Acquiring Korean Nationality
I was so busy the past few weeks that I didn’t even know that my other blog has been offline for the past days or so. It took a phone call from a stranger, who saw my number on that blog a couple of moons ago, for me to know about it. She had been asking about how to acquire Korean nationality since she has been married for three years. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to back up that blog and everything is lost including all the pictures and posts about the legal stuff I got from the Women Immigrants Center. A jar of wrinkle cream please! I just might “resurrect” all the postings on this blog. I don’t have the energy anymore to maintain two different blogs, and with the online shop still under construction.
Anyway, I recently read a news article on Korea Times that the country might soon allow dual citizenship. This is good news especially for foreign wives who’d like to keep their citizenships and be Koreans as well.
Acquisition of Nationality through Marriage
After entering Korea and registering as an alien, applicants must have legally resided in Korea continuously for 2 years. Applicants must be married to Korean spouses for more than three years and have stayed in Korea continuously for more than a year.
Qualifications for Nationality Acquisition
- Those who are married to Korean spouses and have maintained a legal marriage status.
- Those whose Korean spouses are deceased or pronounced missing by the court.
- Those who have divorced or separated from their Korean spouses and can prove the blame lies with the Korean spouse in causing the end of marriage.
- Those who are raising underage children born with their Korean spouses regardless of to whom the fault of divorce or separation lies.
Required Documents for Acquisition of Nationality
- Naturalization approval application with 1 color photo (4x5cm) attached
- Copy of passport
- Written statement of naturalization
- Copies of spouse’s family registration (indicating fact of marriage) and resident registration
- Documents establishing property relations
Select one among the following documents that can prove you and your family are financially independent:
- Certificate of bank balance exceeding 30 million won under the name of the applicant or applicant’s family member
- Copy of real estate registration or house lease contract of property worth more than 30 million won
- Certificate of employment (attach a copy of business operator registration)
- Certificate of future employment (financial guarantee unacceptable)
Procedure of Korean Nationality Acquisition and Examination:
- Naturalization Permission: Naturalization applications are only accepted at immigration offices that offer nationality services. Your Korean spouse must accompany you to your local immigration office.
- Application Qualification Examination: Submitted documents will be examined, police will undertake identification process, and an immigration official will undertake a sojourn trend investigation.
- Applicant Eligibility Examination: Foreign spouses are exempt from taking the written test and only need to be interviewed.
- Naturalization Permit Granted: The entire procedure from applying to being granted nationalization permission takes approximately one year or more.
Of course, one should call the Immigration Administration Call Center at 02-2650-6399 if you have any questions.