How to Become a Korean Citizen : Korean Simplified Naturalization
Korean Simplified Naturalization vs. Generalized Naturalization
Simplified naturalization in Korea, despite its name, is only simple if you happen to have a very specific Korea-related family background or marital status.
The general requirements for both of these categories are much the same as the general naturalization method. Applicants must be over the age of 19, must have a good conduct record, must have the financial stability to be a contributing member of society, and must have the basic knowledge of Korean language, customs, and culture. The big difference between the General Naturalization requirements and the Simplified Naturalization method is the reduced time that the applicant must have lived in Korea as well as the need for a familial connection to Korea. The other key difference is that you can maintain dual nationality should you so choose. (See our post on Dual Citizenship in South Korea.)
Simplified Naturalization: Becoming Korean through Marriage
This category is for foreigners who have married a Korean national and maintain a Korean residence. Under this category, there are two options for the length of stay requirement. To apply you must either:
- have been lived in Korea for at least (2) years being married to a Korean national
– or –
- have been married to a Korean national for (3) three years or more and lived in Korea for (1) one year or more while married.
*** There are 3 and 4 but they are quite complicated to explain here so please contact PLO if you have questions about them.
Simplified Naturalization: Long-term Resident of Korean Lineage
If you have a Korean family background then you are also eligible for the Simplified Naturalization method. Applicants under this category must:
- have lived in Korea for (3) three consecutive years and
- Meet one of the following criteria:
- has father or mother who was a national of Korea
- was born in Korea and has father or mother who was born in Korea
- was adopted by a national of Korea and was an adult, under the Civil Act of Korea, at the time of adoption.
There you have it. If you were lucky enough to have married a Korean and/or had a Korean parent, then you will find your application process to be quite simplified!