If you’re going for an exchange program to Korea, even if you’re a Singaporean, you will most likely need to make a Student Exchange Program Visa (D-2-6). There are some rare cases where some nationalities are exempted. The full list and details can be found here.
What You Will Need to Prepare
1. One completed visa application form
2. One colored, passport-sized photo (35 x 45 mm) taken against white background – paste it on your visa application form (if you don’t have glue or tape, you can do it in the embassy before you submit the documents).
3. Passport with at least 6 months remainder validity and ONE blank “visa” page (original and copy) – The passport will be kept at the embassy for processing for 4 working days; Do NOT plan any trips out of Singapore within the 4 processing days because you won’t have a passport! They do not provide any urgent or express service.
4. Letter from Singapore school that states your name, passport number/NRIC no., student status, courses enrolled and exchange program (original and valid within 1 month of its issuance) – The letter will be given together with the admission package sent to NUS’ Registrar Office.
5. Certificate of Admission from Yonsei University (original) – will be given in the admission package sent by Yonsei to NUS Registrar Office.
6. Certificate of business registration of Korean University (fax/scan copy) – again, given in the admission package.
7. Your recent 3 months bank account statements / bank passbook / e-statements in Singapore. Overseas bank account statements and credit card statements will not be accepted. The embassy website said that they needed the original and copy of the statements but when I submitted mine, they only asked for the copy.
Oh and to be safe, if you are going to use your e-statements, go to your bank and ask them to stamp it to certify that it is original! Just tell them you need it for Visa Application and they will know what to do.
If you intend to submit bank passbook, make sure that your bank passbook is updated on a regular basis. All transactions made within the past 3 months should be clearly reflected on the passbook.
You may also submit your family member’s bank account statements for visa application (for example, parents). However if you do, family relations certificate (like a birth certificate) and a copy of the bank account holder’s NRIC/passport are required to be submitted as well for relationship verification.
The minimum sum of money to be sustained in the bank account should more or at least equal to the amount stated in the Certificate of Admission sent by Yonsei.
8. NRIC/long term pass (i.e STP) in Singapore (original and copy). The original ID will just be used for verification and will be returned on the spot.
9. One copy of re-entry permit to Singapore (applicable to Singapore PR only).
Application Submission Details
Visa Application timing: 9.00am – 11.30am ONLY on Weekdays (excluding Public Holidays). No appointment needed, just walk in and take a queue. I suggest that you come in the morning because it gets more crowded towards the closing time. If you are not free, you may ask someone else to go to the embassy to submit the application for you. No authorisation letter is needed.
Embassy Location: 47 Scotts Road, Goldbell Towers, Singapore 228233. When you enter the building, register your name at the reception and the security personals will tell you where to go (It’s in the 8th floor, if I remember correctly).
Visa Application Fee: It was $84 when we made it (For up to date information, go here) The amount needs to be paid in CASH so prepare it before hand.
Once you have paid and submitted your documents, you will be given a collection notice slip that you MUST bring when you collect. So don’t lose it!
My application submission took less than 30 minutes and I came in at 9.30am. The queue was not long and they served each applicant in a pretty swift manner as long as you have all the documents prepared.
The collection timing is the same as the application time (9.00 – 11.30am ONLY). Again, if you can’t make it, someone else can help you collect it without a need of an authorisation letter. He/she just needs to bring the collection slip that was given after the submission and payment of the application. The slip will also state which date you can come to collect your passport and visa.
Again, my collection was very fast too. I came in at 9am and by 9.10 or 9.15 I was out with my passport and visa 🙂
Other Important Details You’ll Need to Know
The visa is only valid for 3 months. So make sure that the date you are entering Korea is less than 3 months after you submit you application to the Embassy. If not, you would need to make another one!
Also, the visa is only a single entry visa. When you reach Korea, you will need to register for an Alien Card (I know, it sounds very weird LOL). The card will allow you to go out of Korea and come back in when you are there for exchange. The registration for that card will be shared in another post!