Preparing for Study Abroad, Visa

Visa for South Korea

December 23, 2016

koreanvisaIn order for students to study abroad in South Korea, they must apply for a visa. In this post, I will go over the process for applying for a visa. They are very throughout and specific about requirements so in this post I have provided some helpful tips to help make the process as smooth as possible. In a separate post, I will discuss how to get your Alien Registration Card (ARC), the second part needed for studying abroad in South Korea.

D-2 Student Visa

The type of visa that study abroad students need to apply for is called a D-2 Student Visa and is required for entry into South Korea for education purposes.

I applied for my visa in-person at the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in San Francisco. Their jurisdiction is Northern California, so if you’re from Southern California or another part of the United States, you would have to contact your local general consulate. Alternately, you can apply through mail. Make sure you back tracking and/or insurance to track your application just in case it gets lot in the post.

It took me one week to get my visa processed. However, you should consider allowing for more time if you apply through the mail or during January when they are more busy.

Documents and Items

  • Visa Application Form
    • Revised on June 15, 2015. Check the website for updates.
  • Passport
    • At least 6 months of validity
    • At least 2 blank visa pages
    • Although they require a minimum of 6 months, you should actually account for the entire duration of which you will be studying abroad, with a few extra months as a buffer. You do not want your passport to expire while you’re overseas.
    • They will keep your passport during the processing, so if you need it, make sure to make a photocopy.
  • Photocopy of Passport Biographic Page
  • (1) Passport Photo
    • Glued to the Visa Application Form
    • 35mm x 45 mm, full face, plain background
  • Original Certificate of Admission
    • Issued by the host South Korean college or university
    • They do not accept electronic or photocopies so make sure it is the original with a seal stamp.
  • Tuition Payment or Bank Statement
    • You need to provide documents to support the items listed in Number 8 of your Certificate of Admission.
    • For example, for “University” you can provide home university tuition payment receipts or financial aid award documents or for “student’s personal funds” you can provide your own bank statements.
    • Double check these amounts because it can delay your visa processing.
  • Official Transcript
    • They do not accept the unofficial transcript printed from online.
    • If you want to save money, a photocopy of an original, official transcript is accepted. Just make sure it doesn’t say “unofficial” on the documents.
  •  Non-United States Citizen Documents
    • If you are not a United States citizen, you need to submit photocopies of one of the following:
      • US Permanent Resident Card or valid US visa
      • I-94 , I-20 or DS-2019 records for F-1/2, J-1/2 visa holders
  • Korean Heritage Documents
    • If you are of Korean heritage, including second-generation Korean Americans born in the United States, you need to submit a photocopies of:
      • your birth certificate
      • United States naturalization certificate, or United States Permanent Resident Card of both of your parents
      • This is required because of mandatory military service requirements.
  • Visa Fee
    • United States citizens pay $45 for all visas, regardless of type or length of stay.
    • If you hold a passport other than a US passport, the prices may be different.
    • Cash or money orders only.
    • There aren’t any ATMs near the San Francisco General Consulate, but they can provide change if you don’t have exact amounts.

If everything goes well, you should have your passport and visa back within a week and ready to set off on your new study abroad adventure in South Korea!

Later on, you will need to do a separate immigration process to apply for your Alien Registration Card (ARC). To learn more, please check out my other blog post on the ARC here.

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