This article is the second in a 4-part series on the Korean naturalization system and how to become a Korean citizen. Skip to the end for links to the other articles.
General Naturalization Requirements
So you’re crazy about Korea and you’ve finally decided that you’d love to become a Korean citizen. There are a few ways of going about that, but here is the one the Immigration Office considers the most routine or “General” (일반) way of going about it.
For this method you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be 19 years of age or older
- You must have been a legal resident of Korea for 5 consecutive years
- You must have displayed that you will be a responsible citizen while in Korea, by having never been convicted of a criminal offence or other bad behavior on the public record.
- You must have proven your financial stability and your ability to be a contributing member of society. This means having an annual combined income above that of Korea’s GNI per capita (roughly 30 million won as of 2017).
- You must prove your knowledge of Korean language, customs, and culture. You can prove this by taking a written test and being interviewed by Korea’s immigration office. Alternatively, you can avoid having to take the written test and interview by passing the Korean Immigration & Integration Program (KIIP).
If you meet all of these requirements, you can then begin the application process. It will likely take anywhere from one and a half to two years to complete.
Before beginning the process, note the general naturalization method is only applicable for those who intend to rescind their original citizenship. If you are not willing to give up your original citizenship, then you will not be able to receive Korean citizenship through this method.
If would like our assistance with the General Naturalization process, please don’t hesitate to contact us.