Student Visa In Korea

Student Visa In Korea: The Ultimate Guide

Ever felt like diving into the world of Korean education is akin to stepping into a labyrinth, packed with paper dragons named ‘Visa Requirements’?

Navigating the byzantine rules of securing a student visa in Korea can indeed be a Herculean task for the uninitiated!

Fear not, this guide is your seasoned sherpa, simplifying the twisted trails and leading you to the zenith of your academic pursuits in the Land of the Morning Calm.

Study In Korea: Korean Student Visas And Permits

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Before you get your visa, make sure you are eligible for it. Usually, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • You must have a genuine and valid intention to travel to the country.
  • You must have sufficient funds to be able to bear all of your expenses for the time that you will be staying in Korea.
  • You must be able to prove strong links to your home country which will help show your intention to return home after your stay.
  • You should also ideally have a clean criminal record, which might require some proof like the Police Clearance Certificate in some cases.
  • You should also meet the minimum health requirements that are stated by the Korean immigration office.

Which Are Korean Visa Types For Study Purposes?

There are two main types of visas that you can apply for if you wish to study in Korea. These are explained below:

Student D-2 visa

This is for foreigners coming to pursue any higher degree program at a Korean university or higher institution. Professional trainings, exchange programs or research projects are not included in this category.

The visa is generally valid for 2 years regardless of whether you are planning to undertake study at the bachelor, masters or postgraduate level.

General D-4 trainee visa

Students who are coming in to Korea to study the local language at a recognized institute will be applying for this visa. This type of visa is also valid for two years and you can apply for it at the embassy in your home country.

Where And How To Apply For A Korean Study Visa?

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You will need to submit your application at the Korean embassy in your home country. You can find the address for the one nearest to you, online.

Here are the steps that you will need to follow during the procedure:

  1. Apply to a Korean school of your choice
  2. Gather your documents in advance
  3. Get a visa appointment on time
  4. Visa interview
  5. Collect your visa and book your flight

Apply To A Korean School Of Your Choice

Before you do anything else, you must have an offer from a Korean university! Make sure you research all about university deadlines and their admission procedures beforehand since these windows are quite specific and you will not be able to apply late.

You will need the Certificate of Admission from your university, which is needed for visa processing.

Gather Your Documents In Advance

You will need to have the following documents with you when applying for the student visa in Korea:

  • Your passport which must have a six month validity, as well as a copy of the page that has your bio-data.
  • Visa documents from the Korean university that you will be attending (Confirmation of Visa Issuance).
  • Application fee.
  • A recent passport sized photograph (taken within the last 6 months) on a white background.
  • A complete and truthfully filled visa application form. You can find the latest copy of this form from the embassy’s website.
  • In some cases, you might also be required to submit proof of your finances and a copy of your high school diploma. You will need to make sure with the Korean embassy about the requirements for the country you are coming from.
  • Certificate of Admission which will be issued by the university you will be attending.
  • For some countries, you might even need to submit a tuberculosis certificate.

There may be some additions to, or exemptions from, the items on this list depending on the discretion of the consulate where you will be submitting your application.

Get A Visa Appointment On Time

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You will need to visit the immigration website (HiKorea) to make an online appointment when you can go to the immigration office to submit your application. Do this well in advance to avoid any last minute complications, or even risking not being able to start your program on time.

Visa Interview

You will need to appear physically for this part of the process for the student visa, even if you had submitted the application form online. You will usually be able to find some resources online that can help you prepare for the interview beforehand.

Collect Your Visa And Book A Flight

You will need to collect your visa personally from the Korean Embassy, or you can appoint a visa agency to do this for you.

In Korea, a student visa is applicable for 3 months after being issued, and generally you can spend at least 6 months in the country before it will need to be renewed. 

However, if you are enrolled in a program that will last longer, your university can help you with documentation such that you will not need to renew the visa so soon.

Important Things To Know As A Korean Visa Applicant And/Or Holder

  • If you are intending to stay in Korea for more than 90 days, you will need to apply for the Alien Registration Card. You must apply within 90 days or you could be fined for not having one.
  • If you had a visa waiver when travelling to Korea, you will not be able to get your Alien Card unless you switch to the student visa.
  • You can visit the Immigration Office whenever you will need to renew your visa.
  • All the documents that you submit with your application must be in either English or Korean. In case they are not, you will need to have them translated by translators recognized by the embassy.
  • It is recommended to pay your tuition fee at least two months before your program starts. This way you will get your admission documents on time to apply for the visa.
  • If you do not have enough time to get a student visa, you can use the visa waiver as a last resort to travel. However, you will need to convert your status once you are in Korea.
  • Once you have spent six months in Korea on your student visa, you can also apply for a right to work part-time (you will not be able to work full-time while working towards your degree in any case).

Korean Student Visa Fee

The fee for the Korean study visa is 130,000 Korean won. This must be paid in cash at the time of application.

How Long Does It Take For A Korean Student Visa To Process?

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The standard time taken to process the student visa is around 4 to 6 weeks.

The exact time taken for the processing can vary a great deal depending on a number of factors. It can be affected by the schedule of the embassy where you submit your application since some months can be busier than others. It can also be affected by your visa type, nationality etc.

Conclusion

So, you’ve waded through the paperwork jungle and battled the bureaucratic beasts on your quest to secure a student visa in Korea!

Remember, arming yourself with the right knowledge is the key to turning this seemingly arduous journey into a walk in the Han River Park.

Visa Victory!

But wait! There’s lot more that you might be interested in to follow:

  • Types Of Visas In Korea
  • Temporary Residence Permits In Korea
  • Tax System In Korea

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