My sister and I are planning to visit South Korea before we go back to the Philippines. We're both Philippine passport holders, but I have a multiple-entry Canadian tourist visa, while she has (used already we're currently in Canada) a single-entry Canadian tourist visa. I did some research and found this under the "Visa free Entry of Foreigners" category.
Transit tourists bound for another country
Applicable to all countries (save for Macedonia, Cuba, Syria, Sudan and Iran) that are not granted visa-free entry into Korea.
Persons holding a visa (re-entry permit, permanent residency, etc.) to enter the U.S. (including Guam and Saipan), Canada, Australia, or New Zealand (hereinafter referred to as "the four advanced countries") 1) who transit through Korea to go to one of the four advanced countries. 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 origin or a third country. i) A person who has an entry visa for one of 30 European countries, and wishes to travel to 30 European countries through South Korea, or departs from one of 30 European countries, and wishes to travel one’s home country or the third country through South Korea.
Eligibility (1)A person who has a departure ticket to the countries above within 30 days from South Korea, for who has not been an illegal alien and non endorsable offences. (2) In the past 3 years, a person who has not been denied entry to Korea, who has not given deportation order from Korea and a person who has not been an illegal alien and a person who has not violated laws. (3) A person who stayed in transit country or stopover country within 3 days. (4) For e Visa holders, visa must be attached to traveler’s passport and who is traveling from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand through South Korea are allowed to enter Korea without a visa. 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. ※ Japanese individual visa holders are excluded as of 1 May, 2016 Requirements Must have a confirmed onward flight ticket for departure within 30 days after entering Korea, in addition to having no record of criminal offence in the five countries mentioned above.
I think it would not be a problem to go to Korea without a visa because I have a multiple-entry visa, which will still be valid after leaving Canada, but for my sister, who only has single-entry visa, it is no longer valid if we go to Korea from Canada as it was already used. The thing though is that it was valid when we entered Canada and validly stayed here (as we're allowed to stay here for 6 months.)
Do we need to get a South Korean visa?