To study abroad, you must have a signed, valid passport from your country of citizenship that will not expire for a minimum of 6 months after your planned return date. If you do not have a passport, or it's about to expire, make sure you apply or renew as soon as possible! U.S. Citizens can refer to the US Department of State’s website for more information regarding passports.
A student visa is official permission by a foreign government to live and study in that country. U.S. citizens (U.S. passport holders) visiting South Korea for ninety (90) days or less do not need a visa, but they do need to apply for a Korea Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) before boarding their flight.
USAC students enrolling in the semester or yearlong program are required to obtain a student visa prior to departure. You will not be able to apply for your study visa until you have received your official acceptance from the host university. This process can take two to three months or longer to complete. During this time, the consulate will have your actual passport while your visa is processed. Traveling internationally prior to the start of your study abroad program will interfere with your visa application process.
If your parent(s) are Korean Nationals you may encounter challenges in the visa process. If this is the case, contact your Program Advisor prior to your acceptance to the program for advice on immigration requirements. Recommendations may differ depending on your specific situation. Further information will be posted to your USAC Student Gateway account in the USAC Visa Guide, which you will receive about 4 months prior to the program start.
All costs related to obtaining a visa, including travel, are your responsibility.
Check with your home country consulate, as well as the embassy of the country in which you plan to study, regarding visa requirements. Permanent Residents of the U.S. should check with U.S. Immigration as leaving the country for more than one year may jeopardize permanent resident status. Tax clearance and re-entry forms may also be necessary in these cases.