Registering a birth in China

Hello everyone,

Have you had to or are you going to register a birth in China? What was the experience like?

Who is required to register the birth, and where? Can it be either the mother or father?

What documents are usually required in China?

How long does the process to register a birth take? Are there any time limits in which the registration must be completed?

Did you register the birth with your home country and how did that process compare? Will your child be able to have dual nationality?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Well, we did not register a birth yet. However, we will have to do so next year. As most of you may know, dual citizenship is not allowed for Chinese citizens. Thus, our child will not get a Chinese passport. Furthermore, there is a birth certificate that has to signed by the wife and husband. If the new born Baby is named with letters of the Latin alphabet, a Chinese passport cannot be applied. New borns shall be registered within 60 days. If the Baby does not get a Chinese passport, an application for a visa is needed.

hahah its better to be born in some other country rather than China no use of this certificate which will have problems all the time you go to other country as its not a tall a good for outers delivering the child in China

We have registered our baby with the U.S. embassy in Shanghai.  It was quite simple.  Just had to make an appointment and have photo's, her birth certificate and other necessary documentation.  Took less than an hour

Had our baby in July in Guangzhou.  One hospital said it would take 2 weeks to get the birth certificate, English OK.  The Womans hospital had no clue about putting an American name on the birth certificate.  The hospital we finally chose (2nd Affliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University) was excellent on the birth certificate.  They spoke English, and the birth certificate had both English and Chinese on it.  We made an appointment and had it a week after the baby was born.  They said there was a new policy that allows both a Western name and a Chinese name on the Birth Certificate but we did not trust it so only went with the American name (and pinyin version of a Chinese middle name). 

We gave up on the idea of having 2 passports.  Chinese Houkou needs a Chinese name and likely would not easily handle American letters. 

Getting the US passport was a breeze.  Made an appointment for the Guangzhou Consulate and had all our information (original Marriage License and the Chinese birth certificate and the rest).  They mailed the Passport to us in China a couple weeks later (along with the Consular Report of Birth Abroad). 

Still need an Exit Visa thing for the kid but are waiting on the wifes I-130 Visa application currently.


What was required to prove Physical Presence?  Was there any risk to the I-130 if the RCBA was refused?  Did the RCBA speed up the I-130 processing or give you another option?


I am not sure of the impact on the I-130 if the Consular Report of Birth Abroad was refused.   I hope it would not be detrimental. 

For proof of my US residence I took a giant folder of my Utility bills, renters insurance, Rental agreements and stuff. 

I-130 has now been approved and my wife and our baby are here with me in the US.  Life is good.

The birthing hospital requires full sets of ID's from both parents. As I am an American they use my passport and my Q2 visa. Not a problem.

After birth, you get a Chinese birth certificate for each child. They are now Chinese with a Chinese mother and an American father.

I could hop over to the US consulate and register them, thus making them American citizens, but I won't do that. Why burden them with American taxes, and an empire gone loco? They have 18 years to decide if they want to become American. Plenty of time to decide.

I am a considered a US Citizen but I wasn’t born in the US; nor have I lived, worked or visited the US, does that still means I have a tax obligation?
Yes. You still have a US tax obligation, simply based upon the fact that you have US citizenship status. Where you are born, and where you live or work is not relevant to your obligation. Whether you have to pay tax in the US is dependent on your own personal situation.

I guess that I am really the outlier in this. Everyone wants their child to be an American. I would strongly suggest you take a good hard look at what passes for education in the United States today. The kids get a far better education here in China, and of course, they are fluent bilingual. Not to mention that they NEVER have to report anything to the IRS, not in April. Never.

Not being an American, means that they can have Chinese, HK and Macao bank accounts. Even I can no longer have that privilege.

I wasn’t born in the US, nor have I ever lived, worked or visited the US. Does that mean I still have to file taxes?
Yes you do if you’re considered American. You have to file taxes, based purely on your American citizenship. Whether filing will result in you paying actual taxes in the US depends on personal circumstances, and double taxation treaties made with the country in which you live and or work. Not filing taxes in the US is a criminal offense.

I love my kids, why would I want to handicap them with all that nonsense. There is plenty of time to decide.

In the meantime, they live in China, go to Chinese schools, and act Chinese. At home they are American home schooled. I think this way is best for them. But, that is just me.

