skipnavigation

go contents

Living areas explanation

This information is drafted as of October 15, 2013.
save print bookmark sendEmail close
 Acquisition of nationality
Nationality may be acquired through birth, acknowledgement, naturalization, reinstatement of nationality, etc., and Koreans with a foreign nationality who meet certain conditions may apply for permission for reinstatement of nationality.
Acquisition of Nationality by Birth
A person falling under one of the following shall be a national of the Republic of Korea at the time of his birth (Article 2.(1) of the 「Nationality Act」):
· A person whose father or mother is a national of the Republic of Korea at the time of his birth;
· A person whose father died before his birth and was a national of the Republic of Korea at the time ofhis death, where his or her father died before his or her birth ; and
· A person who is born in the Republic of Korea, where both of his parents are unknown or have no nationality.
An abandoned child found in the Republic of Korea shall be recognized as born in the Republic of Korea (Article 2.(2) of the 「Nationality Act」).
Acquisition of Nationality by Acknowledgement
Where a person who is not a national of the Republic of Korea (hereinafter referred to as a 'foreigner') is acknowledged by his father or mother who is a national of the Republic of Korea and meets each requirement of the following, the person may acquire nationality of the Republic of Korea after reporting to the Minister of Justice (Article 3.(1) of the 「Nationality Act」):
· The person shall be a minor pursuant to Article 4 of the 「Civil Act」 of the Republic of Korea; and
· At the time of the person's birth, the father or mother is a national of the Republic of Korea.
Acquisition of Nationality by Naturalization
A foreigner who has never acquired nationality of the Republic of Korea may acquire nationality of the Republic of Korea through permission of naturalization by the Minister of Justice (Article 4.(1) of the 「Nationality Act」).
※ Details about naturalization can be found on this Web site (http://oneclick.law.go.kr) (Married Immigrants - International Marriage and Sojourn/Nationality - Naturalization - Method and Procedure of Naturalization).
Concomitant Acquisition
Where a foreigner applies for permission of naturalization, his child who is a minor pursuant to Article 4 of the 「Civil Act」 of the Republic of Korea may concurrently apply for the acquisition of nationality (Article 8.(1) of the 「Nationality Act」).
Acquisition of Nationality through Reinstatement of Nationality
A foreigner who was a national of the Republic of Korea may acquire nationality of the Republic of Korea through obtaining permission of reinstatement of nationality by the Minister of Justice (Article 9.(1) of the 「Nationality Act」).
Application for Permission for Reinstatement of Nationality
- A person who wants to obtain permission for the reinstatement of nationality shall submit the following documents to the head of the immigration office or the head of a branch immigration office (hereinafter “head of the office, etc.”) (Article 8.(1) of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Nationality Act」 andArticle 6.(1) and (2) of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Nationality Act」):
√ Application for permission for reinstatement of nationality(Form no. 3 of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Nationality Act」);
√ Family relations certificate, certified copy of document about removal from the register, or other documents certifying the concerned person was a Korean national;
√ Document certifying the cause and date of nationality loss (When a foreign nationality is acquired, a document that certifies the reason for and date of such acquisition);
√ When there is a person applying for concomitant acquisition, a document that certifies the relationship with the applicant;
√ Two copies of an identity statement
√ Documents that are necessary for notice of permission for reinstatement of nationality according to Article 95 of the Act on the Registration, Etc. of Family Relationship, writing of the family relation register, etc. and are designated by the Minister of Justice.
√ Documents certifying a fact pursuant to any of Subparagraphs 2 to 4 of Paragraph 2 of Article 10 of theNationality Actand are designated by the Minister of Justice (restricted to a person who intends to vow not to exercise foreign nationalities according to Article 11.(3) of the Enforcement Decree of the Nationality Act).
- Where the head of the office, etc. has received the documents above, he/she shall forward them without delay to the Minister of Justice. Provided that in the case where inquiry, investigation, confirmation, or etc. is necessary, he/she shall complete the procedure and forward them with attached opinions (Article 8.(2) of the Enforcement Decree of the Nationality Act).
- Where a person who has a domicile abroad and wishes to apply for permission for reinstatement of nationality, he/she may also submit an application through the head of a diplomatic mission abroad that has jurisdiction over the domicile (Article 25.(1) of the Enforcement Decree of the Nationality Act).
