Korea moving toward dual citizenship

With thanks to Gang-Shik of KADNexus, some exciting news.

The details are still being established, and the subject of military service remains unresolved, although it appears that the Korean government is working toward a plan that would allow KADs, and potentially those who apply for Korean citizenship under this law, to complete some alternative service. It looks, however, like applications can begin immediately, and that some dual citizenships will be granted this year.

With this change in Korean law, everyone in my house will be able to hold dual citizenship except me. Third Dad is in the process of completing his application for U.S. citizenship following the passage of a law in Germany several years ago that made dual citizenship possible. He's excited that the kids will have the opportunity to regain their Korean citizenship, and has already begun encouraging them to apply. I'm pretty sure The Girl will follow through; The Boy seems less interested at the moment, but that could change. It's just really good to know that he'll be able to if he chooses.

The following is from JungAng Ilbo. KADNexus has another article from the Korea Herald, but their website was causing attack warnings on my PC, which is odd, because I've never had trouble with that site before. Anyhow, you pick up the link on KADNexus, or go directly to Korea Herald to see if the problem's been fixed.

Ministry paves way to allow dual citizenship

Korea’s Justice Ministry yesterday announced a plan to allow some people seeking Korean citizenship to maintain their original citizenship as well, a step aimed at attracting more talent to the country.

The ministry also announced a plan to ease rules giving permanent residency to foreign investors and entrepreneurs whose business helps create local jobs.

In reporting its 2009 plans to President Lee Myung-bak yesterday, the ministry said it wants to allow dual citizenship for foreign-born ethnic Koreans or Koreans who were adopted by foreign families at a young age.

Male applicants would need to complete the two-year mandatory military service that is required of all Korean men.

“We will work harder to change the public’s negative sentiment on dual citizenship by requiring the applicants to complete the military obligation first,” the ministry said in a statement yesterday.

The ministry said it would allow the dual citizenship for some ethnic Koreans who have excelled in science, the arts and other areas.

Dual citizenship has long been considered a tactic by sons of rich families or celebrities here to avoid mandatory military service.

Korea recognizes as a citizen anyone whose father or mother was also a citizen, regardless of their place of birth.

Many married couples here have been criticized for visiting the U.S. only to give birth, which gives their children U.S. citizenship.

Before 2005, that meant their sons could be exempted from the mandatory military service as long as they gave up their Korean citizenship.

But in 2005, local citizenship laws were changed so that males can only give up their Korean citizenship after completing the required military service.

According to yesterday’s announcement, foreign investors or entrepreneurs who hire more than 20 Koreans will be eligible to receive permanent residency, dramatically easing the current rule that require such foreigners to create at least 100 jobs for Koreans.

Designed to give more incentives to foreigners to do business here, the 100-jobs rule was first established in June 2007.

No foreign investors have applied for permanent residency under that program.

The ministry also reaffirmed a plan to collect fingerprints of all foreigners who visit Korea through the airports in what it called an effort to block those with criminal histories from entering the country or to tighten the monitoring of such individuals during their stay.

By Jung Ha-won Staff Reporter [hawon@joongang.co.kr]


Cavatica said…
Wow! This is very interesting. Keep us posted on this.
Gabe Fife said…
my wife is korean and we are very interested in making our life in korea. i still have to finish my phd but plan to look for teaching/research positions in korea. after hearing this news and the news yesterday from the korea times, i am more hopeful to gain dual citizenship. they stated that those married to korean nationals will also be included in the new bill. the article spoke of a "test". do you have any idea of what this test is like or of a site that would give the information concerning the test? do you know if people can apply now??? i have two posts on this topic starting from march and my second post from yesterday..check out my blog!

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