Acquisition of Nationality through Marriage.
In order to acquire Korean nationality, applicants of naturalization or their family members, such as spouses, must be employed or own a certain amount of property. Also, applicants must be able to communicate in Korean and have a knowledge and understanding of Korean tradition and culture.
1. Eligibility for Acquisition of Nationality
(Those fulfilling the following qualifications are eligible.)
* Period Residing in Korea
- 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.
2. Required Documents for Nationality Acquisition.
* Required Documents
. Naturalization approval application with 1 photo (4X5cm) attached.
. Copy of first page application.
. Written statement of naturalization.
. Copy of passport
. Copies of Korean spouse's family registration (indicating fact of marriage) and resident registration.
. Documents establishing property relations (Select one of documents that can prove you or your family is financially independent.)
- Certificate of bank balance exceeding 30 million won under the name of the applicants or applicant's family members.
- Copy of real estate registration or house lease contract of property worth more than 30 million won.
- Certificate of employment (attach a copy business operator registration)
- Certificate of future employment (financial guarantee unacceptable)
. Letter of guarantee and 1 copy (photo attached to each).
. Other material than can verify you and your Korean spouse have a true relationship
- Photo, friends written statements, letter sent between you and your Korean spouse.
. Fee of 100,000won
3. How to Acquire Korean Nationality
(Procedure of Korean Nationality Acquisition and Examination)
Naturalization applications are only accepted at immigration offices that offer nationality services. Your Korea spouse must accompany you to your local immigration office.
Applicant Qualification Examination
Submitted documents will be examined, police will undertake an identification process, and an immigration official will undertake a sojourn trend investigation.
Applicants Eligibility Examination
. Foreign spouses are exempt from taking the written test and only need to be interviewed. Interviews will be granted based on the applicant’s Korean communication ability and other basic qualifications as a Korean national.
. If applicants fail on the first interview, they will be given two more chances to pass the interview.
. The Ministry of Justice will send interviewees interview schedule tow to four weeks prior to the date of interview. Thus, those who change residence should report the changes to their local immigration office having jurisdiction over the place of their stay or their city, district, or ward office. If ones residence has not changed, but he or she has a new telephone number, then the changes must be reported to an agent at the Justice Ministry’s Nationality and Refugee division (02-500-9233~4)
Naturalization Permit Granted
. Once granted a naturalization permit from the Ministry of Justice, the applicant must follow the procedure listed below.
. The entire procedure from applying to being granted nationalization permission takes approximately one year or more.
(Procedure of Resident Registration Card issuance and Examination)
Register Name in Family Registration
. You will be charged a penalty fee if you do not register your name in your family registration within a month of receiving notification of permission of naturalization.
. You must report your naturalization at a family registration government office (City, district, or town office). You must take your alien card and notification of permission of naturalization with you.
Renunciation of Foreign Nationality
. Within six month of receiving notification of permission of naturalization, you must notify the embassy of your native country or consulate abroad on renunciation of your original nationality. You will automatically lose your Korean Nationality if you do not receive a “foreign nationality renunciation certificate” from the embassy within six months.
. As a exception, if you cannot issue a “foreign nationality renunciation certificate” in time due to immigration laws in your native country or because the embassy of your native country does not exist in Korea, you may submit a “written pledge of foreign nationality renunciation.” You will be issued a written confirmation of foreign nationality renunciation confirmation at a local immigration office and may apply for issuance of a resident registration card. You must perform renunciation of nationality within the period stated on the written confirmation of foreign nationality renunciation confirmation.
Confirmation of Renunciation of Foreign Nationality
Confirm of renunciation of foreign nationality. You must submit your “foreign nationality renunciation certificate” to your local immigration office. You will be issued a written confirmation of your renunciation of foreign nationality. You must submit the documents yourself.
Application for Resident Registration Card Issuance
You must take your notification of permission of naturalization, copy of family registration, and written confirmation of your foreign nationality renunciation to your local town/myeon/dong office and apply for issuance of a resident registration card.
Return Alien Registration Card
Return alien registration card. The alien registration card should be return to the local immigration office where you underwent alien registration. Be sure to take your notification of permission of naturalization, copy of family registration, resident registration car, and alien registration card. You must return your alien registration card within 14 years of receiving a resident registration card.
4. Surnames and Given names for Resident Registration Card.
After you are granted naturalization permission, you may write your foreign name phonetically in Korean and use it as your name when you register your name on your family registration.
If you want to adopt a new Korean name, you must obtain a copy of permission issued by the domestic relations court at your Korean spouse’s domicile or initial resident registration. You must submit the copy of permission to your local town, myeon, or ward office within one month from issuance.