Studying in Korea

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Visa application procedures

Anyone who wants to study abroad must obtain a student visa from a Korean Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence. This can be obtained only after preparing all the required documents to enter Korea, including an admission letter. The type of visa required differs according to what kind of course (Korean language training, regular degree, research, or exchange student) will be taken. For a student visa, applicants (seeking a degree higher than a professional school, research course, or exchange student course will require a D-2 visa) and those studying Korean language at a university language school will need a D-4 Visa (For more information on student visas, please visit the Korea Immigration Service website
(1) Certificate for Confirmation of Visa Issuance
To simplify the visa issuance procedure and period, the Korean Government operates an improved visa issuance certificate system through which the inviter living in Korea applies to Korea Immigration Service( for the visa issuance for the foreign invitee and the certificate of visa issuance is issued to the invitee. Then the Korean Embassy (or Consulate) issues the actual visa. Except for some special cases (such as overseas job training & employment, overseas Koreans, sightseeing and permanent residence), the Korean Government demands all foreigners who would like to stay in Korea for a extended period get the certificate of visa issuance before the visa application procedure.」 To obtain the Certificate for Confirmation of Visa Issuance, the student himself or an inviter, who is in Korea (head of school which is planned to enter), must submit all required documents for visa issuance and apply for a visa issue permit at the local immigration service (or branch office).

If a foreigner who receives a Certificate for Confirmation of Visa Issuance (number) and then submits (this number) to the Korean governmental office in the applicant's country, the visa process is expedited. This Certificate for Confirmation of Visa Issuance in non-transferable and is valid for three months from date of issuance.
※ “Visa” may be more familiar to readers, but it is called “Sajeong” as a formal term by the Department of Justice in Korea. Both terms will thus be used interchangeably hereafter.
  • Procedure
    Diagram for
    Certificate of
  • 1.Foreigner to enter Korea 2. Inviter
  • Applicant
  • Handing Authorities
    Immigration Office
  • Acceptance
  • Examination
  • Permission
    • Submissin Documents
    • • Passport
    • • Application of Cerificate for Recogntion of vise Issurnce
    • • Other Document
  • Issuance of Visa
    Issuance Pemission
  • Procedure in Korea
  • 1.Foreigner to enter Korea
  • Applicant
  • Handing Authorities
  • Acceptance
  • Permission
  • Issuance of Visa/Issuance
    • Submissin Documents
    • • Application of Visa Issuance
    • • Certificate for Recofntion of vise Issuance
    • • Passport
    • • Other Document
  • Procedure to Embassy/Consulate
(2) Student visa (D-2)
• Who is eligible?
   A foreigner who desires to receive a regular course of education (undergraduate, graduate, Ph.D.) or to research in a specific area at a two-year
   college, university, or graduate school (including evening graduate school), established by the Higher Education
   Act, or at an academic research institute established and regulated by the Special Act (must be higher education than a two-year college).
• How to apply?
   Applicant submits a visa application form to a Korean embassy or consulate.
• Required documents:
   - Passport
   - Application for visa issuance or application for Certificate of Confirmation of Visa Issuance
   - Fee (2014): US$80 or equivalent amount
   - Standard admission permit, which includes scholastic aptitude and financial capability
   - Certificate of Business registration as educational institute (copy of ID certificate)
   - Original or copy of certificate of transcript of highest educational qualification
   - Proof of financial support (proof of more than US$13,000 - Non capital region or US$15,000 - Capital Region)account balance,
      or certificate of domestic remittance, etc.)
   - Certificate of residence or family register (only applicable to Chinese and all family members should be stated.)
   - Documents regarding scholastic exchange program or agreement between universities (only applicable to exchange students)
   - Personal reference (If an applicant cannot prove his/her ability to pay for their own expenses, such as tuition, during the stay, or if the Minister
      of Justice requires)
   - Processing Fee: The amount varies from each embassy, please contact the local Korean embassy in applicant’s home country.
※ If a scholarship on a standard admission permit can proves to cover domestic stay expenses, the certificate of scholarship can replace this after review.
※ Once the Certificate of Confirmation of Visa Issuance or issuance number is provided, the applicant can submit only his/her passport, application for visa issuance, and Certificate for Confirmation of Visa Issuance (or Confirmation of visa issuance number).
(3) General Trainee (D-4)
• Who is eligible?
   If you research, study or train at an educational organization, academic research center, private enterprise another groups that does not fall
     under D-2 categories. For example, you are:    - A person learning Korean at a university-affiliated language center
   - A person studying at an educational organization or an academic research center that does not fall under D-3 categories
   - A person practicing skills/techniques at a public/private research institute or traning center, or
   - A person who is doing on-the-job training, researching, or is an intern at a foreign investment company or foreigner-invested company.
• How to apply?
   - Applicant submits a visa application form to a Korean embassy or consulate.
• Required documents:
   - Visa application form
   - Passport
   - One standard size photograph
   - Visa application fee
   - Acceptance or enrollment letter
   - Document demonstrating your final level of education
   - Training plan (lecture schedule, lecturers’ profiles, training facility etc.)
   - A document providing your financial ability to support yourself during your stay(ex. balance statement over USD 5,000)
   - Official documents between universities where an exchange student is involved (only applicable for an exchange student)
   - A reference letter (only when the Minister of Justice deems it necessary or if you have not proven your ability to pay for tuition and
     other living expenses)