1. Acquirement of Nationality:
1) Nationality Act Article 2 (nationality acquisition by birth)
Those that meet the following conditions will acquire Korean nationality at the time of their birth:
i) Those whose either parent was a Korean national at birth;
ii) If the only Korean parent had died before the birth of the applicant, applicant is still eligible for acquisition if the aforementioned Korean parent had maintained Korean nationality at the time of death;
iii) Those born in Korean while both parents’ nationality was either unclear or nonexistent;
iv) Abandoned children that were found in Korea;
v) After June 14,1998 which is the effective date of current nationality act, those who has at least one Korean parent are automatically granted Korean nationality from birth, regardless of their decisions on whether to choose the nationality of the foreign parent or the country of birth (if born outside Korea);
vi) However, should such children’s birth be declared only to the foreign parent’s country or the country of birth (if born outside Korea), but remains undeclared to Korea until their 22nd birthday, their Korean nationality will automatically be canceled due to the nationality selection system. At this point, family register cannot be made simply with declaration of birth, and special naturalization must be granted in order for them to gain Korean nationality.
2) Naturalization (General, Simplified, Special)
(1) General Naturalization:
Pursuant to revised Nationality Act, except for special cases, foreigners shall have F-5 visa before applying for general naturalization.
(2) Simplified Naturalization (Marriage)
i) You must be legally adult based on Civil Act;
ii) You must have good conduct;
iii) You must have the ability to maintain living on your own assets or skills; or is a dependent member of a family capable of the supporting itself;
iv) You must have basic knowledge befitting a Korean national; such as understanding of the Korean language, customs and culture.
2. Loss of Nationality:
1) Nationality Act Article 15
(Loss of nationality caused by gaining of foreign nationality)
i) Korean nationals that voluntarily acquiring foreign nationality must forfeit Korean nationality upon acquirement;
ii) Korean nationals that belong to the following (but did not voluntarily gain foreign nationality), must declare willingness to maintain Korean nationality within 6 months from acquiring such foreign nationality. Failure to do so will result in loss of their Korean nationality.
iii) Those that married a foreigner and gained the nationality of the spouse:
- Those that were adopted and gained the nationality of their foster parent;
- Those that gained the nationality of foreign parent through his/her recognition;
- Spouse or children (minor) of those that gained a foreign nationality and lost Korean nationality that gained foreign nationality by extension, under the laws of the foreign country.
iv) Those that lost Korean nationality due to acquiring a foreign one, but does not know the exact date of acquisition, it will be defined as the date a foreign passport is issued to them.
2) Acquisition of Foreign Nationality by Korean Nationals:
Korean nationals that voluntarily acquired foreign nationality automatically forfeits Korean nationality upon such acquisition. However, if acquisition of foreign nationality was a result of some foreign law and can therefore be considered involuntary, Korean nationality is temporarily maintained along with the foreign nationality.
3) Discontinuation of Declaration of Nationality:
Notwithstanding, if they do not declare their willingness to continue maintaining Korean nationality within 6 months of acquisition of foreign nationality, they will automatically be considered to have lost their Koran nationality on the day of the acquisition of the said foreign nationality.
4) No Willingness to Maintain Korean Nationality:
Those that do declare their willingness to maintain Korean nationality within six months of acquiring foreign nationality will then be eligible for application of nationality choice system as dual nationality holder.
3. Reinstatement of Nationality:
1) Foreigners that had Korean nationality in the past:
i) Those that lost Korean nationality through reasons stated to Nationality Act (A Korean Foreigner);
ii) Those that renounced their nationality as a person with dual nationality;
iii) Foreigners that acquired Korean nationality under the permission of National-ship or married a Korean national before June 14, 1998, but the forfeited Korean nationality due to the fact that did not give up their original nationality within 6 months of acquiring Korean nationality, and have held onto that original nationality for more than a year after forfeiting Korean nationality;
iv) If the domestic family registry is still intact at the time of reinstatement.
- Those with foreign nationality that still have a valid family register must first cancel the register by reporting loss of nationality, then re-add themselves after reinstating their Korean nationality;
- Even if their family registry was intact, since obtaining foreign nationality automatically invalidates the Korean one, the family registry merely represents an inaccurate record, and cannot be used again;
- In such cases, the affected foreigners must simultaneously declare of the nationality and apply for reinstatement of nationality. If the register already records the original loss of Korean nationality, then there is no need to declare loss of nationality;
v) In such cases, the affected foreigners must simultaneously declare of the nationality and apply for reinstatement of nationality. If the register already records the original loss of Korean nationality, then there is no need to declare loss of nationality.
- Unlike naturalization, if men are reinstated their nationality at the age where military service is applicable, all military service laws will then apply to them. Thus, if they did not fulfill military service in the past, they must do so.
VISA in KOREA