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I'm an American citizen planning to go to Seoul as a tourist for a month or two, and, if I like it, enroll in a three-month Korean language course through one of the universities there (making a total stay of five months, more than the 90 days I can get visa-free).

Once I'm in Seoul as a tourist, what are my options for extending my stay in order to take a language course? Do I need to apply for a visa? If so, will I have to apply from outside South Korea?

  • The issue with the current answer is that the poster is "not too sure" - an ideal answer would describe with more certainty what the options are for someone in the situation described in the OP, namely already in country and looking to extend their stay for the purpose of attending a language school – davidvc Oct 10 '17 at 22:21
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In this scenario it might have been best to get a D-4 visa since you are learning Korean at Seoul. I'm not too sure if it is a D-4 so you should ask your local Korean embassy for clarification.

(Full link) http://www.studyinkorea.go.kr/en/sub/overseas_info/guide/guide_visa.do

Visa for General Training (D-4): For persons who study Korean at a university-run language school, persons who study in a qualified educational institute or an educational institute other than an academic research institute, persons who get technical training at national or public research institutes, training institutes, bodies etc. persons receiving payment from research institutes or who have industrial training system qualifications

  • Valid Passport

  • Visa application form or Certificate for Recognition of Visa Issuance

  • Processing Fee: Amount corresponding to USD 30 (Single-entry) or USD 50 (Multiple-entry) -Verification of School Entrance or Enrollment (Verification of Training) -Financial Verification (more than USD 3,000 in domestic bank account or certificate of currency exchange) or documentation under a university academic exchange agreement
  • Identification Verification (for those who cannot verify their financial ability for tuition and living expenses or upon the request of Justice Ministry)

Certificate for Confirmation of Visa Issuance: In order to shorten the issuing period and simplify visa issuance procedures, an immigration office head can issue a certificate for recognition of visa issuance after examining the applicant's documents upon the request of a sponsor in Korea. Then, the Korean missions overseas will issue a visa based on the certificate. The certificate is required except for special cases. The applicant or sponsor in Korea can apply for the certificate at the nearest immigration office (or its branch) with required documents. When the certificate is issued and sent to the applicant, then the applicant can get a visa by submitting the certificate to the nearest Korean missions overseas. The certificate is effective for three months and valid for a single visa application.

Just remember that you will have to travel outside of Seoul to apply for the visa.

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