U.S. Applicant Advisory
Note: The Korean Government utilizes the words “national/nationality” as opposed to “citizen/citizenship” in most official documentation in English. These words can be viewed as interchangeable for the purposes of this advisory.
All Fulbright U.S. Program grantees coming to Korea MUST obtain an A-3 visa and enter the country on a U.S. passport. No other visa status will be accepted.
Candidates who are nationals of Korea will NOT be permitted to undertake Fulbright grants to Korea.
Individuals of Korean heritage may have dual U.S.-ROK nationality unbeknownst to them or their family.
In April 2010, the Republic of Korea passed legislation that allows dual nationality, with differing rules for men and women. If one of an applicant’s parents is or was a Korean national, the applicant may automatically inherit Korean nationality via Korea’s “jus sanguinis” laws. In order to confirm their Korean nationality status, applicants of Korean heritage MUST contact the nearest Korean Embassy or Korean Consulate PRIOR TO submitting a Fulbright application.
Applicants in the following circumstances are considered by the Republic of Korea to be Korean nationals:
- An individual whose father or mother was still a Korean national at the time of the individual’s birth.
- An individual whose father was a Korean national and was deceased at the time of the individual’s birth.
Applicants who fall under either of the categories listed above must contact the nearest Korean Embassy or Korean Consulate immediately to learn more about these regulations and the suggested procedures for filing for renunciation/loss of Korean nationality.
Applicants who were born in Korea and received American citizenship through naturalization should have lost their Korean nationality automatically at the time of their naturalization. However, official renunciation documentation (국적상실신고) must still be submitted to the Korean Government in order to formalize a citizenship status change. Per the Korean Consulate in Houston, “Failure to formally renounce one’s citizenship after being naturalized in another country may cause issues when applying for visas, marriage or birth registry, and legal matters.” As such, those from Korea naturalized as American citizens must contact the nearest Korean Embassy or Consulate to ensure that their loss of Korean nationality has been formally recognized.
Applicants who were born in Korea and received American citizenship through adoption should have lost their Korean nationality automatically six months after American citizenship was granted. However, it has come to KAEC’s attention that Korean nationality renunciation has not always been finalized for adoptees. As such, those adopted from Korea also must contact the nearest Korean Embassy or Consulate prior to submitting a Fulbright application to confirm their Korean nationality status.
It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to determine whether they have dual nationality and how it impacts their eligibility for a Fulbright grant. If any individual is found to have dual nationality with Korea at the time of or after grant acceptance, their award offer will be revoked.
In order to avoid cancellation of a Fulbright grant, KAEC requires that all American applicants of Korean heritage provide written proof that they do not have Korean nationality before they accept their grant award. This can be accomplished in two ways, which are listed as follows:
- Submit written proof from the ROK Ministry of Justice declaring that the applicant does not have Korean nationality.
- Such written proof may take the form of the “basic certificate” (기본증명서), “family relations/register certificate” (가족관계증명서), etc. Documentation must clearly indicate that the applicant does not have Korean nationality in order for it to be accepted as written proof.
- Submit a formal document from the ROK Ministry of Justice declaring that the applicant has successfully renounced/lost their Korean nationality.
- Such documentation may take the form of a “loss of nationality notice” (국적상실 허가 통지서), “renunciation of nationality notice” (국적이탈 허가 통지서), etc.
As an individual’s Korean nationality status is contingent upon specific personal and family history, all applicants of Korean heritage should contact the nearest Korean Embassy or Consulate as early as possible once they have established their interest in the Fulbright Program in Korea in order to confirm their Korean nationality status and acquire appropriate documentation.
More information about Korean nationality law can be found at: