean if I already have a Japan Visa and im planning to this sample itinerary :
        MNL – KOR-JPN-SYD (AU)-MNL will it be possible? meaning I no longer need to secure an AU visa?

        Please enlighten me.

        Thanks

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Geh, No. You still need an AU visa. If your route is PHL-KOR-JPN-AUS, and you have a valid Japan or Australia visa so you can stay in Korea up to 30 days as long as you can provide an onward ticket. You will still need visa for AUS.

        The possible routes that you will no longer need a South Korea will be.
        PHL-KOR-JPN
        PHL-KOR-AUS
        PHL-KOR-CAN
        PHL-KOR-USA
        PHL-KOR-NZ

        Like

  2. Hi! This was Indeed an incredible tip, but, I hoped you could have skipped the part telling the lady by the check in counter the “inconvenience” she might have caused you since she was only doing her job by verifying everything. Be reminded that each country has different immigration rules per nationality so it is impossible to memorize everything. Moreso, airlines receive fines whenever immigration rules are violated. Nonetheless, this post was a very helpful tip!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, planning to visit Taiwan this year. I already have a multiple entry Japan visa valid 5 years (I had one single entry visa before and it’s used already)

    Anyway, I will be in Japan again next month –using the multiple entry. Would I be allowed to enter Taiwan using the multiple JP visa? (Flight is just MNL-Taiwan-MNL)

    Tia for answering! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have 5 years multiple visa to jpn. Is it also possible that i fly mnl-nrt-icn-nrt-mnl? I can still enter to s.k. Without any visa & i have a return flight to nrt japan then back to manila? Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was wondering if PH IOs said anything about you going to SoKor without having any SoKor visa (’cause I know they can be a pain in the butt sometimes)

    Thanks for sharing this tip!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is very helpful and well-detailed blog/article. I really appreciate blogs/articles that show how the situation was handled – specially the immigration part. Impressive!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi mate how about I’m coming from mid-east then stop over to PHL going to AUS and I’m planning to visit South Korea and I’ve got AUS visa is that possible I could get inside South Korea??? Thanks heaps!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. quite surprised that they allowed you to enter taiwan… they are right, your japan visa is not valid anymore.. here’s the rule:

    “You will be denied entry into Taiwan at the point of landing if any one of the aforesaid documents is no longer in force.”

    If your trip is Manila –> Taiwan –> South Korea –> Japan…. this is valid. but from what you did, its not valid…

    Maybe taiwanese embassy in philippines gave you wrong information…

    to add information to your readers:

    India, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam passport holders who are permanent resident or hold valid visa of Canada, USA, Shengen States, UK, Japan, New Zealand or Australia can enter Taiwan for 30 days on visa exempt

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The one you mentioned is true, but incomplete. You forgot the mention the below statements.

      A single-entry visa becomes invalid once it has already been used. However, a used single-entry visa might be acceptable for the purpose of immigration inspection to enter Taiwan, if it meets the following conditions:

      1. On the same CONTINUING JOURNEY, the visa holder uses it to enter the visa issuing country prior to his/her arrival in Taiwan; and
      2. The visa holder will arrive in Taiwan before its expiration date.

      Like

    1. good day sir. id like to clarify if i can enter sokor from japan using japan visa? MNL-JPN-SOKOR-MNL? is it possible? hoping for your immediate reply because im having a problem with my visa right now. thakn you so much!

      Like

  9. wow this is so true especially the part of going to taiwan if you still have valid or unused Japanese visa, this will save you a lot on paying visa processing,,, so glad was able to see this post because were planning to go to taiwan,visa processing is much expensive compare to japan visa which i got last december

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi.
    I’m just wondering, your telling about continued flights, does it mean that it is already a scheduled flight or you have to have scheduled ticket rather.
    Eg:
    Mla-Taiwan. (Jan.1)
    Taiwan-soko (Jan.15)
    Soko-japan (Jan.25)
    Japan-mla (Feb15)

    Is that so? Please enlighten. I’m noob. Thanks.
    Your blog is informative.
    And Hooray for replying.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Whoah. Now you gave me an idea. I’ve been thinking about going to Korea but the visa application is stressing me out. Will use my multiple entry Japan visa then. Thanks πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi, thanks for blogging about this matter! Great help in planning trip for both Korea and Japan. Just wondering if this itinerary is possible: PHL-KOR-JAP-KOR-MNL using the 1 visa policy? πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Just to clarify, you mean you can enter South Korea even your Japan Visa’s validity is in the future? Like for example, I want to enter Seoul on April 9-13, 2016 and my Japan visa is valid from April 14-23, 2016?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi! I just made an example…I got Japan visa last year but valid for 15 days of stay only…I stayed in Tokyo for 5 days and went back to Manila. I am just confused of the term “validity”….is that mean I can enter South Korea even your visa validity is in the future…let say 5 days before you enter Japan. I travelled in Bulgaria last September and they require visa for Filipinos…but since I have 1 year valid Schengen visa…I was able to get in Bulgaria since I used the Shengen visa within the validity period. Is it the same case on entering South Korea? I mean with valid Japan visa…should I get in within the validity period or I can enter South Korea even before the validty period? Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi! I got it now….Yes you are right…I just checked my previous Japan visa and it is valid for 3 months with 15 days of stay. I should enter South Korea within the validity period to avail of the visa free entry. Thanks for all the info in your blog…very helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi! if we have a lay over in Taiwan and we only have a single entry visa to Japan, is it still valid when we arrived in Japan? Cause they say that when you already use your visa in Taiwan it is already invalid to enter Japan. thanks πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Bla! Thank you for this post. I have been planning to backpack Taipei, SoKor and Japan in just one leave but I didnt know how to start.

