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South Korea: Visa Guides - Must read

How to apply for a student visa in South Korea

Are you passionate about studying abroad in South Korea, but don’t know how to apply for a visa? Here’s everything you need to know…

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South Korea is a popular study destination for many international students, offering a mix of  modern and traditional architecture, quality education and a unique cultural experience. In addition, tuition fees at South Korean universities are comparably cheaper than in other popular destinations such as the USA or UK. This means students can gain a top qualification without paying enormous fees. Sound good?


First, to study abroad in South Korea, you will need to acquire a visa before entering the country. The process is not difficult, but it is important to have all the necessary documentation within the right timeframes. Your university may assist you in the visa process, so ask the international office what your next steps are in acquiring a visa after you have been admitted.


Firstly, its important to note that you must be admitted to a school in South Korea before applying for a student visa as you will need to supply a letter of acceptance upon your application. You will also need to pay some of your tuition fees in order to receive this letter. The amount you need to pay will vary according to the institution.


Types of student visas in South Korea

To obtain a visa, you should visit the Korean embassy or consulate in your home country.


D-2: Visa for Regular Educational Programme

This visa is for any student enrolling in a bachelors, masters, or Ph.D. programme at a college, university, or graduate school. This visa allows entry to the country for up to two years.


D-4: Visa for General Training

This visa is for any person attending a university-run language school, a qualified educational institute, or any other institute other than an academic research institute. Applications can be submitted through a visa immigration branch or online at the Korea Visa Portal.  These visas allow entry into South Korea for a maximum of two years.


Top tip! After six months of studying in south Korea on a student visa you can apply for the right to work part-time for up to 20 hours per week.


Top universities in South Korea

South Korea is home to 370 official higher education institutions, of which four are ranked within Asia’s top 20 (QS Asia University Rankings 2021). Some of the best performing universities in South Korea include:

  • Seoul National University
  • Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
  • Sungkyunkwan University
  • Korea University


According to Top Universities, undergraduate tuition fees in the capital city of Seoul typically cost USD 6,500 per year, making South Korea a more affordable and attractive option for international students. In addition, South Korea is home to global companies such as Samsung and Hyundai, reflecting its global influence and opportunities for employment after graduation.


What you will need to apply

  • Valid passport with a copy of the photo page (must be taken within the last six months)
  • Visa application forms, depending on which visa you are applying for
  • Proof of admission or enrolment
  • Proof of financial stability
  • Most recent certificate of school record
  • Return travel ticket
  • Chinese students may need to provide an overview of their family history


Evidence of your finances informs the embassy that you can afford to support yourself while studying in the country. The amount of money you need depends on your home country so check with your embassy or consulate for more information. If you need advice about required documents, your current school or chosen university should be able to point you in the right direction if you’re unsure about anything.



Both of the visa applications charge a fee of GBP 30 to GBP 50. However, a multiple entry visa is more expensive than a single-entry visa.


How long does it take to get a south Korean student visa?

It can take anywhere from two weeks to two months to receive your student visa. It depends on your country of origin. To avoid delays, make sure that you submit all of the required documents and fill in every section necessary on the application form.


Don’t have a course and university in South Korea yet? Use our course matcher tool to find what’s right for you based on your preferences. Remember, you need a confirmed place before you can apply for your visa.