Q) Recently, the Ministry of Justice(MOJ) had revoked my Korean citizenship. I came from Pakistan, lived in Korea for 12 years without any problem and duly acquired my Korean citizenship 3 years ago. The MOJ’s decision was made on the ground that my passport had been forged. But that is not true. It has a different name on it but it was a newly issued one which can be authorized by the local government. Can I get my Korean citizenship back?
A) First of all, the MOJ’ decision to revoke your Korean citizenship is under the judicial review of Korean Administrative court. There are cases where the court overturned the MOJ’s citizenship revocation on the ground that either (i) there is no legal ground for revocation and/or (ii) the decision causes too much personal harm rather than serving a public cause.
There are many fake/newly-issued foreign passport cases in Korea. Some courts held that the revocation made against a person who had submitted a fake/newly-issued foreign passport while applying for a Korean citizenship or visa was legal and legitimate, but some courts said that is illegal. It seems the results highly depend on the specific facts of each case.
Back to the situation in above question, the person has a case worth trying to pursue at the Korean administrative court. There is a court precedent where the court held that a new passport which had been duly issued by the foreign authority but contained different personal information was not a fake ID, and, thus, the citizenship cannot be revoked. Also the person has been living in Korea as a Korean national for more than 10 year with no problem. When this revocation is confirmed, the person has to leave Korea and that will make the person lose everything that had been made for the past 10 years. There is no doubt that it causes too much harm to his personal life.
However, this does not mean he will 100% win the case. Every litigation has a risk to lose. In this kind of litigation, it is very important to show to the court that the plaintiff has been living in Korea as a good Korean citizen. Financial/business record, criminal record, family relation in Korea, supportive letters from acquaintances would be helpful in this regard.
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