    I have a multiple entry japanese visa good for 5yrs. I have used it once. Is this route possible?

    PH – TAIPEI – SOKOR – JPN – PH

    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. HI. Thank you for this info. So if I have a Japan Visa, I will not be needing a SOKOR visa if I have an onward ticket to Japan right?

    Quoting from the Embassy of Korea website,

    “Among persons holding a visa to enter the 5 advanced countries who transit through Korea, Japanese individual visa holders are excluded from visa-free entry”

    It didn’t say that “unless a person has an outward ticket to Japan”

    Pls clarify. Thanks. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hello we are planning to travel PHL-SoKor-Jap-PHL. Im going with my brothers family who are aus citizen. So this means that im the only one who will get visa. Can you give us an IT of 10 days stay in sokor, 7 days in japan. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  19. hi i have a multiple entry visa to japan that was issued last month and i’m planning to go to taiwan next month would that be fine even though i don’t have onward ticket to japan,.?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hi. What an incredible tip!.
    Anyway I have a question.
    If I am a US immigrant (greencard holder), as I understand it I dont need a SoKor visa.
    Say this is my route:
    US – PH – Kor – US
    This will allow me to enter and stay in SoKor, right?
    But if I wanted to go to Japan, I willl need A Japan Visa, tama po ba?
    Thanks.

    Like

  21. Is this still valid considering that effective may 1, 2016 may revised rulings about transit travellers?

    —————————-
    *Starting from May 1, 2016, visa-free entry for transit tourists bound for another country will be revised as follows.

    β€» Major revisions

    – Among persons holding a visa to enter the 5 advanced countries who transit through Korea, Japanese individual visa holders are excluded from visa-free entry

    – Chinese group tourist holding a group-tourist visa to Japan are still permitted to enter Korea without a visa.

    * 5 Advanced Countries : U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

    http://embassy_philippines.mofa.go.kr/webmodule/htsboard/template/read/new_legengreadboard.jsp?typeID=16&boardid=11233&seqno=732946&c=&t=&pagenum=1&tableName=TYPE_ENGLEGATIO&pc=&dc=&wc=&lu=&vu=&iu=&du=

    ———————————-

    My trip is PHP-JPN-KOR-JPN

    Like

  22. Hi, is this still valid considering the revised visa-free entry for transit tourists bound for another country?

    ——————————
    Starting from May 1, 2016, visa-free entry for transit tourists bound for another country will be revised as follows.

    β€» Major revisions

    – Among persons holding a visa to enter the 5 advanced countries who transit through Korea, Japanese individual visa holders are excluded from visa-free entry

    – Chinese group tourist holding a group-tourist visa to Japan are still permitted to enter Korea without a visa.

    * 5 Advanced Countries : U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

    http://embassy_philippines.mofa.go.kr/webmodule/htsboard/template/read/new_legengreadboard.jsp?typeID=16&boardid=11233&seqno=732946&c=&t=&pagenum=1&tableName=TYPE_ENGLEGATIO&pc=&dc=&wc=&lu=&vu=&iu=&du=
    ———————————-

    My route is PHL-JPN-KOR-JPN-PHL

    Like

  23. Hello sir..is this possible…phil-thailand-korea-japan-phil.? I have my multiple entry to japan valid for 5 years. I am planning again to visit japan but when i read ur blog i got interested also in trying it…wow!

    Like

  24. Hi if i have a single entry visa for Japan, can I use that to enter Taiwan without a flight going to Japan? And it is still valid for japan as long as I travel before it expires right? Thank you! Nice blog btw

    Like

  25. hello may I please ask if this is valid for visa-free entry into Korea:

    NZ – Japan – Korea -(Japan)- NZ

    The reason I put the second Japan in brackets is because I’m not actually going back there to stay, I’m only there for 2 hrs whole I connect planes to take me back to New Zealand which is my final destination. for this reason I’m unsure if it still counts that I am a transit traveller that can be in Korea 30 days visa free.

    Like

    1. Hi Phoebe, Apologies but I’m not sure as well. You can call SKorean embassy at (02) 8569210 to inquire about it. Let me know what they say so I can include that on the blog. Thanks

      Like

  26. I live in japan, i have valid single entry Japan visa with residence card. Can I visit Sokor without Sokor visa(JPN – SOKOR- JPN)? Thanks in advance.

    Like

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