An Indian-born man became the 100,000th foreigner to receive Korean citizenship on Monday.
Roy Alok Kumar (55), a professor of Indian languages at Pusan University of Foreign Studies, graduated from India's prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University and the University of Delhi and arrived here in March 1980 on a Korean government scholarship.
He married a Korean woman and has two daughters. He applied for naturalization determined to give up his Indian passport but was allowed to keep it after new rules on dual citizenship went into effect this month.
In 1957, a Taiwanese man became the first foreigner to receive Korean citizenship. Until 2000, only a few dozen foreigners obtained Korean citizenship every year.
But between 2001-2010, an average of 9,816 foreigners a year became naturalized, accounting for 98 percent of the total. Chinese topped the list with 79,163, or 79 percent, followed by 9,207 Vietnamese (9 percent), 5,233 Filipinos (5 percent), and 2,093 Taiwanese (2 percent).