Acquiring Korean Nationality

I was so busy the past few weeks that I didn’t even know that my other blog has been offline for the past days or so. It took a phone call from a stranger, who saw my number on that blog a couple of moons ago, for me to know about it. She had been asking about how to acquire Korean nationality since she has been married for three years. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to back up that blog and everything is lost including all the pictures and posts about the legal stuff I got from the Women Immigrants Center. A jar of wrinkle cream please! I just might “resurrect” all the postings on this blog. I don’t have the energy anymore to maintain two different blogs, and with the online shop still under construction.
Anyway, I recently read a news article on Korea Times that the country might soon allow dual citizenship. This is good news especially for foreign wives who’d like to keep their citizenships and be Koreans as well.
Acquisition of Nationality through Marriage
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.

Required Documents for Acquisition of Nationality

  1. Naturalization approval application with 1 color photo (4x5cm) attached
  2. Copy of passport
  3. Written statement of naturalization
  4. Copies of spouse’s family registration (indicating fact of marriage) and resident registration
  5. Documents establishing property relations
  6. Select one among the following documents that can prove you and your family are financially independent:

    • Certificate of bank balance exceeding 30 million won under the name of the applicant or applicant’s family member
    • Copy of real estate registration or house lease contract of property worth more than 30 million won
    • Certificate of employment (attach a copy of business operator registration)
    • Certificate of future employment (financial guarantee unacceptable)
  7. Letter of guarantee and 1 copy (photo attached to each)
  8. Other material that can prove you and your Korean spouse have a true relationship
  9. Photos, friends’ written statements, letters sent between you and your Korean spouse
  10. Fee of 100,000 won

Procedure of Korean Nationality Acquisition and Examination:

  1. Naturalization Permission: Naturalization applications are only accepted at immigration offices that offer nationality services. Your Korean spouse must accompany you to your local immigration office.
  2. Application Qualification Examination: Submitted documents will be examined, police will undertake identification process, and an immigration official will undertake a sojourn trend investigation.
  3. Applicant Eligibility Examination: Foreign spouses are exempt from taking the written test and only need to be interviewed.
  4. Naturalization Permit Granted: The entire procedure from applying to being granted nationalization permission takes approximately one year or more.

Of course, one should call the Immigration Administration Call Center at 02-2650-6399 if you have any questions.


  1. “# Other material that can prove you and your Korean spouse have a true relationship”.
    Interesting. I have a friend here in the USA who married a Coptic Christian and she brought in a box of scrapbooks with photos of different trips that her and her fiance/husband took. They didn’t even look through them. They just saw the pile of books and check it off the list.
    .-= Tamar´s last blog ..Recollections of NK’s famine =-.

    1. Hi Tamar! I submitted pictures prior to our marriage as proof and they looked through everything, probably because I’m Filipino.

  2. Hi! Just got my citizenship 2 months ago, and I didn’t undergo any interview^^ I waited for a year after filing my application. But I heard from other Filipinas who also applied for it went through rigid interview and investigation since they don’t have any children with their Korean spouse. So if you have any child, the process will be easier.

  3. There’s a Korean businessman here in the Philippines who already acquires his Filipino nationality just last month. I asked him why he wanted to be a Filipino? He answered, for his business.

  4. snorts
    and the idea of changing citizenship is great because….
    i have no reasons. i find it ridiculous. no offense to those in NEED to change, but i’m not throwing my nationality away.
    matter of opinions. dare react to it?
    .-= reijene´s last blog ..heartbreak quotes =-.

    1. Not everyone is like you. Maybe ate Betchay wrote this because it might be helpful to others. You act as if yours is the only opinion that matters in the world. Sorry ate Betchay but I just can’t stand superficial and pretentious snots.

      1. ^^ i’m pretty sure she meant no harm… i don’t want this to turn into another debate about who’s right or wrong… after all, at one point or another we have to make decisions about how we live our lives… we just need to learn how to respect our differences… (effect of reading “desiderata” every morning when i was in high school!)

  5. i came in 1997,decided to change my citizenship in 2000,it took me more than a year to get the notice from the central immigration office that i would take the exam required to pass to get my citizenship..i studied hard,but then failed on my first try…imagine i went to 과천 kwacheon in kyongkido,to take the test, it took another 4 months of waiting till the next exam,then i passed and after a while we got notice from the immigration to submit my renunciation of filipino citizenship from the phil embassy.2 yrs later,there was no more exam,because not so many pass.after getting my citizenship,hubby applied for my ID at dongsamuso.then proceeded to the court for the change of my name,it costed 12,500……so i was wondering why other pinays said it costs 200-300T to change name……

    1. Hi Ate Ning! I guess it’s because other Pinays used the services of a law office to have their names changed.

  6. hi betchay,
    naalala ko tuloy last thursday,my friend and i went to the notary public office here in jeonju,because it costs only 12,500wons to make an invite letter for a relative in the phil to korea..others pay 70-100Twons to make an invite letter….
    we couldn’t understand the assistant upstairs very well,so we went downstairs and entered a private office and asked…..they gave us 4 copies of invite letter.after getting those papers i said “thank you very much” and the lady told me :those papers cost 2000wons…hehehe tig 500wons kada page….kagulat tuloy.sabi ng friend ko e lessons daw yun sa mga matitigas ang ulo gaya ko….
    so if anyone would like to invite a realtive,just go to the notary public office and bring the necessary documents.and alas,you spend only 12,500wons..

