#250posts24hrsAAPI - 27: Op-Ed - Korean. American. Dual Citizenship. Louis Oh

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Here's a link to an article down at The Daily Northwestern from a few days ago, on being Korean American and having dual citizenship.

Four years ago, I wrote about “identity” for my college applications. Naturally, I was advised against the overdone topic, but I thought I was onto something. My story was centered on a life-altering legal decision: to be among the first generation maintaining dual Korean and American citizenship through adulthood. At the time, the full implications of this were unclear, but I believed my choice spoke something important about who I am. I am not just Korean American; I am Korean and American. I was born in the United States but my Korean parents entitled me to a Korean citizenship. Many Korean Americans are born this way with the understanding that someday they would renounce one of the two, as Korea did not accept dual-citizen adults at the time [...]

In 2011, the year I turned 18, it was time to decide, but it wasn’t so simple anymore. Amendments to citizenship law that year allowed certain exceptions for those who are born with multiple nationalities. However, it came with stipulations: One must sign a legal agreement not to exercise foreign citizenship on Korean soil. In addition to taxes and travel rules to abide by, the biggest consequence was that I would be conscripted.
Hopefully Louis Oh will one day feel a little less lost and be able to tell you where he's from (as he has a lot of time ahead of him).

Either way - good read.