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Does Korea allow dual citizenship?


Korea is a nation that has been known for its rich culture, high-tech gadgets, and well-being. The issue of dual citizenship has been a controversial topic in many countries, and Korea is no exception. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on whether Korea allows dual citizenship or not.

The definition of dual citizenship

Dual citizenship refers to the status of an individual who holds two citizenships from different countries. In other words, it means that a person is recognized as a citizen of two countries at the same time.

The history of Korean citizenship laws

The Nationality Act of Korea was first enacted in 1948, and it stated that Koreans who acquire foreign nationality will lose their Korean nationality. However, the law was amended in 1997 to allow Koreans to retain their Korean nationality even after acquiring a foreign nationality under certain conditions.

The current status of dual citizenship in Korea

Korea does not allow dual citizenship except for a few exceptional cases. If a Korean citizen acquires another citizenship without getting prior permission from the Korean government, they will automatically lose their Korean citizenship.

Who can qualify for dual citizenship in Korea?

Korean citizens who are married to foreigners or have permanent residence status in another country may be eligible for dual citizenship under certain conditions. However, the approval process can be complicated and differs depending on each individual case.

The benefits of having dual citizenship in Korea

One of the main benefits of having dual citizenship in Korea is that it allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds. You can have access to more job opportunities, education, and travel options. Also, you can enjoy social welfare benefits in both countries.

The disadvantages of having dual citizenship in Korea

The disadvantages of having dual citizenship in Korea include the complexity of dealing with two different legal systems, taxes, and military obligations. You may also face discrimination or prejudice from others who do not understand the concept of dual citizenship.

The process of acquiring dual citizenship in Korea

The process of acquiring dual citizenship in Korea involves submitting an application to the Korean government and meeting specific requirements. Each case is evaluated on its own merits, and the approval process can take several months or even years.

The consequences of not reporting dual citizenship in Korea

If a Korean citizen fails to report their dual citizenship status, they may face severe consequences such as revocation of their Korean nationality, fines, or imprisonment. Therefore, it is essential to follow the proper procedures and report any changes in citizenship status promptly.

The future of dual citizenship in Korea

The Korean government is currently considering revising its nationality laws to allow more Koreans to hold dual citizenship. However, this decision has not been finalized yet and is still subject to debate and negotiation.


In conclusion, Korea does not generally allow dual citizenship except for a few exceptional cases. The process of acquiring dual citizenship can be complicated and time-consuming, but it provides many benefits for those who are eligible. As the world becomes more globalized, it is essential for Korea to revisit its nationality laws and consider allowing more people to hold dual citizenship in the future.


1. Nationality Act of Korea (as amended)
2. Dual Citizenship: What It Is & Why It Matters
3. Immigration Office of Korea
4. The Diplomat: South Korea Mulls Dual Citizenship Reform

Can you have both Korean and American citizenship?

If a child is born in the US to parents who were born in South Korea, which has the jus soli principle, the child automatically gains both South Korean nationality and US citizenship at birth, making them a citizen of both countries.

When did Korea allow dual citizenship?

In 2010, South Korea implemented laws allowing citizens to hold dual nationality, with varying regulations for men and women. Individuals who have at least one Korean parent may automatically acquire Korean nationality through the country’s “jus sanguinis” laws.

Does North Korea recognize dual citizenship?

If both parents of a child are North Korean, the child is automatically a citizen of North Korea. In the case where one parent is North Korean and the other is of a different nationality and the child is born outside of North Korea, the parents must decide the child’s citizenship.

What countries can a US citizen have dual citizenship?

Individuals can obtain dual American citizenship in select countries, including Portugal, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Belgium, Denmark, Australia, the UK, and Dominica. This list may change as policies are updated. Portugal and Spain have Golden Visa programs available for this purpose.

Which countries don t allow dual citizenship with the US?

A number of countries, such as China, United Arab Emirates, India, Austria, Japan, and others, do not permit dual citizenship with the United States. If you wish to become a citizen of these countries, you must give up your American citizenship.

Is dual citizenship with USA not allowed?

A citizen of the United States can gain citizenship of another country through marriage, and if a person is naturalized as a U.S. citizen, they don’t have to give up their original citizenship. The law in the United States doesn’t address the issue of dual nationality or mandate that a person must choose one citizenship over another.

Other countries’ stance on dual citizenship

Dual citizenship laws vary from country to country. Some countries allow it without any restrictions, while others prohibit it altogether. In the United States, for example, dual citizenship is allowed and recognized, but it also has its own set of regulations and requirements. In contrast, countries like Japan and China do not allow dual citizenship at all.

Implications for international business and travel

Dual citizenship can have significant implications for international business and travel. Holding two passports can make it easier to conduct business in both countries and travel without visa restrictions. However, it can also lead to complications, such as tax liabilities in both countries or potential conflicts of interest.

Impact on identity and cultural identity

Dual citizenship can also impact a person’s sense of identity and cultural identity. It can create a sense of belonging to two different nations and cultures, but it can also create confusion or a feeling of being torn between two identities.

The debate over dual citizenship

The debate over dual citizenship is ongoing, with arguments for and against it. Some argue that it promotes global citizenship and allows individuals to take advantage of opportunities in different countries. Others argue that it undermines national loyalty and creates potential security risks, as individuals may have conflicting loyalties.


In conclusion, the issue of dual citizenship in Korea is complex and controversial. While some individuals may benefit from holding dual citizenship, there are also potential drawbacks and complications. The decision to allow dual citizenship requires careful consideration of various factors, including national security, cultural identity, and legal implications. As Korea continues to evolve in a globalized world, the debate over dual citizenship is likely to continue.

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