Real Estate and Relocation Co.

Guide for Living in Korea


Foreigners who fall under the following categories and qualify for the applicable category may apply for naturalization at any of the 18 Immigration Offices or foreign government offices of jurisdiction responsible for nationality affairs. Applicants must prepare all the necessary documents by referring to the Information Sharing Corner (nationality/naturalization) of the e-government homepage for foreigners ( with the immigration office of jurisdiction.

01 Qualifications

  1. 1Foreigners with age of majority according to the "Civil Law," and who have had an address in Korea for over five years with a permanent resident qualification
  2. 2Foreigners whose father or mother is/was a Korean citizen; foreigners who were born in Korea and whose father or mother was born in Korea; and foreigners who were adopted by Korean citizens after they reached the legal age
  3. 3Foreigners who have been married to Korean citizens (For details, refer to the Qualification for Simple (Marriage) Naturalization for Married Immigrants below)
  4. 4Foreigners whose father or mother is a Korean citizen
    • In cases in which the father or mother was naturalized as a Korean, his (or her) children can apply for special naturalization regardless of age, marital status, or stay period in Korea (However, people who were adopted by a Korean when no longer a minor are excluded from this exemption).
  5. 5Foreigners who have made special contributions to Korea.
  6. 6Foreigners who have outstanding, proven capabilities, and are acknowledged as greatly contributing to the development of Korea
Qualification for Facilitated (Marriage) Naturalization for Married Immigrants
  1. 1Foreigners who have stayed in Korea over 2 years in the status of being married to a Korean citizen
  2. 2Foreigners who have been married to a Korean citizen for over 3 years and have continuously stayed in Korea over 1 year in the status of matrimony
  3. 3Foreigners who could not attain normal married life while being married to a Korean, due to spouses’ death or disappearance, or other incidents without any reasons attributable to themselves, and at the same time, whose who satisfy stay periods specified in number ① or ②.
  4. 4Foreigners who are currently, or in the near future will be, providing primary care for children born in wedlock with a Korean spouse, and who satisfy stay periods specified in number ① or ②.

02 Requirements

  1. 1He/she shall meet the requirements regarding good conduct prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministryof Justice, such as complying with statutes
  2. 2He/she shall be able to support himself/herself, relying on his/her own assets, ability, or family he/she lives with
  3. 3He/she shall have basic knowledge as a national of the Republic of Korea, such as Korean language proficiency and understanding of Korean customs
  4. 4The Minister of Justice shall acknowledge that granting permission for naturalization to him/her does not compromise national security, maintenance of order, or public welfare

03 Required documents for applying for Facilitated (Marriage) Naturalization

  • For the required documents when applying for facilitated (marriage) naturalization, refer to the Information Sharing Corner (nationality/naturalization) of the e-Government website (
Application for permission of naturalization (downloadable from homepage) plus 1 color photo (3.5 x 4.5cm)
Copy of Passport, copy of original ID card from the native country (includes resident registration in the case of Chinese people)
  • Need to present the original when applying
Criminal record from the native country (authenticated)
1 copy of each: Korean spouse's family certificate, basic certificate, marriage certificate, and resident registration
  • If a baby is born as a result of the union, applicant must submit an additional family certificate bearing the name of the child.
Document certifying that the person or co-habiting family is capable of maintaining livelihood (examples below)
  • Documents showing ownership of financial property worth more than KRW 30 million (bank balance, savings, stocks)
  • Certificate of registration of real estate worth more than a standard amount according to the actual trade amount or price announced by a commercial bank; or copy of real estate lease agreement worth more than KRW 30 million
  • Documents recognized by the Minister of Justice to be comparable to the documents above
Family relation notification to the Supreme Court (downloadable from homepage, and documents proving family relations in the applicant’s country of origin (attach a translated document in Korean)
  • Materials documenting personal status (married, unmarried, adopted, etc.) of naturalization applicant's parents, spouse, and children. For Joseonjok Chinese, submit both family register and notarized family relation certificate (must be certified by the Foreign Office of China)
Verification of identity as Korean Chinese (Joseonjok) for Korean Chinese (Chinese ID, Chinese census document, etc.)
Fee : KRW 300,000 (revenue stamp)
When marital ties with a Korean spouse have been severed, the following documents required are as follows:
hen marital ties with a Korean spouse have been severed, the following documents required are as follows:
If divorced or the spouse is missing or deceasedThe adjudication of disappearance if the Korean spouse is missing, the death certificate if the Korean spouse is deceased, the court decision specifying the Korean spouse is responsible for the dissolution of the marriage if divorced or separated.
If raising a childA certificate of family relations of Korean children, and other documents proving that the married immigrant is raising children or is responsible for raising children
Additional documents necessary for extension of stay, application for permanent citizenship and application for naturalization when the married immigrant is not at fault for the divorce or separation (any of the following):
  • The criminal sentencing or the divorce ruling (which spouse is at fault is included in the divorce ruling)
  • When spouse is accused of assault, etc.: Deposition note to institute a public action
    (suspension of prosecution or no right of arraignment)
  • When assaulted by spouse: Medical certificate (proving that the immigrant was beaten by the partner), the image of a scar, etc.
  • When the spouse is not financially stable: Declaration of bankruptcy of the spouse, etc.
  • When the immigrant does not know where his or her spouse is: Certified copy of the report of missing spouse
  • Certificate describing the cause of discontinuation of marital ties, written by a cousin of the spouse or a closer relative
  • Certificate recognizing that the spouse is responsible for the discontinuation of the marriage, written by the head of the local community (tong or ban) where the couple lived when the marriage was discontinued (describing the cause and the course of discontinuation of the marriage)
  • Other documents that can be substituted for the above: Letter of confirmation of a certified organization, etc.

