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Excerpted from the Korea Career Guide

Traveling to South Korea generally requires a visa and may involve extensive documentation to meet the application requirements. A South Korean visa is a consular officer's recommendation for a foreigner's entry request.

Student Visas (D-2)

The D-2 visa is for those seeking standard high level education (bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degrees), or those engaged in specific research at a college, university or graduate school set up under provisions of the 'Education Law' or at an educational facility set up under the provision of the related special law.

In order to apply for a D-2 visa, the applicant must submit:

  • Valid passport
  • Visa application form (see the Forms section)
  • Admission from the school with its confirmation of the student’s aptitude for study and financial ability
  • The most recent school graduation or enrollment certificate
  • Verification of funds (see Verification of Financial Ability, below)

Business Visas (C-2)

Short-term visitors to South Korea who desire to engage in business activities must apply for temporary business (C-2) visas. A temporary business visa must be applied for at a South Korean embassy or consulate, and is valid for no more than 90 days.

In order to apply for a temporary business visa, the following documents must be submitted:

  • Passport
  • Two color passport photos (3 cm x 4 cm)
  • Visa application form (see the Forms section)
  • Documents confirming a trade or business relationship with a Korean counterpart
  • Documents proving the identity of a Korean counterpart
  • Documents or letters proving the status of the applicant in a company
  • Documents or letters that provide information about the current activities of the company

Employment Visa

In order to receive an employment visa, the applicant must be invited by a South Korea-based organization. The inviting organization must apply on the employee’s behalf for a Certificate for Recognition of Visa Issuance (or Visa Issuance Recognition Number, depending on the nationality of the employee). Specific documents required to obtain a Certificate for Recognition of Visa Issuance vary by visa type.

A criminal background check should be completed to obtain a visa. If the applicant leaves South Korea for more than three months, a new criminal check will be needed.

This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete South Korea Guide.

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