In short, the paperwork and processing for a birth is standard operating procedure. We use a birthing hospital, and they can do the paperwork blindfolded. It's really not a problem at all. :top:

Children in America are not burdened with taxes, so I'm not sure what you mean.  I would agree that American citizens are over-taxed and over-regulated, though.  But I love it there and want to raise my family in an American small town.  I wouldn't go near one of the big cities.  Too much crime, drugs, and social strife.  Small town America is where it is at.  ;)  Appreciate the time and thought that you obviously put into your post.  Best wishes.  Frank

@Dolphynn - Congratulations!  Unfortunately, I am just starting the I-130 process.  So a few questions:

How long did it take from filing to the notice that your wife was free to immigrate to America? 
Did you only go with the I-130 or did you also file for a K-3 simultaneously? 
Do you think that having a child with your Chinese wife in China had any impact on the speed that the I-130 was processed?



I really do not care about their ability to pay taxes at age 5.

I do care about their ability to life life unencumbered by taxation, dual taxation, at age 25.

Fine, by registering them as Americans, they will be subject to dual taxation. Mine will not. You can conclude what ever you wish. In my mind a PARENT has a duty to provide the best likelihood for social and economic advancement for their children. If you want to ignore the elephant in the room that is fine. I do not care. But it exists. Just go to

Look at this realistically. Suppose my child wants to get a job in India. They work as a software programmer, for five years. They make good money, but fail to report their income to the IRS. Don't you realize that the IRS can take EVERYTHING they own, destroy their life, break up their family and imprison them in prison (in a country that they have never set foot in, for twenty five years? What's the matter with you? You are not aware of this?

Do you think that somehow the American Democrats will reverse and undo this law? Are you friggin' crazy?

But, let's put this all aside for a second. Let's just see how well your children fare compared to mine.  Ok?

Mine will not have the economic shackles. What they make, they keep. Period. They are in China. That is the way it is done. Any money taken out of their pay or income is a tax. Call it a fee, call it a fine, call it a tax. It is something that they earn that they cannot use. Mine will automatically have more More than yours. Automatically. They will not be burdened by American taxation.

As an American, even if they have never set foot on American soil, they are subject to dual taxation. Oh, they can thank you later on, when they realize that you thrust this burden on them.

In addition, mine a bilingual at a high rate of fluency. Mine will be able to converse with 80% of the world's population. How about yours? Mine knows both American and Chinese history. I make sure of it. How about yours? Oh, I would guess that in about twenty years they will be very resentful that you have not cultivated their ability to speak Chinese.

Mine will be able to recite both the cause and results of the American Constitution, and the Chinese constitution. What they decide to do with it, is up to them. How about yours?

But, hey!  You can just follow the rest of the herd. No problem. Your children will serve the food my children will eat.

Look guy. I don't know your situation, and I cannot predict the future. What I can say is that at lest I am trying to anticipate the future and providing my children with the skills to survive in a changing global economy. What are you doing about it? Just bad mouthing my efforts to provide the best scope of opportunities for my children, while you follow the yellowed old formula of being an American.

Hey time will tell.

Time will tell. Don' get mad at me. Time will tell.

Search for a website called Visa Journey and you can get an estimate of the time it takes for others to get their wife over. 

For us I filed the I-130 from the US in March and 14 months later my wife made it over in May.  There is a big 9 month or more gap between when you get the letter saying they got your application and sent it over to NVS and when they actually give you the letter with the case number so you can proceed.  So that gap sucks.  Once you get the case number it goes quite fast (get the medical with immunizations, go to the interview).  My wifes police certificate of no crime expired it took so long, so she had to do it again.  China tries to make any little thing seem more difficult (I believe in order to try and extract a red packet from you). 

I did not file a K-3.  But we were apart for quite a few months as I had to come back to the US to work and restock our funds.  We were married in the US 3 years ago.  Baby came out last summer and just turned 1 last month. 

The interview process was simple, my wife says.  Just 5 questions or so.  Likely having a baby together helped it.  We got all the paperwork correct the first time so did not get a Request for Explanation letter asking for additional info. 

They are just really slow. 

I disagree with Vannrox about the education.  The Chinese system is quite bad and the easy ass American system results in a wide range of knowledge that Chinese seem to be lacking. 

Good Luck on your process.

To everyone...

Big apologies. Especially to Frank.

I wish you and your children the best, I really do. It's just that when it comes to American taxation, I get really hot under the collar.

Apology accepted.  Taxes chap my hide too.

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