Dual citizenship/nationality in South Korea

When I met my friends last Saturday, Jas oriented us about the new Nationality Law which allows dual citizenship. Korea Times posted an informative article on this. The article is quite long, but here’s the part that affects foreign spouses in Korea:

Foreigners without exceptional skills, married to Koreans, are also included on the list of people eligible for dual citizenship.

However, they will have to pass a naturalization test after staying here for two years to seek dual nationality.

Those divorced from a Korean spouse will not be able to apply for the privilege, as the government fears that such measures will increase the divorce rate among multicultural marriages, ministry officials said.

According to government figures, 6,187 Koreans divorced their foreign spouses in 2006, accounting for some 4.9 percent of that year’s 125,937 divorces.

In past years, the figure for divorce in such marriages stood at 4,208 in 2006, 3,315 in 2004 and 2,784 in 2003.

Source: Who will be eligible for multiple citizenship?

The law doesn’t work retroactively. For those who are naturalized Korean and would like to also regain their lost nationality, here’s the piece on it:

Meanwhile, those who have renounced their foreign nationality to maintain Korean citizenship will be eligible for dual citizenship if they regain their lost nationality by 2016.

The law will take effect next year.

23 comments

  1. thank you for sharing. hopefully, korea would allow foreign spouses (of korean citizens) to have dual citizenship. i am married to a korean, and would like to eliminate the hassle of having to get a visa when traveling to other countries, esp. now that my hubby and i are planning for a european tour.

    i think men are not granted this privilege bec. they might try to escape the military training.

  2. hello i was just in korea last month & did we enjoy it to the max! masarap bumalik pero ang ginaw na inabot namin samantalang spring time na! the locals told us nagbago ang panahon so that’s probab. why. Spkg of dual cit. akala ko di pa na approved ito? that’ll be good for foreigners not only the ones married to koreans? ang ganda ng korea lalo ang shopping like sa myeongdong, nandaemun, dangdaemun, grabe :), pati mga bakeries nila talo pa sa america, ang sasarap talaga!

  3. hi po!!!bago lng po ako sa site na ito gusto ko lng sana malaman kong pwede ba akong magpa dual citizenship kasi po korean card po ako now,gusto ko po sanang magpadual kaso lng noon pa ako nag apply sa phil.embassy d nila ako ma22longan kasi po raw kailangan nila yong renounsation copy ko..ang problema po nawala ko un naiwan ko kasi sa taxi yon but until now dpa talaga naibalik..anu po ba ang dapat kong gawin?..ang hinahanap kasi nila yong renounsation ko na english na bgay nila noon..hope ma2longan nyo po ako sa problema kong ito..tnx ang more power sa sulyappinoy..

  4. hey i was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction, I suppose my child is considered an “anchor baby” from what I was reading. My daughters father is half korean his mother a korean citizen, he has not obtained korean citizenship, and we are not married. I want to know if I can obtain it for her, dual citizenship for the US and Korea. We live in the US so what if anything can I do??

  5. my daughter was born in korea but i sent her to philippines in her 1st month of age is she a korean citizen??cause her birth certificate was signed in korea..

    1. If you’re married to a Korean and if your daughter was registered by her father at the local civil office, then she is Korean.

      1. Hi ate Betch.how about in the case when our daughter was born in the phil?im still a filipino citizen and her father is korean but registered in Korean civil office?

        1. In that case, your daughter is a Korean citizen and a Filipino citizen since you’re a Filipino citizen when she was born.

  6. Hello ate betchay.,i’m glendelle po, im married already with korean guy and im 7months pregnant., from now on po’ i was staying here in korea., gusto ko lng sana itanung qng pwede vah makakuha ng dual citizenship yung magiging anak ko.,? Anu ba ang pagkakaiba qng sa philippines or dito sa korea aq mnganganak ., ? Mas madali vah ang pgprocess., sana po matulungan niyu aq., thnkz po

    1. Hi Glendelle! Kung married kayo, automatic na Korean citizen ang anak mo pag pinarehistro ng asawa mo sa dong samuso. Kung Filipino citizen ka, pwede ka mag-file ng Report of Birth sa Philippine Embassy sa loob ng isang taon para Filipino citizen din ang anak mo.

      Mas maganda sa Korea manganak kasi mas mura ;p

      1. Ah ganun po vah., may nabasa po kasi ako sa ibang website., sbi dun., kailngn daw magpili yung half korean and half filipino na child pagmakaabot na sya sa edad na 21., pero kasi gusto ng asawa ko na dual ung citizen nya pra daw hindi maksali sa training for soldiers., pero kasi hindi talaga nmin alam ung law nla about this.,

        1. Hi Glendelle! Pag kasal kayo at ni-register siya ng tatay niya sa family register, automatic na Korean citizen siya at dahil hindi ka pa Korean nung pinanganak mo siya, pwede mo siya i-register sa Philippine Embassy para Filipino citizen din siya. So dual citizen siya at dahil may dual citizenship na ang Korea, hindi na niya kailangan mamili ng citizenship later on. Pero dahil Korean citizen din siya, kailangan niya mag-serve sa military kung lalaki siya.

          Kung ayaw ninyo naman siya na mag-serve sa bansa as a soldier eh marami namang paraan. Una, send ninyo siya sa ibang bansa at wag nang pabalikin ng Korea bago siya tumuntong sa age na kailangan na niyang mag-serve. Ibig sabihin, hindi na siya makakabalik sa Korea kasi pag bumalik siya kailangan niya talaga mag-serve. Pangalawa, train ninyo siya para maging Olympic medal holder (gaya ni Park Tae Hwan). Pangatlo, kung may disability siya gaya ng pagiging lumpo or may matinding sakit gaya ng cancer.

          Kahit kasi sikat na kpop idol gaya nina Rain (Bi) kailangan talaga mag-serve sa bayan. Kaya nga kahit ang ganda-ganda ng career ni Rain sa Korea at internationally, wala siyang magagawa dahil kailangan talaga mag-serve sa military ;p

          1. Ah gnun po vah., so makasali tlaga sa military training ang son to be ko now., boy kasi baby ko., ah ate qng halimbawa ba na ipdla ko ung anak ko philippines before makaabot sa 21 na age., habang buhay vah na hindi na sya makabalik dito sa korea?

            Ah thankz po pla sa lhat ng information mu ate.,malaki ang naitulong nito sa amin., thankz po ulit

          2. Hi Ms. Betchay, Nabasa ko yung reply mo above. I just want to make sure if I understood it correctly. Yung son ko is dual citizen, does it mean na by the time na he has to go to military service he can still keep his dual citizenship?

  7. hi po ate betchay.. im divine po.. i just wanna clarify po if i am qualified for dual citizenship.. my mom is married with a korean guy, then they took me here in korea and her husband adopted me.. after two years of waiting, i took the exam and passed..

  8. Good eve miss Betchay, maitanong lng po…we’re married my korean husband almost 13yrs.as of now we have 2 kids 12 and 11 yrs.old we’re living here in korea.I’m a filipina woman how can apply my Dual Citizenship here in korea pati sana ung 2 anak ko po ? at ang problema ko po ay nagpalit ako ng pngalan ko in korean name,pwde po ba ako mg apply ng Dual citizenship saan po ba ako una pupunta pg nag apply nyan ano ano po ang mga requirements?

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