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  • jtru4nt
  • Explorer

    • 5

    • December 20, 2013, 09:18:55 pm
    • Dallas
First of all, sorry if I am posting to the wrong sub-forum.

I am considering teaching for a year or so in Korea while I prepare for graduate school. I have never lived there for an extensive period of time, and I would like to be able to see family and help take care of my aunt who suffered a stroke.

However, I am a male ethnic Korean born in America. I recently learned that because my mother and father had Korean citizenship at the time of my birth, I have dual citizenship thanks to a law passed in 2010. This is news to me and I also found out after arguing and yelling at a few consular staff members that there's nothing I can do to renounce my citizenship now, since I have passed the "deadline" of 18 years old.

Now I cannot stay in the country for longer than 6 months without risking military service and am uncertain if I can get a waiver. I was wondering if there was anyone who might be able to help me out, i.e. knew of some clauses that might be able to allow me to either renounce my citizenship or waive my military service? I'm 22 (23 in Korea) if that helps.

Regardless, thanks in advance and thank you for reading!


  • Redondo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 642

    • October 14, 2012, 05:28:11 am
    • toronto
Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2013, 11:32:24 am »
can't you just leave the country every six months to avoid military service?


Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2013, 04:04:39 pm »
the best people to talk to about this would probably be EPIK. even if you're not wanting to apply through EPIK, they should be able to give you the low-down.

email: epik@korea.kr


  • jtru4nt
  • Explorer

    • 5

    • December 20, 2013, 09:18:55 pm
    • Dallas
Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2013, 09:09:14 pm »
the best people to talk to about this would probably be EPIK. even if you're not wanting to apply through EPIK, they should be able to give you the low-down.

email: epik@korea.kr

Thanks, I went ahead and emailed them. This issue is so frustratingly confusing.


  • yellow_menace
  • Adventurer

    • 53

    • August 29, 2011, 08:55:38 am
    • Yeongcheon, Gyeongsanbuk-do, South Korea
Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2013, 11:14:27 pm »
I forget the forms you have to fill out, but it basically lets the Korean government know that you are a permanent resident of a different country. As long as you do it before you enter Korea it's not a problem. I had to do it when I was a teenager and before I got my US citizenship. That said, considering the massive lay offs that are occurring in public schools all across the country, I'm not sure it's exactly the best time to try and apply to be an English teacher.


  • jtru4nt
  • Explorer

    • 5

    • December 20, 2013, 09:18:55 pm
    • Dallas
Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2013, 11:31:56 pm »
I forget the forms you have to fill out, but it basically lets the Korean government know that you are a permanent resident of a different country. As long as you do it before you enter Korea it's not a problem. I had to do it when I was a teenager and before I got my US citizenship. That said, considering the massive lay offs that are occurring in public schools all across the country, I'm not sure it's exactly the best time to try and apply to be an English teacher.

Ah, I think you're case may be different because you gained your foreign citizenship later (I'm assuming) and did paperwork when you were a teenager.


Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2013, 07:12:58 am »
OP,one of the problems with dealing with Korean Immigration is that all too often when you ask a question that you get 2 different answers from 2 different people. It happens to E2 teachers, too. If I were you I would get more than just someone's word on the phone. Find it in writing just in case.


  • jaec113
  • Adventurer

    • 44

    • August 29, 2012, 01:07:17 pm
Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2013, 07:58:18 am »
I'm not sure if our situations are the same (I'm an adopted Korean who qualifies for dual citizenship), but my understanding is that as long as you hold dual citizenship you would need to serve in the military (barring some other reason you would qualify for an exemption), and that you wouldn't qualify for an E2 visa. My understanding of the law change in 2010 is that the law allows for dual citizenship, but when in Korea you are only allowed to use the "Korean side" of it. Meaning, while in Korea you are a Korean citizen full-stop. You are not American. You should, in theory, have a Korean passport and resident ID number. You would not need a work visa to work in Korea. The flip side is that many English teaching jobs are specified for E2 or F visa holders, and as a Korean citizen you would not qualify for those jobs. To teach in a public school you would need to apply as a contract Korean-English teacher or a full-time teacher (which would require you to pass the national teaching exam).