· A person who has a domicile abroad and wishes to apply to the head of a diplomatic mission abroad that has jurisdiction over the domicile shall submit the following documents (Article 6.(3) of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Nationality Act」):
√ Application for permission for reinstatement of nationality (Form no. 3 of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Nationality Act」);
√ Family relations certificate, certified copy of document about removal from the register, or other documents certifying the concerned person was a Korean national;
√ Document certifying the cause and date of nationality loss (When a foreign nationality is acquired, a document that certifies the reason for and date of such acquisition);
√ When there is a person applying for concomitant acquisition, a document that certifies the relationship with the applicant;
Documents that are necessary for notice of permission for reinstatement of nationality according to Article 95 of the Act on the Registration, Etc. of Family Relationship, writing of the family relation register, etc. and are designated by the Minister of Justice.
√ Documents certifying a fact pursuant to any of Subparagraphs 2 to 4 of Paragraph 2 of Article 10 of theNationality Actand are designated by the Minister of Justice (restricted to a person who wishes to vow not to exercise a foreign nationality according to Article 11.(3) of the Enforcement Decree of the Nationality Act).
√ Statement to explain the reason for lack of a domestic address if such is the case; and
√ Certificate of overseas residence written or confirmed by the consul of the diplomatic mission having jurisdiction over the domicile
- Fee
· The fee for application for permission for reinstatement of nationality shall be KRW 50,000 (per person, not including a person subject to concomitant acquisition) (Article 18.(1).2 of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Nationality Act」).
· The fee shall be paid by purchase of a government revenue stamp corresponding to said amount. Nevertheless, it may be paid in cash, foreign currency corresponding to said amount, or by a voucher certifying payment at diplomatic missions (Article 18.(2) of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Nationality Act」).
- The Minister of Justice shall not issue permission for reinstatement of nationality after scrutinizing a person who has applied for such permission, if he falls under one of the following (Article 9.(2) of the 「Nationality Act」):
· A person who has inflicted any harm to the State and society;
· A person who is defective in conduct;
· A person who has lost or abandoned nationality of the Republic of Korea for the purpose of evading military service; and
· A person for whom the Minister of Justice regards permission for reinstatement of nationality as inappropriate, for the sake of national security, maintenance of security, or public welfare.
Acquisition of Nationality by Koreans with a Foreign Nationality
A Korean with a foreign nationalty may acquire nationality of the Republic of Korea by having his nationality reinstated according to Acts and subordinate statutes on nationality (Article 9 of the 「Nationality Act」) or naturalizing as a Korean national (Article 4 of the 「Nationality Act」).
※ Details about reinstatement of nationality by a Korean with a foreign nationality under the 「Nationality Act」 shall be set forth in the 「Guidelines on the Handling of Tasks for Nationality Reinstatement of Koreans with a Foreign Nationality, Etc.」(Ministry of Justice's Established Rule No. 925; Enforced on March 1, 2010).
Koreans with a Foreign Nationality
- The Guidelines on the Handling of Tasks for Nationality Reinstatement of Koreans with a Foreign Nationality, etc., shall apply to persons fall into at least one of the categories below (Article 2, the Guidelines on the Handling of Tasks for Nationality Reinstatement of Koreans with a Foreign Nationality, etc.):
1. Koreans who moved to China from the Korean peninsula or its islands, or who were born in China before October 1, 1949;
2. Direct descendants of Koreans of the above description.
- Koreans who moved to, or born in, China before October 1, 1949, are regarded to have acquired Chinese nationality as of the said date, and having simultaneously lost Korean nationality (Article 3, the Guidelines on the Handling of Tasks for Nationality Reinstatement of Koreans with a Foreign Nationality, etc.).
Verification of a Previous Korean Nationality
- A person who wishes to apply for nationality reinstatement shall prove he was a Korean national with the following documents (Article 5.(1) of the 「Guidelines on the Handling of Tasks for Nationality Reinstatement of Koreans with a Foreign Nationality, Etc.」:
1. His family relations certificate and certified copy of document about removal from the register;
2. Family relations certificate and certified copy of document about removal from the register of his father or mother, birth certificate that can prove his relationship with them, official documents or notarized certificates from involved countries, etc;
3. Family relations certificate of blood relatives within third cousin relations, family relations certificate and certified copy of document about removal from the register that can prove his relationship with those relatives, official documents or notarized certificates from involved countries, confirmation letter about kinship and the genealogical table, DNA test results issued by public medical institutions, etc.; and
4. Other certificates that fall under 1 to 3 above.
- A person applying for naturalization and claiming his father or mother was a Korean national shall prove such with the following documents (Article 5.(2) of the 「Guidelines on the Handling of Tasks for Nationality Reinstatement of Koreans with a Foreign Nationality, Etc.」):
1. Father's or mother's family relations certificate and certified copy of document about removal from the register;
2. Family relations certificate about father's or mother's blood relatives within second cousin removed once relations, family relations certificate and certified copy of document about removal from the register that can prove the relations between those blood relatives and father or mother, official documents or notarized certificates from involved countries, confirmation letter about kinship and the genealogical table, DNA test results issued by public medical institutions, etc.; and
3. Other certificates that fall under 1 and 2 above.
- If the name and birth date indicated on the family relations certificate and certified copy of document about removal from the register of the concerned person, his father, or mother are different from what is shown on their passports or other foreign ID cards, it should be proven that they are the same persons on the records with a relationship confirmation by a person with a corresponding relationship and by other appropriate methods (Article 5.(3) of the 「Guidelines on the Handling of Tasks for Nationality Reinstatement of Koreans with a Foreign Nationality, Etc.」).
Joint Application by Family Members
- If a Korean with a foreign nationality meets nationality reinstatement or naturalization conditions and submits an application for permission, and his spouse, lineal descendants, or their spouse with whom he is staying in Korea do not meet the nationality reinstatement or naturalization conditions under the Acts and subordinate statutes on nationality, such family members may submit an application for permission for nationality reinstatement or naturalization together with the applicant, unless they are illegal sojourners (Article 10.(1) and (2) of the 「Guidelines on the Handling of Tasks for Nationality Reinstatement of Koreans with a Foreign Nationality, Etc.」).
- When family members make a joint application, the Minister of Justice shall first examine the applicant and decide whether to permit his nationality reinstatement or naturalization and do the same for other family members in order (Article 10.(3) of the 「Guidelines on the Handling of Tasks for Nationality Reinstatement of Koreans with a Foreign Nationality, Etc.」).
Special Cases about Persons of Distinguished Services to Independence, etc.
- If a Korean with a foreign nationality is a person of distinguished services to independence (Article 4 of the 「Act on the Honorable Treatment of Persons of Distinguished ment and Support of Persons, Etc. of Distinguished Services to the State」), or his relative (Article 5 of the 「Act on the Honorable Treatment of Persons of Distinguished Services to Independence」 and Article 5 of the 「Act on the Honorable Treatment and Support of Persons, Etc. of Distinguished Services to the State」) and wants to acquire Republic of Korea (ROK) nationality, the Minister of Justice may receive such application if doing so does not violate any of the Acts and subordinate statutes on nationality and permit nationality reinstatement or naturalization through consultation with the Ministry of Patriots & Veterans Affairs and other necessary steps (Article 9 of the 「Guidelines on the Handling of Tasks for Nationality Reinstatement of Koreans with a Foreign Nationality, Etc.」).
Temporary stay permits for the family members of applicants who meet the conditions for acquiring Korean nationality:
- The head of a competent office or branch may issue a temporary stay permit, upon review, for a family member (e.g., the spouse, a child, or a child’s spouse) of a Korean with a foreign nationality who have applied for such a permit according to the Immigration Control Act, and who meet the criteria for regaining his or her nationality or his or her permanent return to Korea (Article 8.(1) and 8.(2), the Guidelines on the Handling of Tasks for Nationality Reinstatement of Koreans with a Foreign Nationality, etc.).
- The head of a competent office or branch may issue a temporary stay permit for a family member of a Korean with a foreign nationality who is staying illegally in Korea (1) only when he or she meets one of the following conditions; (2) only when there are exceptional circumstances requiring that his or her stay with his or her family member; (3) and only upon processing that Korean as having violated the Immigration Act. No temporary stay permits may be issued for the family members of Koreans who have sought illegal entry into Korea or forged their passports (Article 8.(3), the Guidelines on the Handling of Tasks for Nationality Reinstatement of Koreans with a Foreign Nationality, etc.).
1. One who used to be a Korean national in the past, and who is registered on a family relation register (including cases where such record has been stricken);
2. One who meets Condition 1 and whose spouse, child, or child’s spouse is staying with him or her in Korea;
3. One who was issued the permission for the reinstatement of Korean nationality, and who has signed the waiver of foreign nationality or the pledge of abstention from exercising foreign nationality according to Article 10 of the Nationality Act, and his or her spouse, child, and/or child’s spouse.