  7. hi po ask ko lng po pagmag aaply kna po ng korean citizen eh mawawala na po ba ang pangalan sa pinas at buburahin na po ba ang pangalan natin sa pinas …un lng salamat po

  8. nag apply po ako citizenship sa gwangju december 2009 pina delay po ng bro,in pano ko po malaman at san ako cocontact kong na 확인 na uli or if onthe line na salamat po

    1. Hi Merz! Usually naman two years ang processing ng citizenship application, depende rin kung maraming nag-aapply. Noong 2003 or 2004 lang ata nila pinabilis sa mga may anak pero balik normal din ang processing after that.
      Basta naibigay ninyo na ang mga documents eh wait na lang kayo na tawagan ng immigration. Tapos may mag-iinterview din sa ‘yo sa bahay ninyo. Anyway, hintay ka lang ng mga 3 to 4 months at darating din ‘yan.

  9. hello po! iaappLy nadin po ang ctznship ku ds sept, ang problema po kc nmin is ung requirement no.5 w/ch wala kaming gnung kalaking pera or even ariarian na nkapangaLan sa hubbie ku. my question is what if di nmin ma-meet ung no.5 requirement??? been living here since 2005, i have 2 kids but still puro extension lng visa ku d2 til now, ewan nlng ds sept.

    1. Hi Rachelle! Hindi naman kailangan ng may pera kayo worth 30 million won. Kahit na “jeonse” ang bahay ninyo pwede na yun i-submit as requirement sa citizenship application. O kaya ay proof na may trabaho ang husband mo.

  10. Te Betchay,
    I have been staying here in Korea for 2 years already and by next year, based on the requirements you mentioned, am qualified to apply for Korean nationality… However, Im just confused/wondering on how do they count this “2 years of stay” coz within 2 years of staying here, I had frequent visits also to the Phils… does it mean I should be here straightly for more than 2 years before I can apply? Pls I need your guidance…
    Thanks and More Power!

    1. Hi Greta! They will count the time you spent outside the country against the time you spent in Korea. So if you stayed outside for two months, that’s two months less the time you spent here. You should be in Korea for two years (not really straightly) before you could apply.

  11. need your advice i have grandson 5 granddaughter 7 and their father is a south korean who live in the philippines now hes gone what should i do so ican appy my children their dual citizenship as akorean and a filipino advice will be much appreciated

  12. hi betchay, I would like to know how long should I wait for my second interview ‘coz I failed my first interview for korean citizenship? does the second interview much harder than first? thank you very much. Godbless!

    1. Hi Myeanfe! How did you know that you failed your first interview? What was the reason? I couldn’t speak Korean well when I was interviewed but I was able to prove my Korean family ties.

      1. hello, the interviewer told us better luck next time, maybe 6 months after, its very disappointed that the questions he asked me are all about history/persons and very sad I’m didn’t studied very well because the interviewed was pure korean. By the way,thank you I do my very best next time. More power and Godbless!

  13. hello mam, ipinanganak ko po ang baby ko sa korea, pwede po ba sya magacquire ng korean citizenship?thank u! madali po ba sya makapunta ng korea in her legal age?

  14. Hello poh,
    Pwd poh b malaman anu mga common questions nila during mag apply mag eexam poh para sa korean citizenship.
    Thanks in advance;)

    1. Hi Lhet! Yung sa interview, tungkol sa pamumuhay ninyong mag-asawa at kung gaano mo kakilala ang family niya. Ask ka rin tungkol sa kaalaman mo sa Korea, gaya ng kaunti ng history nila.
      Dapat alam mo kung sino presidente ng Korea at ilan taon siyang nanunungkulan, national anthem, national flower… at kung anu-anong national. Kasama rin ang Korean syempre…

  15. ask ko lang po..if a filipina divorced with a korean husband.. retained pa rin ba korean nationality niya? please advise. thanks.

  16. hello po.. kanina interview ko po for korean citizenship.. i was able to sing the korean national anthem and read hanggukmal.. ngayon po, di po ako masyadong nakasagot sa mga ibang questions.. may chance po ba akong pumasa?

    1. Hi Divine! Hindi rin ako nakasagot sa ibang questions before kasi hindi naman ako magaling mag-Korean. Titingnan din nila ang pamumuhay ninyo, hindi lang naman sa questions nakalaan lahat. Think positively.

  17. Hello po, just want to ask those people who passed the interview for korean citizenship.. When they got the letter/mail from the immigration for passing korean ctznshp? Thanks

  18. Hello po gsto ko po sanang malaman kung pano ang dapt gawin or may posibility ba na maging korean ang baby ko (buntis po ako now) at plano ko pong manganak sa pilipinas..korean citizen po ako at devorce na sa korean husband ko at yun father ng baby ko ngayon ay filipino… anu po ba ang dapat gwin para maging citizen ng korea ang baby ko,gsto ko pa kasi na makasama at dito lumaki sa korea ang bata since wala sa kin ang mga anak ko sa koreano kong asawa.. salamat po ng maaga…

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