Study in South Korea: Student Visas & Permits

The South Korean passport is among the most powerful in the world. This means that South Korea has a fairly liberal visa system thanks to its reciprocal waiver agreements. That being said, there’s still a visa process for international students. 

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This is how the application process works.

Certificate of Visa Issuance

Before you do anything else, you must first and foremost get something called a Certificate of Visa Issuance. Not all applicants need this certificate, but study visa applicants do. Put simply, you present some fairly standard documents - passport, health insurance, confirmation of enrolment and of paid tuition fees, etc - at your nearest South Korean embassy or consulate. These documents are then processed and, if successful, a certificate is then issued. This certificate is valid for three months. It automatically expires upon the issuance of a full study visa. It’s also possible to complete this process via post if you live in a country that doesn’t have diplomatic relations with South Korea or doesn’t have any South Korean representation. 

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Visit a South Korean Diplomatic Center

A diplomatic center is a fancy way of saying ‘embassy or consulate’. As soon as you have your Certificate of Visa Issuance in hand, you’ll need to visit one of these centers, drop the certificate off with your passport, health insurance confirmation, a visa application form completed in either Korean or your local language and an acceptance letter from your school. For anything above an undergraduate qualification, you’ll also need to provide transcripts of your prior education. These must be provided in Korean or English or with a notarized translation. The processing time takes between two and ten weeks. Visa fees are set by individual diplomatic centers, so they can vary greatly. Fees are payable in the local currency. If you’re not from a country where South Korea has representation, then you can also apply for a study visa in the country in which you last studied. 

Your study visa will be multiple entry and valid for the entire duration of your studies.

Study in South Korea

Want an overview of this remarkable country? This section looks at South Korean culture, the landscape, the unique language and its main sectors. This section also summarises why a South Korean degree can give you a competitive edge.

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Education in South Korea

Want to learn about how the higher education system works in South Korea? South Korea is becoming a go-to destination for a variety of students, given its great reputation, reasonable fees and its fascinating culture and language. Take a minute to find out more about the structure of the education system in South Korea!

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Housing & Living Costs

No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as a student in South Korea.

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Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for degree programs in South Korea can vary. Both international and domestic students are expected to pay tuition fees in South Korea, but these fees can vary a lot. We've put together information on how this works, and on the fantastic Global Korea Scholarship, in this section.

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Language & Culture

South Korea is a country with a rich culture. Find out more about what the country offers in terms of language, culture, and more! We also talk about how to stay safe in South Korea in this section.

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Application Process

Learn more about the standard application process in South Korea. There's no national application portal, so this section covers what you'll generally need to do when applying to individual schools in South Korea.

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Last update: 25 Sep 2020


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