Changes to the visa policy for international students👍
July 17, 2023
Visa standards for international students will be relaxed from July 3rd.
Hello everyone! We would like to inform you that there have been significant changes to Korea's visa policy since July 3rd. Particularly, there have been many positive changes for international students. To make your life as a student in Korea easier, we will provide detailed information about these changes.
Relaxation of Financial Capacity Evaluation Standards
The financial capacity evaluation standards required for visa issuance to international students have been relaxed. The currency for proving financial capacity has changed from US dollars (USD) to Korean won (KRW), and the amount required has been reduced. For degree-seeking students, you now need to prove financial capacity of 20 million won, while language trainees need to show 10 million won. Notably, for students studying at regional universities, the standard has been further relaxed to 16 million won for degree-seeking students and 8 million won for language trainees.
Degree-seeking students at regional universities: 18,000 USD → 16,000,000 KRW
Language trainees at regional universities: 10,000 USD → 8,000,000 KRW
Expansion of Part-Time Work
Previously, part-time work for international students was quite limited. Now, in order to broaden the career exploration opportunities for students, part-time employment hours and scope have been expanded. For undergraduate students, the permissible working hours per week have increased from 20 to 25 hours, and if academic performance or Korean language proficiency is excellent, an additional 5 hours per week of work is allowed. Internships in professional fields are also now allowed during school vacations.
Permissible weekly work hours: 20H → 25H (+5H)
Allowing Foreign Workers to Pursue Domestic Education
Foreign workers with non-professional employment (E-9), or seafarer employment (E-10) visas, are now allowed to pursue education in Korea. This will help workers develop professional expertise and attain qualifications as skilled technical workers (E-7-4).
E-9, E-10 : Study activities permitted
Diversification of Korean Language Proficiency Proof Method
The way of proving a student's Korean language proficiency has also been diversified. In addition to the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) score, proficiency can now be demonstrated through completion of the Ministry of Justice's Social Integration Program or the Sejong Institute's Korean standards.
Korean proficiency proof: TOPIK → TOPIK + Ministry of Justice Program + Sejong Institute standards
Internships in Specialized Fields
International students can now participate in internships in specialized fields during vacations. Previously, they could only work in simple labor jobs, such as part-time work. However, with the permission of internships, they are expected to maintain their specialization in their major fields and receive assistance for employment. Moreover, if they participate in obligatory field training specified by law, or the 'Standard Field Training Semester' in accordance with the Ministry of Education's notice, they are granted the same training opportunities as domestic students without needing to receive part-time work permission.
Employment Activities: Simple labor part-time work → Internships in specialized fields during vacation.
These changes aim to assist international students in better performing their lives and studies in Korea, and provide opportunities for them to better adapt and settle into Korean society. We hope that your life as a student in Korea will be enriched and growth-filled through these changes!