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So, you've heard all about Korea, or maybe even visited there a few times. After some contemplation about the merits and disadvantages of the Land of the Morning Calm, you are finally driven to ask the question: how can I be Korean?
Scenario 1: You Are a Korean Citizen
Then you are already Korean, and don't need any of this.
Scenario 2: You Are Not a Korean Citizen
Well, that is most unfortunate. You will have to actually make an effort to be Korean, unlike those who are already Korean and so didn't really need to follow this guide anyway. The major distinction from UK or US nationality laws is that citizenship is not decided by jus soli, i.e. being born on Korean soil. Getting your parents to Korea before you are born will not suffice; your citizenship must be by jus sanguini, i.e. by blood ties. Until recently, it was possible to exploit a loophole in the nationality code and become a Korean citizen by getting a blood transfusion from a Korean person; however, the Korean Supreme Court has officially declared this a misinterpretation of the implicit meaning of "blood ties" and, in addition, "just plain silly."
Therefore, pretty much the only way you will be Korean is by having Korean parents or undergoing the naturalisation process. Unlike Japan, immigration to Korea is more strict, as you have to marry a Korean. For the principal method, let's assume that you have access to time travel.
Main Method: Time Travel
Now, I hear you ask: what does time travel have to do with Korean citizenship? To this I answer, nothing, but I'm writing this guide, not you.
If you do have access to time travel, then congratulations! Either you are an extremely unconvincing liar, or you know one of the greatest temporal physicists who ever lived. Knowing that you're reading a HowTo, it's probably the former. But in any case, with the power of time travel in your hands, becoming a Korean citizen will be extremely easy—so easy, as a matter of fact, that you now have two ways to go about it.
Option 1: Meet Your Parents
If you know anything about time travel—which you don't, since you're a very unconvincing liar—you know that meeting your own parents in the past is a almost a rite of passage anyway with a time machine. Therefore, meet your parents some years before your conception, and convince them that becoming a Korean citizen is the best possible thing they could do. (Note: for this option, the period from 1910 to 1945 is best avoided in all circumstances, since this may cause you to be tried for and convicted of treason and summarily executed by the Japanese occupying the country back then.)
Some people like to show off by exploiting a clause in the nationality code, which states that you would still be a Korean citizen if your father dies before your birth but nonetheless was a Korean national. If you really, really didn't like your father, go ahead and flaunt your time-travelling power by taking his life. In this case, the grandfather paradox you may have heard of will not be problematic at all, since you're a homicidal maniac that has retroactive patricidal tendencies, and the world would be a better place if you were to prevent your own birth.
Option 2: Sell the Time Machine
Think, <insert name here>! You're close enough friends with this genius to be able to get to his/her time machine; why not steal the technology and sell it to the South Korean government? After all, Article 9 of the Nationality Law of South Korea does state:
|With respect to an alien who has rendered especially meritorious service to Korea, the Minister of Justice may ... permit the naturalization of the alien with the approval of the National Assembly.|
What could be more meritorious service to Korea than providing it with the power of time travel? I know this sounds utterly ludicrous when you read it aloud, but trust me, if you have access to time travel, and aren't an entirely unconvincing liar, you can't fail with this option! (Note: for this option, the period from 1910 to 1945 is best avoided in all circumstances, since this may cause you to be tried for and convicted of treason and summarily executed. Even the period between 1950 to 1953 should also be avoided. And finally, do NOT sell the time machine to the North Korean government. Ever.)
Alternate Method: Bureaucracy
What's that? You don't have access to time travel? Well, that's a disappointment. This will make your goal even more difficult to attain. You essentially have no choice but to live in South Korea (or North Korea if you are communist) and be naturalised. Should you go ahead with this route, I can only bid you good luck. The British civil service is nothing compared to the level of bureaucracy involved in the naturalisation process.
At first, the criteria are reasonable. Basic requirements to qualify include:
- Residency in Korea for at least five years; this is reduced to three with marriage to a Korean citizen, which is only slightly harder to obtain than Korean citizenship.
- Good behaviour. Government officials will check your name with your conscience and Santa-ssi.
- Willingness to surrender your current citizenship (if you are under 21). The Korean government can't have you double-dipping on citizenship until you are 21 years of age.
If you like Korea and Korean people, these should not be problematic.
