South Korea is a highly developed country, with a very stable economy that ranks in the top 15 worldwide. The 2020 UN Child Flourishing Index ranked Korea second among the best countries in which to raise children due to its good healthcare, education, and nutrition. South Korea is also a global leader in many technology and innovation fields.
With all these positive trends occurring in Korea, it is not a surprise that many people are interested in obtaining Korea dual citizenship. But is dual citizenship legal in Korea? Fortunately, Korea dual citizenship was legalised in 2011 for several specific situations.
Korea Dual Citizenship Regulations
Korea dual citizenship is legal in specific cases. The first situation is if you have married a South Korean citizen. Naturalised citizens are also permitted to hold a Korea dual citizenship.
Also, dual citizenship is allowed if you have what is considered “outstanding talent.” If you were born to at least one Korean parent, you could obtain Korea dual citizenship. You may also hold Korea dual citizenship if you were adopted from South Korea by a family living overseas.
Types of Naturalisation
There are several different ways to become a naturalised citizen, all of which could help you obtain a Korea dual citizenship. The most common types are General and Simple. Special naturalisation and naturalisation through a D-8 Investor Visa are also options.
General naturalisation applies if you’ve never obtained Korean citizenship in the past and you are not a blood relative or spouse of a Korean. To qualify for general naturalisation, you must have lived in South Korea for more than five consecutive years.
You’ll need a Korean address on file, an Alien Registration Card, and the ability to earn income in South Korea. You need to be over 20 years old and have good conduct, meaning no criminal record.
You must have the ability to make a living on your own unless a family member is already a citizen and earns a large enough income to support you. You also need to have the same basic knowledge as a South Korean national.
This knowledge includes an understanding of the Korean language, culture, and customs. A test is administered during the application process.
Simple naturalisation is a process available to foreigners who are of South Korean descent. To qualify for simple naturalisation, you must meet all the requirements of general naturalisation.
This includes the rules regarding good conduct, basic cultural knowledge, and the ability to make a living. However, you only need to have lived in South Korea for three consecutive years, instead of five.
The most crucial requirement for simple naturalisation is that you have ties to South Korea through one of the following scenarios:
- You have a parent who was a South Korean citizen at some time in the past.
- You were born in South Korea, and at least one of your parents was born in South Korea.
- You are an adopted child of a South Korean national and were adopted before you were a legal adult.
- You are the foreign spouse of a South Korean citizen and have been married to the national for at least the past two years.
Special naturalisation is reserved for specific cases, all of which have their own set of requirements. Be sure to get expert help with these unique situations. Let Citizenships.com help you sort through the details of your case.
D-8 Investor Visa
If you’re looking into citizenship in South Korea for investment purposes, you may be eligible for the D-8 Investor Visa. Consider this option if you can invest 300 million South Korean Wons (approximately USD 240,000) in a small business or multiple businesses in South Korea. Investing in the country’s economy may be your ticket to Korea dual citizenship.
Final Notes on Korea Dual Citizenship
The primary step for foreigners who desire a Korea dual citizenship is to apply to become a Korean national. The application process for Korean citizenship is extensive and must include the following:
- Application form (in Korean, not English)
- One colour photo of the candidate
- Applicant’s Alien Registration Card
- Written statement for citizenship application
- Declaration of identity
- Copy of the declaration of identity (with a colour photo attached)
- Copy of foreign family registration or citizenship papers (for simple or special naturalisation)
- A document outlining any dependents (including children or parents)
- Proof of financial stability (certificate of employment or certificate from your bank)
If you are considering acquiring Korea dual citizenship, please contact us at Citizenships.com. We can give you more details or arrange for a personal consultation to get you started.
We are happy to aid international clients in obtaining residency and citizenship in a variety of countries quickly. Rely on our combined expertise in this specialised field. Pursuing Korea dual citizenship could be the next step to making your dreams come true.