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Renunciation, selection, possession, forfeit of nationality


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Nationality Act Article 14 (Renunciation procedure of Korean nationality)
  1. Those with dual nationality that wish to choose foreign nationality can declare their intention to renounce Korean nationality to Minister of Department of Justice within the time period prescribed by Nationality Act Article12.
  2. However, those that apply to the following condition in regards to fulfillment of military duty can only apply for renunciation when it no longer applies to him.
    - Men with dual nationality that are listed on Korean family register and are classified as 1st class national service in accordance to the military service laws but haven’t completed military service or was otherwise exempt from it.
Nationality Act Article 12(Obligation to choose nationality by people with dual nationality)
  1. Those that have acquired Korean and foreign nationality before turning 20 by provisions of birth or other laws (hereinafter referred to as “dual nationality holder”) must choose one nationality before turning 22, and those that became dual nationality holder after turning 20 should do the same within 2 years according to provisions of articles 13 and 14. However, those that apply to special presidential decree in regards to military service must choose one of nationality within 2 years after extinction of that reason.
    - Special presidential decree in regards to military service is defined as follows. Men with dual nationality that are listed on Korean family register and are classified as 1st class national service in accordance to the military service laws but haven’t completed military service or was otherwise exempt from it.
  2. Failure to adhere to the above provisions will result in loss of their Korean nationality.
  • Dual nationality holders (people that have acquired both Korean and foreign nationality before turning 20 by provisions of birth or other laws) that wish to choose foreign nationality can apply for renunciation of Korean nationality until they turn 22.
  • Men listed on Korean family register that are classified (as of January 1st of the year that they turn 18) as 1st class national service in accordance to the military service laws but haven’t completed military service or was otherwise exempt from it, can apply for renunciation of Korean nationality until two years after the date when they become immune to the military service laws. (Applicable only if that date is after their 20th birthday)
  • In other words, men with dual nationality due to birth, etc. who are listed on Korean family register (birthplace: foreign country),
    - Must renounce or choose Korean nationality by March 31 of the year he turns 18 (which is when they become classified as 1st national service by provisions of military service law)
    - Or if they failed to do so, the nationality selection period will be extended until completion of active / employed / supplemented military service, receiving exemption from military service altogether, or when classified as 2nd national service. After this point, they must renounce or choose Korean nationality within 2 years
    - In case the nationality renunciation or choice is not made within that time period (2 years), Korean nationality is automatically canceled, and they must apply for recovery of nationality permit along with application of loss of nationality.
Examples of choosing and renouncing nationality, etc
  • Inherent dual nationality holding male born in U.S (14 years old), who would like to finish graduate course in U.S. while maintaining Korean nationality,
    - Must keeps delaying military service until completing graduate course, and
    - Must choose between the two nationalities within two years from the date when they are no longer bound by the military service laws. If they do not choose by the end of the second year, the Korean nationality is automatically canceled.
  • Dual nationality holders that are females or males rendered immune to military service laws prior to turning 20,
    - Must renounce or choose Korean nationality before their 22nd birthday, and
    - Because the Korean nationality is automatically canceled after their 22nd birthday, if they wish to obtain Korean nationality after that, they must apply for reinstatement of Korean nationality application along with declaration of losing Korean citizenship.
    - Upon acquiring Korean nationality again through reinstatement of nationality, the dual nationality status must be taken care of by giving up their former nationality within 6 months from the reinstatement.
  • Dual nationality holders can renounce Korean nationality until March 31st of the year they turn 18. However, according to the nationality law which is in effect since its amendment on May 24, 2005; “dual nationality holders given birth by parents that had no intentions of permanent residence in Korea' that lived in Korea, but seeking to renounce Korean nationality in order to avoid military service,
    - May be denied renunciation, or
    - Will be treated as a full foreigner after the renunciation. Thusly, reinstatement of Korean nationality is also not permitted
    - In other words, those that renounce nationality to avoid military service will not be treated as overseas Koreans.
When renunciation of Korean nationality is possible for dual nationality holders, given birth by parents that had no intentions of permanent residence in Korea, to renounce Korean nationality by March 31st of the year they turns 18
  • Those born in the country where either parent has its nationality or a permanent residence status
    - Those applying for renunciation of Korean nationality must provide proof of their birthplace on paper, such as the copy of permanent residence card or citizenship card of applicable parent, birth certificate issued by the country concerned or other equivalent documents.
  • Those born in a foreign country where either parent has acquired its nationality or permanent residence status
    - Those applying renunciation of Korean nationality must prove this fact by documents such as A copy of permanent residence card or citizenship card of the said parent, the birth certificate issued by organization of the country concerned or equivalent documents.
  • Those born in a foreign country concerned while either parent has applied for its nationality or permanent residence status.
    - Those applying renunciation of Korean nationality must prove this fact by documents such as A copy of permanent residence card or citizenship card of the said parent, the birth certificate issued by organization of the country concerned or equivalent documents.
  • Those born in a foreign country where either country has applied for its nationality of permanent residence status after they were born
    - Those applying renunciation of Korean nationality must prove this fact by documents such as the copy of submitted receipts related to application permanent residence card or citizenship card of the father or the mother, the birth certificate issued by organization of the country concerned and equivalent documents, country concerned and equivalent documents.
  • Those born in a foreign country where either parent has resided in it for over 17 years at the time of their renunciation of Korean nationality.
    - Those applying renunciation of Korean nationality must prove this fact by documents such as the public document(or copy)stating that the father or the mother has resided for more than 17 years after his birth and the birth certificate issued by organization of the country concerned and equivalent documents.
Applicant
  • Must be applied by the subject as a rule
  • Those under 15 years of age
    - Must be applied by legal attorney (either parent). Applicant’s grandparent may apply in their stead if power of attorney was granted by either parent.
  • Those over 15 and under 20
    - If the applicant cannot apply directly, either parent or any of the grandparents can apply instead after filling out the power of attorney
Application Center
  • Immigration Office of Nationality department
    - View Immigration Offices currently accepting applications → Click!!!
Submission Documents at the time of declaring citizenship renunciation
- The submitted documents may be added or subtracted in case it is recognized necessary.
  • Application of nationality renunciation download Application of nationality renunciation.HWP download Application of nationality renunciation.PDF download Application of nationality renunciation.DOC
  • A copy of foreign passport
  • A copy of resident registration
  • A copy of family register
    - In case there is no family register because the applicant’s birth hadn’t been declared, the family register must be made by declaring the birth first.
  • A copy of birth certificate
    - If the applicants’ name, date of birth or the place of birth on the Korean family register is different from their foreign passport, identity certification is required.
  • A copy of resident registration
  • Military certificate (applicable only for males)
    - The one with completion or exemption of military service recorded
    ※ Those that has applied renunciation until March 31st of the year he has turned 18 does not need to submit
  • Notice download Notice.HWP download Notice.PDF download Notice.DOC
  • Fee : KR 10,000 won(Government Revenue Stamp)
< posted : 10/16,2008 >

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