Acquisition of permanent residency

Foreign residents who meet the following qualifications may apply for denizenship at the competent office of the Korea Immigration Service by submitting the required documents according to status of stay.


  • Foreign residents who have stayed in Korea for more than five years
  • Spouses of Korean citizens, or underage children of Korean denizens
  • Foreign residents who have invested USD 0.5 million or more
  • Overseas Koreans
  • Chinese Koreans who were born in Korea
  • Doctoral degree holders in high-tech industries
  • Bachelor's degree holders and license holders in high-tech industries
  • Experts in specific areas
  • Special contributors
  • Pension subscribers

Marriage Immigrants

Marriage immigrants who meet the following qualifications may apply for denizenship by applying for a permit for change of the status of stay, if they have stayed in Korea for two or more years.

Marriage immigrants who maintain marital relations with their Korean spouses
Marriage immigrants whose Korean spouses are dead or missing according to the adjudication of the Court
Marriage immigrants who are divorced or separated from their Korean spouses, and can prove that they are not responsible for the dissolution of the marriage
Marriage immigrants who had children with Korean spouses and are raising underage children, regardless of the marital status
Required Documents
Application for change of status of stay (F-2 → F-5)
Passport and certificate of alien registration
Certificate of family relations and copy of resident registration of Korean spouses

Adjudication of disappearance (if Korean spouses are missing), death certificate (if Korean spouses are dead), or court decision specifying that Korean spouses are responsible for dissolution of marriage (if marriage immigrants are divorced or separated from Korean spouses)

References proving financial ability (one of the following documents)
  • A bank statement with the savings of KRW 30 million or more deposited in the name of the foreign resident or a family member living together with the foreign resident
  • A copy of real estate registration or a copy of a lease agreement
  • References proving the income of the foreign resident or their spouse, including the certificate of employment
Personal reference

Persons other than the Korean spouse may provide a personal reference. The referrer shall submit a certificate of employment, certificate of tax payment and certificate of property tax payment to prove the ability to give a reference.

Service charge: KRW 50,000
Marriage immigrants do not have to give up their original nationality.
Marriage immigrants may maintain denizenship even when they divorce Korean spouses.
Marriage immigrants may vote in local elections, beginning three years after the date of denizenship.
Marriage immigrants do not have to apply for a reentry permit if they reenter Korea within one year from the date of leave.
Loss of Denizenship
Denizened foreign residents may lose denizenship for the following reasons.
  • Failure to reenter Korea within the permitted reentry period
  • Committing a crime of rebellion or foreign troubles in accordance with the Criminal Law
  • Committing a crime such as murder, burglary, drug trafficking, violation of the national security law, rape, sexual violence and indecent assault
  • Giving false information on the application for denizenship, or attempting to subvert the application process in another manner
  • Marriage to Korean spouse has been determined to be a marriage of convenience
  • Entering Korea with a forged, modified, or transferred passport
  • A marriage of convenience is a marriage reported solely for immigration purposes, without the intention of living in a married relationship with the spouse, and is subject to criminal punishment. Paying a service charge to a marriage broker does not meet the condition of a marriage of convenience.

*Source : Danuri (The multicultural family support portal site)