A candidate from one of the following categories is eligible to apply for Korean citizenship.
- Was born in South Korea to a Korean father or mother
- If the father is dead before birth, he must have been Korean at the time of death
- Born in South Korea If both parents are hard to find or have no nationality
- An abandoned child found in South Korea is presumed to be born here
- For more information
If a person who is not a Korean national(foreigner) and recognized by Korean father or mother is qualified as below, Korean nationality can be acquired by citizenship acquirement registration.
- Must be a minor in accordance with the Republic of Korea
- At the time of birth, the father or the mother must have been a Korean
- Place for application : Nationality Department, Immigration Office
- Documents to submit
- More or less documents can be requested if they are considered to be required in the registration and evaluation process.
- Declaration of Nationality Acquisition
- Documents that validate the status of foreigners
- A copy of the child’s foreign passport(carrying original), Certificate of Citizenship, etc.
- A copy of the Birth Certificate (issued by a foreign government)
- Documents that certify the facts recognized by the Korean father or mother (to prove that the father or mother was Korean at the time when the child was born) - Certificate of Family Registry, Certificate of Personal Records, and Certificate of Marriage
- Resident Registration Certificate
- A copy of the applicant’s ID card (applicant must personally apply for citizenship acquisition of his/her child)
- Statement of Recognition Process written by the Korean father or mother
- Notification of Family Relations (a personally written letter of notification to be submitted to the Supreme Court)
Procedure on Acquiring Korean Citizenship
- Application for Naturalization
- An applicant is required to visit the responsible immigration office and register his/her application.
- Evaluation on Application
- Once the application is received, paper screening and factfinding are carried out, which is followed by an interview. Married immigrants are exempted from a written examination, and their proficiency in Korean and basic qualifications to be met as a Korean national will be evaluated. If they fail the interview, they will be given one more interview review.(2 total opportunities given)
- Notification of Result of Application
- Once the application for naturalization is approved, the letter of notification will be mailed. Once the applicant receives the letter of notification on the approval of his/her naturalization application from the Ministry of Justice, he/she needs to get the Certificate of Personal Records from the nearest governmental office in charge and present the issued document when visiting the following agencies.
- Foreign Nationality Abandonment (The concerned embassy) or Oath Not to Exert Foreign Nationality (Immigration Office)
- The applicant is required to visit the local community center based on his/her address of residence and bring his/her Certificate of Personal Records, Certificate of Foreign Nationality Abandonment or Certificate of the Oath Not to Exert Foreign Nationality, and two photos(3cm×4cm) to get his/her Resident Registration Card issued.
- Resident Registration Report
- The applicant is required to visit the local community center based on his/her address of residence and bring his/her Certificate of Personal Records, Certificate of Foreign Nationality Abandonment or Certificate of the Oath Not to Exert Foreign Nationality, and two photos to get his/her Resident Registration Card issued.
- Return of Alien
(Immigration Office - can be sent via mail)
- The applicant must return his/her Alien Registration Card within 30 days after completing the resident registration process. (Failure to do so will result in a fine.)
Issuance of Resident Registration Card
The card is required to check identification in case of administrative services like various registers and civil document issuance. One may be issued the resident registration card after the citizenship procedure is finalized. A resident registration card identifies one as a Korean national. One is required to carry this card at all times and must be able to show the card upon request.
In the event of loss of ID card, take a 3 cm x 4 cm photo (taken within the previous six months) to your local dong office for a replacement.
Change in Address
A change of address must be reported to the new dong office within 14 days of the relocation.
- One should not lend Registration card or let the others know the registration card number to prevent crime involvement.
- Since the information on foreigners’ entry and departure was prepared in 2020, some of the information may differ from the contents at the time of reference, so it is necessary to check the relevant ministries' laws and revisions.