- The head of the competent office or branch shall issue an F-1 temporary stay permit (according to Section “26. Partners on Visit” in Appendix 1, the Enforcement Ordinance for the Immigration Control Act) for a family member of an applicant who meets the conditions listed above. Other temporary stay permits may be issued for the family members of Koreans who are eligible to apply for permits other than the F-1 permit (Article 8.(4) of the Guidelines on the Handling of Tasks for Nationality Reinstatement of Koreans with a Foreign Nationality, etc.).
Obligation to Renounce Foreign Nationality of Persons who Acquired Korean Nationality
Obligation to Renounce Foreign Nationality
- A foreigner who has acquired nationality of the Republic of Korea but maintains the nationality of a foreign country shall renounce the nationality of the foreign country within one year after the acquisition of the nationality of the Republic of Korea (Article 10.(1) of the Nationality Act).
- Notwithstanding the provisions above, any of the following persons shall either renounce the foreign nationality or vow his/her intention not to exercise his foreign nationality in the Republic of Korea to the Minister of Justice, as prescribed by the Minister of Justice, within one year from the date he/she attained the nationality of the Republic of Korea (Article 10.(2) of theNationality Actand Article 13.(1)of the Enforcement Decree of the Nationality Act).
· A person who has any of the grounds corresponding to No. 1 and No. 2 of Article 6.(2) of theNationality Actor No. 2 and No.3 of Article 7.(1) of theNationality Actat the time of acquiring permission for naturalization.
· A person who has attained permission for reinstatement of nationality under Article 9 of theNationality Actand are recognized by the Minister of Justice to fall under Article 7.(1).3. And 4. of the Nationality Act.
· A person who has attained permission for reinstatement of nationality according to Article 9 of the Nationality Actafter being adopted by a foreigner as a minor under the Civil Act of the Republic of Korea and kept residing in a foreign country.
· A person who had been residing in a foreign country and entered Korea for permanent residency at the age of 65 or older and has attained permission for reinstatement of nationality according to Article 9 of the Nationality Act.
· A person who, despite his/her intentions, has difficulty complying with the obligation to renounce any foreign nationality within one year after attaining the nationality of Republic of Korea and falls under any of the followings:
A person who is not able to renounce a foreign nationality due to the Acts and institutions of the foreign country or is recognized to have other special grounds equivalent thereto.
A person who has submitted documents verifying the situation which makes it difficult for the person to complete the procedure for renouncing the nationality of a foreign country within the period according to Article 10.(1) of theNationality Act(-> within one year after attaining the nationality of Republic of Korea)due to the Acts and institutions of the foreign country, even though the person began without delay the procedure for renouncing the foreign nationality after acquiring The nationality of the Republic of Korea.
A person who fails to do so as prescribed above shall lose the nationality of the Republic of Korea upon the expiration of the time specified (Article 10.(3) of the Nationality Act)
Reacquisition of ROK nationality
When a person who has lost the nationality of the Republic of Korea pursuant to Article 10. (3) of the Nationality Act renounces a foreign nationality within one year after the loss of the nationality of the Republic of Korea, he/she may reacquire the nationality of the Republic of Korea through reporting to the Minister of Justice (Article 11.(1) of the Nationality Act).
A person who intends to reacquire nationality of the Republic of Korea shall submit the following documents to the Minister of Justice (Article 15.(1) of the「Enforcement Decree of the Nationality Act」 and Article 10 of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Nationality Act」):
√ Nationality acquisition report (Form no. 1 of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Nationality Act」);
√ Family relations certificate or document that proves acquisition of ROK nationality; and
√ Documents that prove renouncement of a foreign nationality and the date thereof
√ Documents that are necessary for notice of permission for reinstatement of nationality according to Article 93 of the Act on the Registration, Etc. of Family Relationship, writing of the family relation register, etc. and are designated by the Minister of Justice.
The fee for a nationality reacquisition report shall be KRW 10,000 (per person) (Article 18.(1).2 of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Nationality Act」).
- The fee shall be paid by purchase of a government revenue stamp corresponding to said amount. Nevertheless, it may be paid in cash, foreign currency corresponding to said amount, or by a voucher certifying its payment at diplomatic missions (Article 18.(2) of the 「Enforcement Rule of the Nationality Act」).
.