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Do you get citizenship if you are born in South Korea?

Do You Get Citizenship if You are Born in South Korea?

South Korea has become an increasingly popular destination for expats and international students, and many people are curious about the country’s citizenship laws. One of the most common questions is whether or not you can get citizenship if you are born in South Korea. Here is a detailed explanation of the citizenship laws in South Korea.

The Law on Birthright Citizenship in South Korea

South Korea does not grant automatic citizenship to all children born on its soil. Instead, the law follows the principle of jus sanguinis (right of blood), which means that citizenship is determined by the nationality of one or both parents.

Birthright Citizenship for Children Born to Korean Citizens

If both parents are Korean citizens at the time of the child’s birth, the child is automatically granted Korean citizenship. This applies regardless of whether the child is born inside or outside of South Korea.

Birthright Citizenship for Children Born to Non-Korean Citizens

If one or both parents are not Korean citizens, their child is not automatically granted Korean citizenship. However, if the child is born in South Korea and has lived there continuously since birth, they may be eligible for naturalization as a Korean citizen after living in the country for a certain period of time and meeting other requirements.

Requirements for Naturalization as a Korean Citizen

To be eligible for naturalization as a Korean citizen, a person must meet several requirements, including:

  • Being 18 years old or older
  • Holding a valid visa or residency permit
  • Having lived in South Korea for at least five years (or three years if married to a Korean citizen)
  • Demonstrating proficiency in the Korean language
  • Having no criminal record
  • Being financially self-sufficient

The Benefits of Korean Citizenship

There are several benefits to becoming a Korean citizen, including:

  • The ability to vote and participate in political activities
  • Access to certain public services and benefits
  • The right to live and work in South Korea without a visa or residency permit
  • The ability to travel on a Korean passport
  • Protection from deportation or being denied entry into the country

The Drawbacks of Korean Citizenship

While there are many benefits to becoming a Korean citizen, there are also some potential drawbacks. For example:

  • Korean citizens are required to complete military service (although there are some exceptions)
  • Korean citizens are subject to Korean tax laws and may be required to pay taxes on their worldwide income
  • Becoming a Korean citizen may require renouncing your original citizenship, depending on the laws of your home country

The Process of Applying for Naturalization as a Korean Citizen

If you are interested in applying for naturalization as a Korean citizen, you will need to follow several steps:

  • Check your eligibility and make sure you meet all the requirements
  • Gather all the necessary documents, including your passport, visa, residency permit, and proof of language proficiency
  • Submit your application to the nearest immigration office and pay the required fee
  • Await the results of your application (this can take several months)
  • If your application is approved, attend a citizenship ceremony and take an oath of allegiance to South Korea


In conclusion, while South Korea does not offer birthright citizenship to all children born on its soil, there are still ways to become a Korean citizen if you are born in the country or if you move there later in life. Naturalization as a Korean citizen requires meeting certain requirements and following a specific process, but it can offer many benefits to those who are eligible.

Does a child born in South Korea get citizenship?

A: Yes. Multiple citizenship status (that is, the acquisition of Korean citizenship in addition to some other citizenship) is acquired regardless of the registration of birth. Therefore, you acquired both Korean and US citizenship at the time of birth.Jan 11, 2023

What happens if a foreigner gives birth in South Korea?

After a baby is born, parents are required to notify a local immigration office within 90 days. They should also report the birth to their embassy and obtain a passport for the baby before applying for residency qualification at the immigration office.

Can a US citizen become a South Korean citizen?

Foreign individuals who have lived in Korea continuously for at least 5 years, have no family ties with a Korean national, and have not acquired Korean citizenship before are eligible to apply for general naturalization.

How do you become a citizen of South Korea?

In order to apply for citizenship in Korea, individuals who do not have a family connection with a Korean national must reside in the country as a permanent or long-term resident for at least 5 years. This requirement must be fulfilled before citizenship can be applied for, with a deadline of February 4, 2023.

Does marrying a Korean give citizenship?

Marrying a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident provides an opportunity for noncitizens to immigrate to the U.S. However, it is a misconception that the foreign national will immediately or automatically gain the right to immigrate or gain U.S. citizenship.

What happens if an American gives birth in South Korea?

The U.S. Embassy in Seoul is urging American citizens who have children born in South Korea to apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) immediately after the child’s birth. This document serves as an official record of the child’s U.S. citizenship.

It is important to note that South Korea takes its citizenship laws seriously, and there are strict penalties for those who try to obtain citizenship fraudulently. It is illegal to provide false information or documents during the naturalization process, and those who are caught doing so may face fines, imprisonment, or even deportation.

Additionally, South Korea has a complex system of nationality laws that can make it difficult for some people to obtain citizenship. For example, if you were adopted by Korean parents but were not born in South Korea, you may have a more challenging path to naturalization.

Despite these challenges, many people choose to pursue Korean citizenship because they feel a strong connection to the country and its culture. South Korea has a rich history and a vibrant modern society, and becoming a citizen can be a way to deepen your ties to this dynamic and exciting country.

If you are considering applying for naturalization as a Korean citizen, it is important to do your research and understand all the requirements and implications of this decision. Talking to a qualified immigration attorney or other professional can help ensure that you make an informed choice and navigate the process successfully.

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