Starting in July, South Korea intends to raise the working hours allowed for international students.

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Effective July 3, 2023, South Korea’s authorities will implement a heightened maximum limit for working hours for international students.

As outlined in recently introduced policies by the Ministry of Justice, students enrolled in undergraduate programs or pursuing associate degrees will observe a rise in their weekly working hours from the existing threshold of 20 hours to 25 hours.

Conversely, students who can demonstrate a proficient level of Korean speaking will be eligible to extend their weekly work hours, as reported by


The ministry has also shared that international students will face reduced financial requirements when obtaining student visas. Furthermore, visa fees will be calculated in the local currency, South Korean Won, rather than US dollars.

Media reports from Korea suggest that applicants for a D-2 student visa must showcase financial stability by presenting a bank statement demonstrating a minimum balance of 20 million won, in contrast to the previous requirement of $20,000.

In contrast, those pursuing D-4 visas from language schools must have a minimum of 10 million won in their bank accounts.

In the previous year, South Korean higher education institutions welcomed a record-breaking number of international students, approximately 167,000. This marked a significant increase since 2013 when around 86,000 international students arrived in the country for educational pursuits, according to Statista, a prominent data provider.


The count of international students in Korea has consistently grown by nearly ten percent annually since 2015. The figure crossed the 100,000 mark for the first time in 2016 and continued its ascent until 2019. However, there was a decline in 2020 and 2021, attributed to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously, the Education Ministry had expressed its goal to elevate the presence of international students within the country.

Over the past decade, there has been a remarkable surge in the count of foreign students in Korea, rising from 80,000 to approximately 200,000. The Ministry of Justice stated in a press release that they have intentions to enhance the foreign student system, thereby supporting the growing influx of international students and aiding in their social adaptation.

According to data released by the Korean Educational Development Institute, the number of international students in Korea reached 205,167 by March 2023. This signifies an increase of 10,577 students compared to January, when the count stood at 194,590 across the country’s educational institutions.


Among the nations of origin, Vietnam contributed the largest contingent with 70,212 students, trailed by China with 63,859 students, followed by Uzbekistan (11,974), and Mongolia (11,603).


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