NO ITR - Sample Letter of Explanation for Visa Application

January 13, 2020 – I have submitted my documents personally at the South Korea Embassy here in Cebu Philippines to apply for a South Korea Tourist Visa. As what you may be aware of, one of the requirements in applying for a South Korea Tourist Visa is an ITR, and if you’re a long time reader in this travel blog or a subscriber on my YouTube channel you know that I am a freelancer, and I’m among those freelancers that does not have an ITR.

I have this problem a long time ago, I’ve wanted to go and apply for a Japan Tourist Visa but with the ITR requirement, I don’t want to break my heart on getting a denied visa again. Not until recently, I found out through fellow travelers and fellow freelancers that we can  still submit an application for a Japan tourist visa and South Korea tourist visa by submitting a letter of explanation.

It’s for real! They did accept my letter of explanation, did NOT tell me that it’s incomplete, and just stamped my documents and gave me a slip so I can claim it on the said date. No hassle! But do I have an APPROVED SOUTH KOREA TOURIST VISA?

As of writing this article, there’s no news yet about my tourist visa application, all it say on their visa status site is “APPLICATION RECEIVED” but I’ll update this post once they publish an update, or when I found out on the day of the pick-up date about the status of my visa.


NO ITR - Sample Letter of Explanation for Visa Application exotic philippines travel blog cebu blogger korea embassy cebu japan visa us tourist visa BIR freelancer freelance seo specialist


The whole letter is actually not entirely my idea. I really don’t have an idea on how to write this, explain my situation. But I actually merged 2 sample letters I found online, where one of it is from a good friend Mary of The Infinite Adventure (click here for her sample letter), and you might want to check that out. I also suggest to check the sample letter from Top Loading for Life blog, it was for her Japan tourist visa application so at least this sample letter is a hybrid for both country. LOL.

Please do note that the letter below is the actual letter I have submitted. I planned to remove some parts, but these are important parts to show the consul that I have a clear conscience and true intentions to just visit their beautiful country. Also, I am not a great writer, I just blog to share info, and not to get an award for writing so great, with perfect sentence construction. So excuse me if I have some wrong grammar or whatever.

Here is the letter I submitted to the South Korea Embassy in Cebu.

January 13, 2020

Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Republic of the Philippines
12th Floor China Bank Corporate Center Lot 2, Samar Loop Cor. Road 5,
Cebu Business Park, Mabolo, Cebu City

Dear Sir / Madam:

Good day!

I am personally writing this letter to explain why I failed to present an Income Tax Return (ITR) as part of the requirements to obtain a Tourist Visa to South Korea. The reason why I do not have an ITR is because I work as a Freelance SEO specialist. I work on an ad-hoc and/or monthly basis for clients or website owners.

However, rest assured that my finances at the moment are enough to cover my trip expenses. I’ve prepared and set aside PHP 50,000.00 for the 4 days trip, which I believe that this amount is enough for me to fully enjoy what I wish to experience and see in Seoul such as visiting tourist spots like the beautiful Gyeongbokgung Palaces and N Seoul Tower, and go on a food trip to taste the authentic flavor of Seoul like in Gwangjang Market.

The primary purpose of this trip is to send off my mother half way to the US this March 2, 2020. My 62 years old mother will have a long layover of at least 10 hours on her Korean Air flight before flying to San Francisco, California and I’d like to be able to join her halfway to help her have a comfortable flight and help her manage her medications.

As a travel blogger behind, I mainly travel around the Philippines since 2011, but I also travel and share my experience in other countries such as when I visited Hong Kong and Shenzhen China (mainland) last year for a few days and return back home to my five (5) beloved dogs that I’ve left with a nanny. So I’d like to take this opportunity to explore Seoul and share my Seoul experience to my readers on my travel blog and my viewers on my YouTube channel ( to also help in promoting the South Korea Tourism.

For your reference I’ve also attached my bank statements and bank certificate, a letter from my Philippines based client, and paid PayPal Invoices of my non-Philippines based clients as a proof of my income.

My family and I are hoping for your very kind consideration.


G Dumaguing

*note: the colored texts in this letter are not colored when I submitted. It’s for the purpose to breakdown the letter on why I mention it on the letter.

You may check it on Google Docs to download and make a copy for yourself here.


You might notice the colored texts above. I just want to highlight these parts since there’s a reason why I have mentioned these on the letter.

The primary purpose of the letter is to explain why I don’t have an ITR, but at the same time I took the chance to express my situation, the purpose of my trip, and why I want to stay for a few days and that I will really come back to my home country.


The red ones is the main purpose why I write the letter. Why I don’t have an ITR. That I am working as a freelance, and my income is on a monthly basis. No fixed income.


You don’t have to literally include some cash on your application to prove and show that you do have the money to spend in your trip. You can show this through your bank statements and bank certificate. Some who applied don’t even have that money (e.g. P15, 000 for a 5 days trip) but because they do have a higher ADB (Average Daily Balance) or have a regular high amount of deposit (e.g. big salary). But ideally, have the amount ready already when applying, save up. I did.


Now these parts are the reasons why I want to stay there for a few days. Though my main purpose is just to send off my mom halfway, to make sure she’ll be fine for 10 hours in South Korea, I should also say why I want to see and visit their country. You can be cheesy here too if you want. I’ve read some letters of other applicants that if you read it as a consul of that country, you’ll giggle with “kilig”.


This is what I was lacking in my life. Because I don’t work for a company as an employee since I’m a freelancer, I have to show them what are my strong ties. My dogs who are very needy of me (e.g. like when I was just in the bathroom and when I got out, my little dog was so happy to see me because he was trying to find me under the bed, under the sheets, or my pillows while I was in the bathroom. P.S. My room was a mess.).

Plus, I have a local client here in Cebu. Hopefully the letter from my client here will be a huge help since I’ve been with them for at least 5 years.


One of the things I was lacking during my US tourist visa application, so I made sure I have this. I visited Hong Kong and Mainland China last year. So if you don’t have any travel history yet for the past 5 years, best to go and visit the visa free countries for Filipinos first before going for countries that requires visa.

Do note that I am not a professional in processing visa, not even a professional writer. All of these are basing on my experience and what I’ve done in my visa application.

None of these too guarantees an approval. It’s still all up to the consul. Just make sure you have the requirements submitted and they’re not made up (a.k.a. fake), just think positive and pray. If ever we get denied, then maybe it’s just not for us. There are a lot of places we need to discover out there, don’t lose hope. You can be heartbroken over this, cry about it, but never give up on traveling.

Let me know on how your letter of explanation goes.


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