Citizenship Services

The Supreme Court of the United States has stated that dual nationality is “a status long recognized in the law” and that “a person may have and exercise rights of nationality in two countries and be subject to the responsibilities of both. The mere fact that he [sic] asserts the rights of one citizenship does not without more mean that he renounces the other” (see Kawakita v. U.S., 343 U.S. 717 [1952] ).

The Supreme Court of the United States has stated that dual nationality is “a status long recognized in the law” and that “a person may have and exercise rights of nationality in two countries and be subject to the responsibilities of both. The mere fact that he [sic] asserts the rights of one citizenship does not without more mean that he renounces the other” (see Kawakita v. U.S., 343 U.S. 717 [1952] ).

Current Law

United States law does not contain any provisions requiring U.S. Citizens who are born with dual nationality or who acquire a second nationality at an early age to choose one nationality or the other when they become adults (see Mandoli v. Acheson, 344 U.S. 133 [1952] ).  The current nationality laws of the United States do not specifically refer to dual nationality.

While recognizing the existence of dual nationality and permitting Americans to have other nationalities, the U.S. Government does not endorse dual nationality as a matter of policy because of the problems which it may cause. Claims of other countries upon dual-national U.S. Citizens often place them in situations where their obligations to one country are in conflict with the laws of the other.

In addition, their dual nationality may hamper efforts to provide diplomatic and consular protection to them while they are abroad.  It generally is considered that while a dual national is in the other country of which the person is a citizen, that country has a predominant claim on the person.  In cases where a dual national encounters difficulty in a foreign country of which the person is a citizen, the ability of the U.S. Government to provide assistance may be quite limited since many foreign countries Dual Nationality & Loss of Citizenship | Seoul, Korea – Embassy of the United States may not recognize the dual national’s claim to U.S. Citizenship.

Dual Nationality & Loss of Citizenship | Seoul, Korea – Embassy of the United States

Loss of U.S. citizenship is an important decision that should not be taken lightly.  The U.S. Embassy discourages Americans from giving up their U.S. nationality.  Renouncing one’s U.S. citizenship is an irrevocable act.  There is a processing fee of $2,350; please carefully consider your options.  The process to obtain a Certificate of Loss of Nationality takes approximately 6 months, from the date of the second visit.  Once the loss of U.S. nationality occurs, you are no longer eligible to receive U.S. consular support abroad and will be subject to current visa requirements for future travel to the United States.  Further information on Renunciation of U.S. Nationality is available at the Department of State’s website.

Giving up U.S. citizenship requires two visits.  If you are convinced that giving up your U.S. citizenship is necessary, please make an appointment by scheduling a “Notarials and other Services” appointment through the American Citizen Services appointment system; you must also bring your U.S. passport or any proof of U.S. citizenship to the scheduled first visit.  At your first visit, you will be given detailed information about the required documents and the process of filing a Certificate of Loss of Nationality, and will be scheduled for the second visit, approximately 2-3 weeks from the date of your first visit.

Military Service Obligations for Dual Nationals | Seoul, Korea – Embassy of the United States

All malecitizens of the Republic of Korea (ROK), including dual nationals, have military service responsibilities in accordance with the Korean Constitution and the Military Service Law.

Korea’s Military Manpower Administration is responsible for implementation and enforcement of regulations related to military service responsibilities.  The following details related to military service have been provided by Korean officials:

  • Males with multiple citizenships must choose their nationality by March 31 of the year they turn 18.  Those who fail to do so are subject to military service obligations.
  • Male ROK nationals who were born in the ROK but later acquire a foreign citizenship automatically lose their ROK citizenship and are no longer subject to Korean military service, whether or not they notify their loss of nationality to the relevant Korean authorities.  However, if these individuals did not abide by military service procedures prior to naturalizing, such as obtaining the necessary overseas travel permits, they may be subject to fines, penalties, and/or incarceration upon return to the ROK.
  • All male ROK nationals between the ages 25-37, including dual nationals, must obtain overseas travel permits from the MMA if they have not completed their military service and wish to travel overseas.  These permits allow applicants to postpone their military service duty up until the age of 37.  Those who lived overseas before age 25, must apply for these permits by January 15 of the year they turn 25.  Applications may be made through a Korean embassy or consulate.
  • There are different categories under which dual nationals qualify for an overseas travel permit, with classification determined by factors including parents’ citizenship or residency status, time spent abroad, and time spent in Korea.
  • In cases where an applicant obtained a travel permit based on their parents’ overseas residency status and the parents have now returned to the ROK, the permit can be cancelled and the applicant subject to military service.
  • An overseas travel permit can be cancelled and an applicant subject to military service if an applicant lives in the ROK for at least six months in a period of one year, or has engaged in for-profit activities in the ROK for a total of 60 days or more during a one year period.

For more complete information, please refer to the Military Manpower Administration website www.mma.go.kr (English available).  The MMA Overseas Travel Procedure Guidebook may also provide useful information for male dual nationals.