(1) Naturalization Procedure

  • 1Application for Naturalization
    • Prepare the required documents listed above, and submit them in person to any of the 18 immigration offices or foreign government offices of jurisdiction.
  • 2Review for Naturalization
    • After the application is submitted, procedures conducted include screening, comprehensive evaluation of Korea Immigration & Integration Program, interviews, and due diligence.
    • An interview notice will be sent individually two to four weeks before the day of the interview; applicants who change contact information or addresses after submitting their application for naturalization must inform the local office.
    • Married immigrants maintaining regular marriage & cohabitation practices are exempt fromtaking the Korea Immigration & Integration Program Comprehensive Evaluation and will beevaluated (Korean language skills, other qualifications, etc.) during their interview.
      • Married immigrants who have been divorced are not exempt from taking the Korea Immigration & Integration Program Comprehensive Evaluation.
    • There will be another chance to take an interview if you fail on the first one (total of two interviews permitted)
  • 3Oath of Citizenship & nationality certificate receiving ceremony
    • A certificate is granted after a review for naturalization, must participate in the nationality certificate receiving ceremony (The date will be notified beforehand by the appropriate Immigration Office and foreign government offices of jurisdiction. Upon receipt of a nationality certificate at the nationality certificate receiving ceremony after the Oath of Citizenship, Korean nationality is acquired. The required time of naturalization review will be announced each month via the e-government homepage (, Korea Immigration Service, or comprehensive nationality information of Kakao Talk Plus Friend.
    • After receiving a certificate of naturalization, the accuracy of name and date of birth on the certificate should be checked.
  • 4Renunciation of foreign citizenship (homeland's embassy) or vow of no-exercise of foreign citizenship (immigration office)
    After the acquisition of nationality, the applicant has one year to visit the Ministry of Justice to take a vow that he/she will not exercise his/her foreign citizenship in Korea.
    • If an applicant does not give up his/her foreign nationality within one year of acquiring Korean nationality or fails to submit a pledge on the non-use of foreign nationality, the Korean citizenship will be revoked. To reacquire Korean nationality, the applicant must report the denationalization and reapply to seek Korean nationality or restoration of nationality.
    Applicants renouncing their citizenship of origin must submit an official certificate of renunciation issued by their embassy (consulate) to the immigration office and foreign government offices of jurisdiction and get a confirmation document.
    • Please contact the embassy for the required documents, etc., for the renunciation of foreign citizenship.
    Applicants can take a vow of no-exercise for foreign citizenship only if the married immigrant retains his/her marital relationship; a confirmation document for vow of no-exercise of foreign citizenship is issued after the vow.
    • If a confirmation document for vow of no-exercise of foreign citizenship is submitted, the applicant can retain his/her nationality, but will only be treated as a Korean when physically in Korea. In this case, the applicant must present his/her Korean passport when arriving or departing through domestic airports or harbors.
    • For countries that do not recognize multiple citizenship (China, etc.), the applicant may automatically lose his/her original citizenship according to the law of corresponding country
      (please inquire at your local embassy for more information regarding multiple citizenship.)
  • 5Report for resident registration
    • In order to receive their Korea identification card, applicants must submit their notification for foreign citizenship renunciation documents (or confirmation of no-exercise of foreign citizenship), and 2 ID photos (3x4cm) to their local community center.
  • 6Returning alien registration card (can be mailed to immigration office)
    • Alien registration card must be returned within 30 days of resident registration (those returning cards after the 30 day period are subject to fines)
    • Alien registration cards may be submitted before resident registration, upon issuance of confirmation document of renunciation of foreign citizenship or confirmation document of vow of no-exercise of foreign citizenship.

(2) Issuance of Resident Registration Card

Applicants will receive a resident registration card upon registering their residence. Resident registration cards serve as identification card of Korean citizenship. Resident registration cards are used when accessing administrative agencies and services, and when issuing civil documents.

Resident registration cards contain sensitive information and should not be lent or shown to other people. The resident registration number, if leaked, can even be used to falsely implicate the cardholder in a crime.
  • Reissuance of a Resident Registration Card: Lost resident registration cards can be reissued at the local eup, myeon, or dong office. Applicants must submit a recent photo (3x4cm) taken in the last six months
  • In the Event of Change in Residence: Changes in residence must be reported to the local eup, myeon, or dong office within 14 days of the change.
Those who do not report their new residence within the time period may be subject to the cancellation of their resident card (pending an inquisition).
본 저작물은 '한국건강가정진흥원'에서 '2020년' 작성하여 공공누리 제4유형으로 개방한 '한국생활가이드북'을 이용하였으며, 해당 저작물은 '한국건강가정진흥원,' 에서 무료로 다운받으실 수 있습니다.