Question : I am a foreigner who marries Korean. Recently my husband is deceased due to the accident. I had a plan to apply for facilitated naturalization as a Korean’s foreign spouse. Can I have a Korean citizenship in this case? I have two children with my spouse.
Answer : A foreign spouse who marries Korean is qualified to be naturalized if (1) a person has had a domicile in the Republic of Korea for at least two consecutive years while being married to the said spouse or (2) three years have lapsed since he/she got married to the said spouse, having a domicile in the Republic of Korea for at least one year while being married to the said spouse.
However, a foreigner is qualified to apply for naturalization if a person failed to fulfill the requirements for a period under (1) or (2) above for the reason that he/she was unable to sustain marriage due to death or disappearance of his/her spouse or other causes unattributable to him/her while having a domicile in the Republic of Korea and being married to the said spouse but has fulfilled the requirements for the remaining period under (1) or (2) and thus is considered a case reasonable by the Minister of Justice.
Hence, even though the foreigner’s Korean spouse died within a period under (1) or (2) above, the foreigner is qualified to be a Korean citizen if she fulfilled the requirement for the remaining period under (1) or (2) above.
In this case, the written test will not be exempted unlike a foreigner who sustain his marriage with Korean. Furthermore, it is harder for a foreigner whose spouse is deceased to be naturalized than a foreigner who sustain his marriage with Korean.
The questioner also has two children. In this case, she is also qualified to be naturalized as a ex-foreign-spouse who has at least one child with Korean. According to Korean Nationality Act, even though a foreigner’s marriage with Korean is over, a foreigner is qualified to be naturalized in case she has at least one child.
In conclusion, the questioner is qualified to be naturalized.
For further legal counseling, please contact Kim, Yae Jin, a South Korean certified immigration and citizenship lawyer with (1) 82-10-2782-8579 (2) firstname.lastname@example.org