It's a tricky situation OP, and as others have said the best thing to do is directly speak (and get in writing) to those who have authority, immigration as well as the Military Manpower Administration (http://www.mma.go.kr/eng/). I imagine there are ways to renounce your Korean citizenship, despite being past the age of 18, but it would probably take some time to go through all the legal channels and such.


  • Ley_Druid
  • The Legend

    • 2468

    • February 17, 2011, 08:36:33 am
    • Shinan-Gun, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea
Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2013, 08:16:50 am »
I imagine there are ways to renounce your Korean citizenship, despite being past the age of 18, but it would probably take some time to go through all the legal channels and such.
Would renouncing Korean citizenship make him an enemy of the state? I remember some of the people back home renounced Korean citizenship to become American, as immigrants, and they are not welcome to come to Korea, even on a tourist visa. Perhaps they had other things going on that I am unaware of.


  • jaec113
  • Adventurer

    • 44

    • August 29, 2012, 01:07:17 pm
Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2013, 08:23:05 am »
Would renouncing Korean citizenship make him an enemy of the state? I remember some of the people back home renounced Korean citizenship to become American, as immigrants, and they are not welcome to come to Korea, even on a tourist visa. Perhaps they had other things going on that I am unaware of.

I imagine it wouldn't be looked favorably upon. Some would probably see it as military service evasion aka draft-dodging, and OP, that would be something that the MMA/immigration would look at if you pursue the citizenship renouncing option.


  • taeyang
  • Moderator - LVL 4

    • 5507

    • September 08, 2010, 08:35:10 am
    • daejeon
Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2013, 08:44:59 am »
Would renouncing Korean citizenship make him an enemy of the state? I remember some of the people back home renounced Korean citizenship to become American, as immigrants, and they are not welcome to come to Korea, even on a tourist visa. Perhaps they had other things going on that I am unaware of.

I imagine it wouldn't be looked favorably upon. Some would probably see it as military service evasion aka draft-dodging, and OP, that would be something that the MMA/immigration would look at if you pursue the citizenship renouncing option.

even though the OP was born in the US...? weird... and frustrating!
use google to search the site

site:waygook.org XXXX

replace 'XXXX' with your search term


  • vlpz
  • Explorer

    • 6

    • May 29, 2013, 12:56:23 pm
    • seongnam
Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2013, 09:39:30 am »
i was in the same situation as you.  i had dual citizenship. it wasn't automatically renounced at 18 like most people.  my dad helped me out a lot with it so i dont know exact details, but i know you have to strike your name from the family registry. 

this process took like 6 months for me, but i was born in korea and i had to wait for a stamped birth certificate from the hospital i was born in, so it may take less time for you.  once i got confirmation that my korean citizenship was renounced, i applied for my f visa and now im teaching in korea. 

talk to your consulate and ask how you can go about the process of striking your name from the family registry.


  • Ley_Druid
  • The Legend

    • 2468

    • February 17, 2011, 08:36:33 am
    • Shinan-Gun, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea
Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2013, 09:58:20 am »
i was in the same situation as you.  i had dual citizenship. it wasn't automatically renounced at 18 like most people.  my dad helped me out a lot with it so i dont know exact details, but i know you have to strike your name from the family registry. 

this process took like 6 months for me, but i was born in korea and i had to wait for a stamped birth certificate from the hospital i was born in, so it may take less time for you.  once i got confirmation that my korean citizenship was renounced, i applied for my f visa and now im teaching in korea. 

talk to your consulate and ask how you can go about the process of striking your name from the family registry.

Wow, seems I was wrong. That is good news. The reason why they did that is because too many Koreans are being born outside of Korea. The government wants to bring them back. It is super crazy, but that is what the conservatives are trying to push for. They want their version of North Korea.


  • jtru4nt
  • Explorer

    • 5

    • December 20, 2013, 09:18:55 pm
    • Dallas
Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2013, 06:27:59 pm »
i was in the same situation as you.  i had dual citizenship. it wasn't automatically renounced at 18 like most people.  my dad helped me out a lot with it so i dont know exact details, but i know you have to strike your name from the family registry. 

this process took like 6 months for me, but i was born in korea and i had to wait for a stamped birth certificate from the hospital i was born in, so it may take less time for you.  once i got confirmation that my korean citizenship was renounced, i applied for my f visa and now im teaching in korea. 

talk to your consulate and ask how you can go about the process of striking your name from the family registry.

