U.S. Applicant Advisory
All Fulbright U.S. awardees to Korea MUST obtain an A-3 visa and enter the country on a U.S. passport.
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.
Candidates who are nationals of Korea will NOT be permitted to undertake Fulbright awards 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 was still a Korean national at the time of the individual’s birth (if born before or on June 13, 1998).
- An individual whose father OR mother was still a Korean national at the time of the individual’s birth (if born on or after June 14, 1998).
- An individual whose father was a Korean national and was deceased at the time of the individual’s birth.
Applicants who fall under any 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 Fulbright Korea’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 award.
In order to avoid withdrawal of a Fulbright award, Fulbright Korea requires all American applicants of Korean heritage to provide written proof that they do not have Korean nationality before they accept their Fulbright award. From the time a candidate is offered an award, they have approximately two weeks to return a decision and submit written verification that they do not have Korean nationality/citizenship. Failure to provide written verification before the award acceptance deadline is grounds for award withdrawal. Additionally, at the time of or after award acceptance, if any individual is found 1) to have failed to disclose they are of Korean heritage or 2) to have dual nationality with Korea, their award offer will be withdrawn.
To obtain written verification of NOT having Korean nationality/citizenship, those of Korean heritage must contact the nearest Korean Embassy or Consulate, or the ROK Ministry of Justice.
Written verification may take the form of:
- Family records such as a “basic certificate” (기본증명서), “family relations/register certificate” (가족관계증명서), etc.
- Loss or renunciation of Korean nationality records such as a “loss of nationality notice” (국적상실 허가 통지서), “renunciation of nationality notice” (국적이탈 허가 통지서), etc.
In all instances, documentation must clearly indicate that the applicant does not have Korean nationality in order for it to be accepted as written proof.
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:
- www.hikorea.go.kr (Immigration website run by the Korean Government)
- overseas.mofa.go.kr/us-houston-en/index.do (Website of the Korean Consulate in Houston; has a good section on “Nationality/Naturalization” under “Consular/Visa Service”)
General questions regarding this requirement may be addressed to the Korean-American Educational Commission (Fulbright Korea) via email. Fulbright Korea is not a U.S. or R.O.K. government or immigration agency and thus cannot answer specific inquiries.