Naturalization (Break-up of marriage)
General requirements
  • Must be legally adult according to the Korean Civil Law
  • Must have good conduct
  • Must have the ability to maintain living on his/her own assets or skills; or is a dependent member of a family capable of the feat.
  • Must have basic knowledge befitting a Korean national; such as understanding of the Korean language, customs and culture
Additional requirements (Nationality Act Article 6-2-3,4)

– Foreign spouse of Korean nationals who:

  • Kept Korean address for the past 2 (or more) consecutive years but could not keep the marriage going through unforeseeable reason that is no fault of the foreigner in question (such as death or disappearance of the Korean spouse).
  • Has under-aged child/children (through marriage) of a Korean spouse to look after
  • Naturalization of foreigners whose marriage with Korean spouses have been broken is a newly created Article of law effective from January 20th, 2004. This was created in light of the unfair fact that foreigners’ naturalization qualifications were dependent on their Korean spouse’ will, even in cases where the breakup was caused by the Korean spouse. It now allows foreigners to apply for naturalization even after such breakup.
  • This law, by default, does not apply to agreed divorces; since it is presumed that both parties involved are equally responsible for the breakup.
    – However, if it can be proven that the foreigner was not responsible for the breakup, they will be eligible for application.
Domestic Residential Requirements

Domestic residential requirements according to the Nationality Act regulations Article 25 are as follows

  • The residential period of naturalization applicants is defined as the continuous period of time spent in Korea after legal entry and foreigner registration. However, the following time spent overseas will be considered as part of their stay in Korea. However, this does not include time spent outside Korea
    – If the departure was made after receiving their re-entry permit, before the expiration of their current permission to stay; while re-entering before the date specified.
    – If they had to temporarily depart Korea to extend their stay, then re-entered Korea within 1 month with a new visa.
Application Center
  • Immigration Office of Nationality department
    – View Immigration Offices currently accepting applications → Click!!!
Required Documents
– Items subject to change depending on individual circumstances.
– Documents written in foreign languages need to be translated in Korean and notarized. Notarization will be exempted only for English and Chinese. (In this case, you must record name and contact number of translator.)
Common Required Documents
  • Naturalization application form download Naturalization Application Form.hwp download Naturalization Application Form.pdf download Naturalization Application Form.doc: attach 1 color photo (4cm x 5cm)
    – After filling out the form, submit a copy of the first page
  • A copy of Passport
  • A statement of naturalization application download A Statement for Citizenship Application.hwp download A Statement for Citizenship Application.pdf download A Statement for Citizenship Application.doc
  • An Statement of Identity and a copy (attach photo) download the Statement of Identity.hwp download the Statement of Identity.pdf download the Statement of Identity.doc
  • Family registration and marriage certificate (that lists marriages and divorces) of the Korean spouse
  • A copy of own declaration of the reason for break-up of marriage
  • Financial document (to verify the ability of the applicants, or their family, to maintain themselves):
    – Bank Balance containing more than KR30 million in the name of the applicant or the family
    – Lease contract or Estate registry equivalent to KR30 million
    – A Certificate of Incumbency (Attached the copy of Employer’s Business Registration certificate )
    – Certificate for the employment expected (Financial guarantee not allowed)
    – For the self-employed, A copy of Business Registration Certificate and store lease contract
  • Proving documents of parents, spouse, children, marriage status or adoption of person who applied for naturalization
  • Documents issued by government of People’s Republic of China proving the person who applied for naturalization is Korean Chinese when his/her name is written in Korean pronunciation not in Chinese pronunciation
  • In case that the person who applied for naturalization specifies the date of birth newly, a certificate proving this fact issued by Embassy or consulate’s office of their original country.
  • Notice download Notice.hwp download Notice.pdf download Notice.doc
  • Fee: 300,000 KRW (Government revenue stamp)
Additional document requirement
  • – Upon death of the spouse
  • A certificate of removal from the family register or a medical certificate with record of the death
  • – Upon disappearance of the spouse
  • A certificate of removal from the family register with record of the disappearance
  • – Break-up (divorce or separation) of marriage due to fault applicable to the Korean spouse (1 of the following cases)
  • Judgment (Divorce judgment or criminal judgment with spouse’ fault recorded)
  • Pre-judgment divorce mediation settlement (only submitted where the Korean spouse’s fault can be verified. For example: compensation payments etc)
  • Police non-prosecution reports received after Korean spouse’s physical abuse reported (suspension of indictment or right of arraignment not applicable)
  • Medical certificate (with the contents verifying spouse’s physical abuse), photos of bruises etc
  • Bankruptcy reports etc (reports that verify the bankruptcy of Korean spouse)
  • Korean spouse’s away from home report etc
    -Where disappearance report has not yet been received, but the whereabouts of the spouse is unclear
  • Verification declaration composed by the Korean spouse’s immediate relatives that explain the reasons for break-up of the marriage
    -Declarations composed by the Korean spouses themselves are not acceptable, and the relatives’ declaration must not be a simple declaration of break-up but one that explains in detail the reasons for break-up
  • The head of the region or town’s composed declaration that verify that the reasons for the break-up of the marriage lie with the Korean spouse
    -Must not be a simple declaration but one that explains in detail the reasons and the results of break-up
  • Other documents relating to each of the above
  • – Raising the children born out of marriage with Korean spouse (specific reasons for divorce or separation not considered)
  • Children’s family registration
  • Documents verifying that the foreigner is raising or has to raise the children
    – Judgment, divorce registration and verification certificate
    – Declaration composed by the Korean spouse’s immediate relative (Korean spouse included, declaration composed by head of region or town)

Go to Simplified Naturalization

Go to Simplified Naturalization (Marriage)

Go to Naturalization (Spouses of first and second generation overseas Koreans)

Go to General Naturalization

Go to Process Flow Chart

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