Our situations are actually different. As a Korean who was born in Korea and then gained foreign citizenship, the process for you to renounce Korean citizenship is actually easier.


  • Davey
  • Moderator - LVL 3

    • 1820

    • February 01, 2010, 01:36:20 pm
Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2013, 05:16:18 am »
First of all, sorry if I am posting to the wrong sub-forum.

I am considering teaching for a year or so in Korea while I prepare for graduate school. I have never lived there for an extensive period of time, and I would like to be able to see family and help take care of my aunt who suffered a stroke.

However, I am a male ethnic Korean born in America. I recently learned that because my mother and father had Korean citizenship at the time of my birth, I have dual citizenship thanks to a law passed in 2010. This is news to me and I also found out after arguing and yelling at a few consular staff members that there's nothing I can do to renounce my citizenship now, since I have passed the "deadline" of 18 years old.

Now I cannot stay in the country for longer than 6 months without risking military service and am uncertain if I can get a waiver. I was wondering if there was anyone who might be able to help me out, i.e. knew of some clauses that might be able to allow me to either renounce my citizenship or waive my military service? I'm 22 (23 in Korea) if that helps.

Regardless, thanks in advance and thank you for reading!

http://www.waygook.org/index.php/topic,6055.0.html


you are a dual/multiple citizen if:

(1) The date of your birth indicated on your passport is before June 14, 1998, AND

(2) Your father was holding a Korean citizenship on the date of your birth with or without Permanent Residency in the seven (7) designated English-speaking countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, U.K. and U.S.


>> If you are a dual/multiple citizen based on the criteria provided above, you must either enter Korea on your Korean passport, or obtain the F4 visa by filing a Nationality Renunciation Report at the Korean Embassy or Consulate in the country of your residence.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 05:18:37 am by Davey »
------------------------------------------
Search this site using Google by typing, "site:waygook.org [search term]," especially during peak hours. Alternatively, use the site's search function.

EPIK: VISA, RENEWING, PENSION, ETC:

http://waygook.org/index.php/topic,2614.0.html


  • jtru4nt
  • Explorer

    • 5

    • December 20, 2013, 09:18:55 pm
    • Dallas
Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2013, 06:16:23 pm »
First of all, sorry if I am posting to the wrong sub-forum.

I am considering teaching for a year or so in Korea while I prepare for graduate school. I have never lived there for an extensive period of time, and I would like to be able to see family and help take care of my aunt who suffered a stroke.

However, I am a male ethnic Korean born in America. I recently learned that because my mother and father had Korean citizenship at the time of my birth, I have dual citizenship thanks to a law passed in 2010. This is news to me and I also found out after arguing and yelling at a few consular staff members that there's nothing I can do to renounce my citizenship now, since I have passed the "deadline" of 18 years old.

Now I cannot stay in the country for longer than 6 months without risking military service and am uncertain if I can get a waiver. I was wondering if there was anyone who might be able to help me out, i.e. knew of some clauses that might be able to allow me to either renounce my citizenship or waive my military service? I'm 22 (23 in Korea) if that helps.

Regardless, thanks in advance and thank you for reading!

http://www.waygook.org/index.php/topic,6055.0.html


you are a dual/multiple citizen if:

(1) The date of your birth indicated on your passport is before June 14, 1998, AND

(2) Your father was holding a Korean citizenship on the date of your birth with or without Permanent Residency in the seven (7) designated English-speaking countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, U.K. and U.S.


>> If you are a dual/multiple citizen based on the criteria provided above, you must either enter Korea on your Korean passport, or obtain the F4 visa by filing a Nationality Renunciation Report at the Korean Embassy or Consulate in the country of your residence.

Yeah I already knew this and it doesn't really help. Considering this is just copied and pasted from the EPIK/TaLK guidelines I've already read. I was hoping for a more nuanced answer since I know that my situation cannot be unique and there has to be certain ways to waive my military service or renounce my citizenship post facto. Hopefully.


Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2013, 11:20:26 am »
Hey,

I had to go through with this in January as I didn't know either. My case is different because I'm FEMALE but can give some insight. The embassies in America are idiots, as Korea turns out to be the most inefficiency country ever. I'm in Korea teaching through EPIK and went through the whole pain and suffering of trying to figure this all out.

First thing, EPIK will NOT HELP YOU. I was rejected for the E2 AND F4 visa cause of this law in NYC. In my deep confusion, I had to drive to Boston, hoping that consulate didn't know the new law yet and it worked. Second, DO NOT TRUST ANYTHING YOU READ ONLINE. Those nationality laws have not been updated in years and do not apply to you, not matter how much they seem to help your situation.

The law states that if you were born after May 1988 to a father with Korean citizenship at the time of your birth, you also have Korean citizenship. Note, this does not mean you actually have Korean citizenship so you can't exactly renounce it cause you don't technically have it. Your father has to place you on his hojuk. This could take up to 3 months because it's the embassy that has to inform you, whereas I found out a month later since I'm already in Korea and can print out the family certificate right away from city hall. You then have to renounce it through the embassy, which will take another 3 months. Now, because you're MALE, they may give you trouble because the whole point of this is to capture Koreans who went abroad to skip out on military duties (or so they think this is a logical explanation).


Did your parents renounce their Korean citizenships? If so, that will help your case.


  • johnpwessel
  • Adventurer

    • 56

    • February 25, 2013, 09:52:01 am
    • South Korea
Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2013, 04:30:52 pm »
I had a Korean American (born in the USA) friend who had similar problems getting an E-2 visa back in 2011. His father was a Korean citizen at the time of his birth (1988) and still is to this day. He also did not renounce his Korean citizenship before age 18 as he wasn't aware that he needed to.

At first the LA consulate told him that he wasn't eligible for an E-2 visa and would be subject to mandatory military service if he stayed in Korea for longer than 6-months. The good thing is that his family never recorded his birth on their hojuk, so in sense the Korean government didn't know he existed.  Anyways, I think he just went back to the consulate on an another day and a different consulate worker processed his E-2 visa application without any issues. He managed to work in Korea for a year (TaLK) under an E-2 visa without being conscripted.

Hopefully your family didn't record your birth on their hojuk, that'll probably make things easier for you. Also on the flip-side from what I've heard, the few Korean-American men who've been conscripted in Korea got due notice ahead of time and probably could have fled the country if they had the sense to do so.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2013, 04:35:00 pm by johnpwessel »


  • jaybird
  • Veteran

    • 233

    • April 06, 2011, 10:54:23 am
    • South Korea
Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2014, 06:39:09 am »
I can only speak of my experience - born after May 1988, and registered in the family hojok. When I was 17, I went to the Korean embassy in NYC with a copy of the hojok and my passport and renounced my Korean citizenship in front of an officer. Then left them my American passport with application and fees, and voila three days later I came back to pick up my passport with new F4 visa.


  • Mezoti97
  • The Legend

    • 2699

    • April 14, 2011, 03:02:50 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Question about Korean dual nationality for a prospective English teacher
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2014, 08:38:19 am »
First of all, sorry if I am posting to the wrong sub-forum.

I am considering teaching for a year or so in Korea while I prepare for graduate school. I have never lived there for an extensive period of time, and I would like to be able to see family and help take care of my aunt who suffered a stroke.

However, I am a male ethnic Korean born in America. I recently learned that because my mother and father had Korean citizenship at the time of my birth, I have dual citizenship thanks to a law passed in 2010. This is news to me and I also found out after arguing and yelling at a few consular staff members that there's nothing I can do to renounce my citizenship now, since I have passed the "deadline" of 18 years old.

Now I cannot stay in the country for longer than 6 months without risking military service and am uncertain if I can get a waiver. I was wondering if there was anyone who might be able to help me out, i.e. knew of some clauses that might be able to allow me to either renounce my citizenship or waive my military service? I'm 22 (23 in Korea) if that helps.

Regardless, thanks in advance and thank you for reading!

OP, do you know if your name is on your family register (호적)?