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How to apply for a student visa in South Korea?

To apply for a student visa (D-2 or D-4 visa) in South Korea, you need to know the differences.

Foreign students who are enrolling in a regular degree program at a university or graduate school in South Korea need to obtain a D-2 visa. This visa is granted to students who intend to acquire a degree and primarily covers enrollment in regular courses at universities or graduate schools.

On the other hand, foreign students who wish to register for non-degree programs such as Korean language courses or foreign language courses are required to obtain a D-4 visa. This visa is granted to students pursuing non-degree programs, particularly language training and language education programs.

Therefore, depending on the type of program foreign students intend to enroll in, they should apply for either a D-2 visa or a D-4 visa.

※ If you are participating in a short-term language course that lasts less than 90 days, you can enter Korea without a visa.

However, this exemption applies only if you complete the short-term language course within 90 days and do not plan to continue with advanced courses or similar programs.

What types of visas are available for foreign students?

There are various types of visas available, so it is crucial to understand them and apply for the appropriate visa to ensure a smooth academic life. If the purpose of entry is for studying or language training, there are a total of nine visa categories for foreign students in South Korea.

For University degrees visa types include:

  • General Student (D-2-1) (전문학사)

  • Bachelor's Degree (D-2-2) (학사유학)

  • Master's Degree (D-2-3) (석사유학)

  • Doctoral Degree (D-2-4) (박사유학)

  • Research (D-2-5) (연구유학)

  • Exchange Student (D-2-6) (교환학생)

For University Language School visa types include:

  • University-Affiliated Language Training (D-4-1) (대학부설 어학원연수)

  • Elementary/Secondary/High School Student (D-4-3) (초중고생)

  • Language Study (D-4-7) (외국어연수)

In order to enroll in a regular degree program, foreign students must obtain a D-2 visa, while those wishing to register for non-degree programs such as Korean language or foreign language courses must obtain a D-4 visa. The South Korean government, to expedite the visa issuance process, requires all foreign individuals applying for a visa, with few exceptions, to first obtain a "Certificate of Confirmation for Visa Issuance" before applying for a visa. This process applies to both D-2 and D-4 visa applicants.

What basic (common) required documents for student visa include?

  1. Passport

  2. Passport-sized photo (3.5 X 4.5cm) - 1 copy

  3. Visa application form (with attached photo, to be prepared at the embassy or consulate)

  4. Documents proving admission or enrollment (admission permit)

  5. Proof of financial capability (proof of remittance of at least $3,000 to Korea and proof of family relationship or confirmation of financial responsibility from the educational institution) - In some cases, a guarantee of identification may be required.

※ The required documents may vary depending on the jurisdiction of the embassy or consulate, so it is important to check with the relevant consulate in advance.

How can I extend my student visa in South Korea?

If you wish to extend your authorized stay period, you or your representative must submit the required documents to the immigration office in charge of your address before the expiration date of your stay. Failure to apply for an extension before the expiration of the stay period may result in penalties under the Immigration Control Act.

Required documents:

  1. Documents listed above

  2. Application form

  3. Passport

  4. Alien Registration Card

  5. Certificate of enrollment (If you have not obtained a certificate of enrollment from the university, you will need an opinion letter from your advisor.)

  6. Balance certificate (issued by a bank in Korea)

  7. Fee of 30,000 KRW


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