Are you ready to meet your oppas and unnies on campus? (We both know you’re born ready.)
In one of our articles, 8 Reasons Why Filipino Students Would Love South Korea, we pretty much fangirled why we can’t wait for more Filipino students to experience the Korean university life (Hint: easily available samgyup in every corner for all-nighters!). Now, it’s about time we help ya turn that dream into a reality!
If you’re all convinced to go and study in Korea, one thing on top of your prep list should be a student visa. In basic terms, any person who plans to enroll in a Korean school needs to apply for a student visa called D-2. Remember, no visa, no entry! Araso?
Here’s a simple but definitive guide on getting your Korean student visa ASAP:
STEP 1: Get admitted to a Korean school.
Obviously, there is no use to getting a Korean student visa without getting admitted to a Korean school or university. Secure a slot in your prospect school! This comes first too since an official letter of acceptance will be needed as part of your student visa application.
Apply to schools early to give you a headstart for processing time. Note that admission period for the Fall semester takes place between May to June, while the Spring semester happens from September to November. That means the application period comes months before that! Make it a habit to check application schedules and deadlines in advance. You don’t want to miss the start of the classes, right?
What is the TOPIK?
- The TOPIK stands for Test Proficiency in Korean. It’s like TOEFL or IELTS but for the Korean language! Don’t worry though since this will only be required for students applying for higher level course programs which require a certain level of fluency in Korean. Otherwise, students opting for English-taught courses can submit an equivalent certificate of English proficiency.
STEP 2: Apply for a Korean student visa.
After getting an official acceptance letter from your host university, apply for a student visa immediately. A good margin for visa application is important since you don’t want to be caught in between your school’s official start date and the visa approval. One month should be a good lead time for visa application.
What are the requirements I need to prepare for a Korean student visa?
- Application form
- One (1) passport-sized colored picture
- Original passport (valid for more than 6 months)
- Photocopy of passport bio-page
- Original school certificate
- Copy of school ID
- Copy of birth certificate
- Parents’ documents*
- Original and photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years**
- Invitor’s documents** (invitation letter, passport or ID)
*Parents’ documents may include an employment certificate, Income Tax Return (ITR) photocopy, Form 2316 copy, original bank certificate, marriage certificate copy, and passport/ID copy depending on an applicant’s case.
**only if applicable
Note that flight tickets and accommodations are NOT required for visa application, and are recommended to be booked right after your student visa approval to avoid conflicting schedules.
Where do I apply for a Korean student visa?
You can apply and submit your complete requirements through the Philippine Korean Embassy’s designated travel agencies. They should be able to guide you from requirements to approval. Due to a massive increase in visa applications, the Embassy will no longer accept walk-ins, and will only allow direct application for special, urgent cases.
How much do I have to pay for a Korean student visa?
- A Korean student visa is free for students applying for a 59-day (or less) stay in Korea. If it exceeds to 60-90 days, an applicant must pay a visa fee of Php 2,000.
When can I receive my Korean student visa?
- Given that all your documents are complete and no unforeseen delays occur, the process usually takes between 5-10 working days up to 2 weeks.
STEP 3: Secure post-visa requirements.
Congratulations! So your application for a Korean student visa is granted. Now what? Keep in mind that the visa validity only lasts 3 months from the issue date, and advanced thinking can spare you from future headaches while studying abroad. Here are other requirements to take note during your SoKor study trip:
Alien Registration Card (ARC)
- Since a D-2 student visa is a single entry only, you will need your ARC to move freely in and out of the country during your stay (e.g. overseas trips). Think of this as your temporary ID while you’re studying in South Korea! While your host university will help you process this, make sure to apply for it within 90 days of your arrival. #important
- Student visas are for meant for short-term stays. Be mindful of visa expiration since you don’t want to be deported in the middle of your semester nor fined a hefty amount. Should you need to apply for a visa extension, you can do it 4 months prior to your visa expiration. Just walk in a local immigration office or apply through the online immigration system.
Getting your Korean student visa approved is one step closer to the land of the morning calm. Sure, the whole visa application process might be a lil’ hassle (hello, documents) but finishing through it means months or years of unforgettable student journey abroad. Now ain’t that something to look forward to instead? Hwaiting!
Already packed your bags for Korean university life? Check out more helpful tips and advice when studying abroad—from where to stay to what to expect as an international student. Head to our Study Abroad blog section at Edukasyon.ph now!