This blog is about How to Apply for Korean Naturalization for foreigners married to a Korean. This is called Simple Naturalization.
There are different ways to acquire Korean citizenship but in my case, I got my citizenship through Simple Naturalization (maintained marriage). But if you think it was easy to obtain, it’s not. I think having a permanent residence visa is easier to acquire than citizenship. Aside from the application, you need to wait at least 6 months to 1 year for approval. It’s too long to wait right? That’s why every applicant must patiently wait.
Before I apply for my citizenship, I took the program which is called KIIP, or Korean Immigration and Integration Program. This program manages by Korean immigration and there are 5 levels to pass to be eligible to apply for Korean naturalization.
I took a level test in 2017 and passed level 3. I finished the program in 2 years and passed my citizenship exam last 2019. In January 2020, I submit my application, it was approved last September 28, 2020, and I got my ID was released exactly on my birthday. So here are the ways how to apply for Korean naturalization or citizenship.
How to Apply for Korean Naturalization?
There are two different ways how to apply for Korean naturalization, the first is a direct application and the second is studying the KIIP course.
I. Direct Application
Some of the applicants prefer the direct application especially if they are working moms. The difference only with the application through KIIP is the applicant first submits documents, pays the application fee, and waits for the schedule of the interview. The applicant needs to wait about 4 to 6 months before the interview. While waiting for the interview schedule the applicant needs to prepare or study to be able to pass the interview.
The interview consists of reading the follow-up questions, 15 questions that need to be answered, and singing the Korean national anthem, Aegukka.
TIP: If you don’t know the answer just be honest.
II. Application through KIIP
Passing the KINAT or Korean Immigration and Naturalization Aptitude Test will give you the chance to apply for Korean citizenship. You need to print the certificate and include it in your application when you submit your documents. For the list of requirements needed you may visit, the Hi Korea website.
Requirements for Applying for Korean Naturalization/Citizenship (for foreigners married to Korean)
Passing the interview or naturalization exam is not enough but there are also some general requirements before applying. The applicant must be modest and an adult under the civil law of the Republic of Korea. Must have the ability to make a living in Korea based on one’s own assets or skills. The applicant must have basic knowledge of the Korean language and an understanding of Korean culture and customs to be a citizen of the Republic of Korea.
Simplified Naturalization In accordance with the general requirements of marriage maintenance and cessation of marriage, Article 5, No. 6 of the Nationality Act “The Minister of Justice shall recognize that permitting naturalization does not harm national security, maintenance of order or public welfare”
In addition, the applicant must also meet the following additional requirements such as; (1) the applicant has stayed in Korea for over 2 years and is married to a Korean spouse, (2) foreigners who have been married to a Korean spouse for over 3 years and continuously stayed in Korea for 1 year under the status of matrimony are eligible to apply for citizenship. (Source: Guidebook for Living in Korea)
Application Documents for Foreigners
- 귀화허가 신청서 (Application form for naturalization: 1 color photo (3.5cm×4.5cm) attached)
- Passport (Original & photocopy)
- ID /Identification Card (Original & photocopy)
- Alien Registration Card (Original & photocopy)
- PSA Birth Certificate
- NBI Apostille*※ Documents written in a foreign language must be translated into Korean with the name and contact information of the translator.
Korean Spouse (Husband’s) Documents
- 가족관계증명서 (Family Registration)
- 기본증명서 (Basic Registration)
- 혼인 관계증명서 (Marriage Certificate)
- 주민등록 등본 (Resident Registration)
- 주민등록증 (Identification Card/Registration Card)
- 자녀 명의의 가족관계증명서 (Family Relationship Certificate of Child)
Financial Documents (Submit at least one of the following documents)
- Financial assets (Original Copy)
- Bank Balance Certificate containing over 30 million won
- Lease contract or Estate registry equivalent to 30 million won (부동산등기부등본)
Husband’s Company Requirements
- 소득금액 증명 (Earned income tax withholding receipt)
- 재직증명서 (Certificate of Employment)
- 사업자등록증 (Business Registration Certificate)
Fee (300,000 won)
Source: Hi Korea Official Website