Dual Citizenship

Applying For Dual Citizenship (Recovering your Korean citizenship) - citizenship@goal.or.kr

rev. 2013.10.29 - oms

Currently, you can only apply to recover your Korean Citizenship within the Republic of Korea. If you desire dual citizenship, but do not reside in the Republic of Korea, you will have to complete the process within the Republic of Korea. It cannot be done overseas.

Once you receive your passport as a domestic citizen, you then can change your status to Overseas Korean status. If you would like to apply for dual citizenship, please expect a total of approximately 9 months to receive your Korean passport.

DO NOT submit your application to recover your Korean citizenship until after you have consulted with G.O.A.'L.


F Visa - you must possess an unexpired F-4 visa to be eligible to apply to recover your Korean Citizenship. 4 weeks
Application to Recover Citizenship - once you submit your application, there is a waiting period, this is the same waiting period for all persons that apply for naturalization or recovering lost citizenship. This period gives the Ministry of Justice time to conduct a review of your application, criminal background check - both in Korea and your country of adoption (this is independent of any other criminal background checks that have been conducted in the past -- a previous criminal background check for the purposes of employment within the Republic of Korea will not expedite your application) and any other necessary administrative tasks.

Once your application is approved, your Korean citizenship will be reinstated whether you take the next step and sign the pledge.

***MALES, please read the Military Manpower section***

4~6 months

Pledge - this document states you will not use your foreign citizenship within the Republic of Korea. Once you have been approved to recover your Korean Citizenship, you will be notified by, phone, SMS or registered mail - the Ministry of Justice will not make notification to you overseas. It is to be signed at the same office you submitted your application. After notification has been made, you will sign the pledge and submit it back to the Ministry of Justice in the same visit. If there are no issues or problems with the applicant's pledge form then they will give them a receipt which will cost 2000 won. This receipt is an approval of the pledge and the applicant may go directly to the Jumin Center to get their temporary Korean ID. The receipt for the "approved" pledge is called "서약확인서". If the immigration office has any issues with the applicant's pledge form, then they will tell the applicant to wait for their text message or mail.

2~4 weeks

Korean Identification CardOnce you receive your authorization from the Ministry of Justice, take the document to the local Village Office or Citizens Service Center which services your Dong. At the Village Office or Citizens Service Center, you will apply for your Korean Identification Number. If you left the Republic of Korea with an ID number, it will be re-activated. If you do not have an ID number, the service employee will check to see if a number has been established for you already. If the service employee is unable to determine if an ID number existed, your registration will be delayed approximately 10 days while research is conducted. If it is determined you were not issued an ID number, one will be issued on the spot. You will be fingerprinted during this visit. Please DO NOT report to the Village Office or Citizens Service Center after 5 PM. The entire process takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. When your previous ID number is re-activated or a new ID number is issued, you will receive a temporary ID document. This document acts like your official ID card, allowing you to change your name at your bank, mobile phone carrier, rental agreement, etc. For males, this will allow you to apply for your military service exemption with the Military Manpower Administration. This ID number will allow you to apply for your Republic of Korea passport. If you have stamp, bring it to the Village Office or Citizens Service Center, you will need to register it to your Korean ID number.

Note: once your ID number is reactivated or issued, you cannot leave the Republic of Korea until you take posession of your Korean passport.

 1 month

Military Manpower Administration Exemption (males only) - at this time, the Military Law Revision has not been signed, therefore, ALL male adoptees must individually apply for their exemption. Once your application is approved, your Korean citizenship becomes active. Currently, adoptee-citizens hold a "level 5" exemption [level 1 - no exemption ~ level 6 - full exemption]. This means, you are exempt from mandatory 24 months of service; however, you are NOT exempt from Civil Defense duty. Each year, you are required to do 4 hours of Civil Defense training until the age of 40. You will continue to receive notices at your residence until you attend the training and receive your stamp of completion. Remember -- with citizenship, there is responsibility. If you do not plan to reside in the Republic of Korea, it is recommended you change your status to Overseas Korean. This will remove the requirement for Civil Defense duty. If you plan to reside in the Republic of Korea, each year, a representative from the National Emergency Management Agency will visit your residence with a Notice of Training, which you have to sign for in person. If you change to Overseas Status, you must surrender your Korean ID and your ID number will be suspended until you change your status back to Domestic Residency - this will also resume your Civil Defense training responsiblity. In order to apply for your MMA exemption, please contact the G.O.A.'L Office ASAP

Once your application to recover your citizenship is approved, your citizenship becomes active.


If you attempt to leave the Republic of Korea with your foreign passport, you will be in violation of the Pledge you signed. You may be subject to a fine, jailed or your Korean citizenship may be terminated.

G.O.A.'L cannot be held responsible if you fail to apply for your exemption and called in for mandatory military service.

Update January, 2018: If you are still listed on your original family registry and you apply to recover your Korean citizenship before the year,  you turn 38 years old (international age), you will be subject to mandatory military service ~ you are not eligible to file for military exemption. Please contact G.O.A.'L prior to initiating your application to recover your Korean citizenship.

10~14 days
Application for Republic of Korea passport - each District Office is responsible for the issuance of the passport. You do not have to apply for your passport in your respective District. This makes it convenient to apply for it close to your residence or your place of work. The current fee for a 10 year passport is 55,000 won. 10~14 days
(These times are only estimates; processing time could be shorter or longer. G.O.A.'L cannot be responsible for any delays.)  

The Dual Citizenship Guidebook is available in the following digital formats:

Amazon Kindle - $6.99 USD
Barnes & Noble - $4.99 USD
iTunes - $4.99 USD
Sony Reader Store - $4.99 USD

The procceds received will go towards our operational costs which help adoptees apply for dual citizenship and to cover any additional costs that may be required in the future.

"Dual Citizenship: Guidebook to Dual Citizenship for Korean Adoptees"
Global Overseas Adoptees' Link
ISBN: 9781609846794

DO NOT submit your application to recover your Korean citizenship until after you have consulted with G.O.A.'L.