New visas to embrace talented foreign students
New visas to embrace talented foreign students
  • Yang Hae-in
  • 승인 2016.06.03 15:48
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The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) announced on May 18 a change in visa policy to expand opportunities for international students to study in Korea and strengthen the international competitiveness. A new working visa and student visa was established on June 1 to accommodate more talented international students, and the operation to process visas will be simplified for students’ convenience.
The biggest change is the foundation of the work-learning visa (D-2-7). In the past, many international students returned to their home countries or even went to a third country after completing their studies in Korea due to the difficulty of obtaining a work visa or a residence permit. However, with the new visa, government-invited international students will be able to find employment in Korea as soon as they graduate.
The existing work visa (E-7) only allowed international students to get a job in a business that has more than five Korean employees, and two years at a time within 20 percent of the citizen employment state. Holders of the new visa can now work in Korea for three years at once if they only make an employment contract after graduation without considering the citizen employment state. In addition, the new visa will grant 10 additional points for international students who wish to acquire residence permit and 20 for permanent residence permit, when the existing visa granted only five and 10 respectively.
Another visa that is newly established is a short-term student visa (D-2-8), which allows international students to attend summer or winter session in Korean universities. In the past, students who wished to study one or two months in Korea during the vacation had to enter and leave Korea repeatedly with the tourist visa because the student visa was focused on the regular degree courses. However with the new visa, when a student wants to remain in Korea to study regular courses after the short-term session ended, the student can change their visas into a long-term student visa without leaving the country.
Apart from founding the new visas, MOJ also simplified the operation to process visas for international students by issuing e-visas via Korea Visa Portal website ( Students who are studying master’s courses or doctoral courses at certified graduate schools can apply for and obtain their visas online. Now students do not have to visit the diplomatic offices several times for their visas.
Regarding the new visa, international students showed positive reactions.
“This new type of visa seems to allow foreign students to have an easier time transitioning to a semi-permanent or permanent life in Korea,” said Anna Ziegler, an international student majoring in English Language & Literature.
Through the changes in the visa policy, MOJ is hoping more talented international students would pursue careers in Korea after graduation. MOJ expects that the improvements made will help to increase the number of international students from the current 100,000 to 200,000 by the year of 2023, as the government’s plans.

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