Travel, Teach, Live in Korea

International Marriage and Naturalization for foreign nationals in Korea
By:Choi P.

This refers to marriage between Korean and foreign nationals. Whether the wedding ceremony is held in Korea or in a foreign country, couples should have documented proof of marriage.

Both parties must have documentation about their families, because they must prove they are not already married. For Koreans, this means a copy of the Korean person¡¯s family register (hojeok). The foreign national will have to provide similar proof.

Witnesses are required. Two Korean nationals must sign saying the marriage between the wedding couple is true.

Having prepared the above documentation, go to the district office (gucheong) responsible for the address where the Korean national lives. You will be legally married under Korean law within three to four days. Documents in foreign languages must be translated into Korean.

Naturalization Process

This is the process by which a foreign national married to a Korean national acquires Korean citizenship. Once married and on a F£²-1 (Joining Family) visa, the foreign national is granted a period of sojourn between three to six months. This must be continually extended, and it is hard to live a stable life because the foreign national must continually leave the country and return. Also, since F-1 visas are not official working visas, employment is also a problem. Since Korea has no system of permanent residence, it might be worth considering becoming naturalized if the intent is to stay in Korea.

Applying for Korean citizenship, according to the Nationality Law as amended in June 1998, allows foreign nationals that have lived in Korea married to Korean nationals for two years or more to apply, then acquire Korean citizenship if they pass the citizenship test. The new Korean national must forfeit his previous foreign citizenship within six months of acquiring Korean citizenship. Korea does not permit dual citizenship.

Citizenship of Children

In accordance with the revised Nationality Law, children may acquire Korean citizenship even if only one parent is a Korean citizen. However, even if it is difficult to choose citizenships at an early age, the child must choose one before the age of 18. Even if the father does not have Korean citizenship, the child faces no problems in receiving educational and health insurance benefits.

Reporting Marriage and Birth

Reports must be filed with the relevant Immigration Office if the Korean national in an international marriage acquires foreign citizenship based on the citizenship of the foreign national spouse, or if a child is born to foreign national parents, or in case of death of any foreign national.

(1) Time to Submit Report and Documents to Prepare
Report of Birth : Report within 30 days of birth, using parent¡¯s passport, birth certificate, fee of 40,000won.
Report of Death : Report within 14 days of death, using Alien Registration Card, death certificate, fee of 40,000won.
Marriage : Bring passport, Alien Registration Card, written description stating reason for submitting report, fee of 40,000won.

(2) Things to Remember
Documents required vary according to status of sojourn. You should call first
before going to submit report.






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