3-1. I'm a Korean married to a Chinese woman. She arrived in Korea with
F-2-1 status on 20th January 2005 and we are living together now. When
can my wife apply for a naturalization?
○ According to the article 6 of the Korean Nationality Act, to acquire a Korean
nationality, a foreign spouse of a Korean national must have a residence in
Korea for a minimum period of 2 years continuously. "To have a residence in
Korea for a minimum period of 2 years continuously" implies the period that
he/she stays in Korea without departing, so it does not include a period
staying outside Korea. Therefore, your wife may apply for naturalization after
2007.1.20. and it will take 6 months to 2 years before the whole process of
○ For documentation requirements and procedures for a naturalization, please
contact the Division of Nationality & Refugee (Tel: 031-478-5027~8)
3-2 . I got married to a Chinese on 2004.1.10. and she arrived in Korea on
2004.5.10. with F-2-1 visa to live with me. I got the dispatch order from my
company to work at the branch Office in China from 2005.7.1. to
2005.12.31. My wife is leaving for China to stay with me. In this case,
when is my wife able to acquire a Korean nationality and dose she need
to obtain a new visa when she re-enters Korea ?
○ For the foreign spouses married to a Korean to acquire a Korean nationality,
the following conditions are essential ; ① to have a residence in Korea for
more than 2 years continuously while still married, ② a lapse of 3 years
since married and have a residence in Korea more than 1 year while still
married (the clause 2 of the article 6 of the Korean Nationality Act)
① "To have a residence in Korea for more than 2 years continuously" implies
the period that he/she stays in Korea without departing, so it does not
include a period staying outside Korea.
- Hence, the 6 months that your wife is staying in China will not be included
in the period staying in Korea and your wife is eligible to apply for a
naturalization only after 2006.11.10.
- In addition, please be advised that if your wife obtains a re-entry permit at a
competent immigration office or immigration offices at ports or airports before
departing from Korea, she may re-enter Korea without obtaining a new visa
abroad. Re-entry permit is given only within the period of a stay, so if your
wife's visa will be expired during the stay in China, please apply for a permit
for the extension of period while in Korea in advance, together with a permit
for a re-entry
3-3. If a F-2-1 holder, a foreign spouse married to a Korea, departs from Korea
temporarily while living in Korea, does it annul a 2-year period of stay in
Korea, which is essential for the application of naturalization ?
○ In principle, in the case of departing from Korea, the period of residing in
Korea (counted from the date of entry) is discontinued and one should count
2 years from the date of recent re-entry all over again
○ Only, if there are continuity in the domestic residence and routine
maintenance before and after leaving Korea, such as a temporary travel
after obtaining a re-entry permit and re-entering Korea, it can be regarded
as living continuously. The travel period, however, will not be counted in the
period of stay in Korea
3-4. I acquired a Korean nationality but mistakenly, did not give up my the other
nationality within 6 months from the date I acquired a Korean nationality,
which led to lose my Korean nationality. In that case, can I re-acquire a
○ When you give up your original nationality within 1 year from the date you
lost the Korean nationality, you may re-acquire a Korean nationality, if you
submit a report form for a Nationality Acquisition to the Minister of Justice
3-5. In the case of a divorce by mutual agreement, can the foreign spouse
apply for a naturalization?
○ In the case of a divorce by mutual agreement, the person may not be able
to apply for a "Naturalization by Marriage". As per conditions of the "General
Naturalization", if he/she has been residing in Korea lawfully for more than 5
years, the person may apply for a "General Naturalization", instead of
"Naturalization by Marriage"
3-6. In the case of a divorce by arbitration, can I acquire a Korean nationality?
○ If the written conclusion of arbitration says "a Korean spouse is required to
pay money to his/her foreign spouse as a consolation money", it is regarded
as the testimony of a Korean spouse's responsibility for the divorce and thus,
the foreign spouse is eligible for an application of naturalization
3-7. Can a Korean spouse start a divorce suit against a runaway foreign spouse ?
○ A Korean spouse may bring a divorce suit against a foreign spouse for the
reason of runaway or other problems
○ In principle, a divorce suit must be notified to a foreign spouse, but if the
foreign spouse's place of residence is unknown due to runaway, etc., it
should be notified to him/her in the way of "conveyance by public
announcement". After that, all the contents that the Korean spouse claimed
could be accepte and the ruling of a divorce could be given
○ A foreign spouse may raise an appeal within 2 weeks from the date he/she
learns about the divorce ruling of the court proceeded in the way of
conveyance by public announcement, providing documentation reversing the
verdict or proving reasons to receive a consolation money from a Korean
3-8. In the case of discontinuance of marriage due to death of a Korean spouse,
can the foreign spouse apply for a naturalization?
○ Residence period necessary : If a foreign spouse has a residence in Korea
for more than 2 years continuously while still married ,or it has passed 3
years since married and a foreign spouse has been residing in Korea more
than 1 year continuously while still married,
○ Conditions to be met : While still married to a Korean spouse and have a
residence in Korea, the Korean spouse dies or is missing ,OR the foreign
spouse is not able to maintain a marriage life with no responsibility for
his/her side, OR the foreign spouse is raising a minor-aged child given birth
to the Korean spouse and himself/herself by marriage or intends to raise a
minor-aged child, after fulling the rest of period,
3-9 . In the case of an adopted foreign child under the age of 18, what does he
do if he wishes to acquire a Korean nationality?
○ If he/she was under 18 when adopted, he/she may acquire a Korean
nationality by naturalization procedures (Special Naturalization). He/she is
eligible to apply for a naturalization right after entry into Korea.
○ If he/she was an adult when adopted, after residing in Korea fore more than
3 years lawfully, the person is eligible for the application of naturalization