Now, beyond this, there are a slew of documents over two rounds of submission. The first round of documentation includes:
- your birth certificate, assuming you have already been born;
- your passport;
- any marriage, divorce, remarriage, adoption, birth, and death certificates of your family or yourself (if you plan on submitting your own death certificate, please note that being dead or horribly unconvincingly lying about your own death is frowned upon in Korean culture as well as some others—ed.).
If you like Korea and Korean people, it is likely that you have not died in the past, so these should not be problematic.
The second round of documentation is even more intensive, and includes but is not limited to: the names, addresses, contact information of family and friends overseas, as well as everyone you have ever met in your entire life; a list of any addresses of residence since birth, including university housing, Underground stations, and pieces of sidewalk; history of residence in Korea, including addresses, favourite foods, subway usage, and nose-picking activities; records of employment, income, taxes, ownership, automobile purchases, television programme viewings, and video game of choice (NB: Owning a copy of Starcraft is required by law in Korea. Ownership of any video game is also required-ed.)
If you like Korea and Korean people, and have been sufficiently assimilated into Korean society at the time of your application, these should not be problematic, although it will probably still be pretty embarrassing when civil servants reading your records find you've been watching a Korean dub of Pokemon every day.
When you submit your application to your local Hoju branch (Hoju being the Ministry of Justice, not an alcoholic drink made from soybeans, that's soju), this is followed by a year or so of processing documentation and sensitive personal information and laughing at them before a judgement is carried out on whether you have suffered through enough scrutiny and bureaucracy to become a Japanese citizen. In addition, you will undergo an interview in which you need to have adequate skills in the Korean language. (Fortunately, no test of Korean history is done, which is to be expected since it spans 5000 years and a dozen different eras, and not even Korean people are expected to know it all that well—ed.) You will also need to prove that you are 20 years or older physically and mentally, and take a written test at second grade level.
If you are not an idiot, these should not be problematic.
So this just about covers becoming a Korean citizen. As you can see, it's an incredibly rigorous process, but if you really do want to be Korean, it should be all the more worth the triplicate signatures—
Scenario 3: You Don't Really Want to Be a Citizen of Korea, and Just Wanted to See Me Make Fun of the Koreans
Yeah, this is awkward.
But it also explains a lot. Not only does it explain why you've been so patiently reading this guide to the very end with that mad look on your face, but also it explains why you're on this sick, sick website in the first place. Have you no sense of "racial sensitivity", at long last? It's because of senseless maniacs like you that eat up these stereotypes about different groups of people that movies like North are even green-lighted! Don't even try to deny it; we already know how unconvincing of a liar you are—and a racist utterly unconvincing liar at that!
I hope you learnt something from this guide, like the fact that since you're the kind of desensitised hateful person that reads these HowTos, you should go back in time and murder your own father! You'd be doing him a big favour by preventing you from ever ruining his good name by being born, you know! And I bet you wouldn't mind either, you twisted troll!
You know what? I was going to try and calm down and tell you to take a trip to Korea (either one, take your pick) and see if that changes your mind or something, but you know what? You don't deserve the chance. All you'd do is make fun of everyone as soon as you got there. You'd make fun of the guy that looks at your passport, the customs agent, the hotel receptionist, random people carrying their mobile phones. You'd even make fun of the Koreans for eating dog.
So no, I'm not going to let you redeem yourself. You couldn't possibly ever manage it.
But really quickly, just for laughs: everything's expensive so be rich if you can help it, get plastic surgery so that you have slanted eyes, be really skinny, be sexist and sleazy and sex-hungry because it's perfectly okay over there, never pass on kimchi and dog, play up on Starcraft and Maple Story, copy lots from Japanese culture, never surrender the superior Korean culture for Japanese culture, be really good at English, never think for yourself, be obsessively clean, watch a lot of Korean drama series and listen to K-pop, call the Japanese jjokbari (pig feet) and bash (or even kill) the Japanese for committing what happened in Korea, and overwork your salaryman self to suicide. Oh, and don't mention the war. No, that was Germany. I guess don't mention Japan.
*Editor's note: The writer of this article is more focused towards South Korea than North Korea. Because, shut up.
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- HowTo:Be Japanese
- North Korea
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- Politically correct
- Immigration to South Korea
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