Dual Citizenship Process - Child of American and Vietnamese

I've run a search on the HCMC forum and was unable to find much about this specific topic.

I'm looking to learn specific experiences from American citizens with a Vietnamese partner that gave birth in Vietnam.

What was the process you went through to apply for dual citizenship?

Is it even possible?

I found one guy that mentioned on a pregnancy thread that it's important to get the Vietnam citizenship and passport first then apply for the American citizenship.

Is this true? There was little explanation with his post so I didn't understand the nuance of this requirement.


Thanks in advanced for sharing your experience. I want to do it the right way but also don't want to expose myself or the child to any undo risk.

I mentioned back then an example of a government official who lost her post because she held dual citizenship, originally Vietnamese and later became American. You can Google that story. Does that suggest that Vietnam does not recognize dual citizenship for all Vietnamese or only for a few who wants public office? I don't know.  Ask the forum.

Second, America makes it easy. If a child is born abroad to one or both American parents, that child is automatically an American citizen. But first you must do a few things when the child is born abroad. You remember President Obama's case when he decided to run for president? That will be the similar  case of your child.

1. Publish a natavity news in a local newspaper to announce your child's birth. That will be an evidence in the future should the child want to run for a public office or apply for certain benefits.

2. Register the child at US embassy in Vietnam as an American citizen. You go to US  state department website to read more about your child's case and documents required to register the child.

3. Ask US embassy staff in Vietnam how to obtain a passport for the child born abroad to American parent(s).

Disclaimer: These texts are not legal, expert, or official advice and should not replace your responsibilities to consult legal professionals. These are only my layman opinions. The US state department website or USCIS website is the official place to get the best, accurate, and reliable information about citizenship status of a child born abroad to American parent(s). I hope this helps.

Here is a link to begin with: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel … broad.html

Have no clue what Libhero is talking about posting an ad in a newspaper and all that, not the statement that one is automatically an American citizen. Yes they have the right to citizenship, but must apply with appropriate documents to the US Embassy w/ both parents, and the child must  be presented as well. The first step is to get the Certificate of Birth Abroad. You can then apply for the child's passport and Social Security number. You can not make an appointment until you have completed all the paperwork and had it reviewed. The embassy website has clear instruction on what is needed and all the required steps. Good luck

Libhero :

Second, America makes it easy. If a child is born abroad to one or both American parents, that child is automatically an American citizen. But first you must do a few things when the child is born abroad. You remember President Obama's case when he decided to run for president? That will be the similar  case of your child.

To start with this is nothing like the Obama case as Obama was not born overseas but in Hawaii which was already a state at the time.  There is absolutely no need to make a birth announcement in any newspaper.  This is similar to the thinking of those who insisted that Obama's birth announcement in the Honolulu papers was false.  Obama does not have a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) because he was not born abroad.  He has a US birth certificate. 

All you have to do is go to the Embassy or consulate and fill out the paperwork.  I am not sure that you even have to bring the child as I see nothing about that in the State Dept webpage.  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel … broad.html  The Report may be made all the way up to the child's 18th birthday but they recommend doing it "as soon as possible."  You can apply for the passport and social security number at the same time.

It is also important to note that the US State Dept says that the CRBA is not a birth certificate.  It is a proof of citizenship.  As far a establishing Vietnamese citizenship first that may be necessary but if so it has to do with Vietnamese law, not US law.  To start with you will probably need to register the birth with the authorities and obtaining a birth certificate.  I don't know but unless the child was born at home, I would think that was automatic.  I don't know about cases where both parents are Americans, but if the CRBA is not a birth certificate, then you still might want to have a Vietnamese birth certificate, even if not claiming Viet citizenship.  A Vietnamese birth certificate lists "Nationality" of both parents.  As Vietnam does not recognize Jus soli or citizenship by place of birth then any such birth certificate would just be a proof of date of birth and names of the parents.

Perhaps some are not going to the correct government webpage:

Please bring:

The child (applicant) is required to attend.
If the U.S. citizen parent is not present, please submit a true certified copy of the biometric page of the U.S. passport or naturalization documents, the DS-2029 or the DS-5507 with notarized signatures, and DS-3053 with notarized signature.
Unsigned DS-2029 (PDF-61KB), original documentation (including but not limited to: birth certificate, marriage license, and divorce papers), and any supplemental information (including but not limited to: proof of physical presence, proof of relationship and medical records of the birth).
Passport Application Form DS-11 (if applying for a passport.)  Overseas applicants may complete the form online but cannot submit it electronically. Please PRINT the completed form and bring it to the appointment.
Cash or credit card/ debit card to pay the correct fees.
Photos – we do not have a photographer at the embassy.

Here is the actual application and instructions:  https://eforms.state.gov/Forms/ds2029.PDF

I don't see in the instructions where the baby has to be present but maybe the HCMC consulate makes up some of its own rules.  I know they did that when  they wanted to see my wife's hộ khẩu book at her immigration interview.  Fortunately I was present and had a printout of a checklist from the HCMC consulate that had no such requirement.  The Vietnamese woman at the window did not want to bend on the made up rule until I insisted on discussing the matter with a US employee who conceded that the book was not required.

Indeed, as with every US Embassy I have ever done business with they have their own policies and rules. The question by the OP was posted on the Vietnam forum and the OP
seemed to imply he wanted to apply in VN and at the HCMC US Consulate office. This is why I gave him the requirements of that office and not just the form required. He can go to this link and find the same information that I attached in my previous post:
https://vn.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-se … pointment/
I think if all want to verify if that is indeed true they can go to the correct website. After reading the current rues one could contact them and verify if it os still the policy they use. Hope this helps the OP

Vagabondone :

Indeed, as with every US Embassy I have ever done business with they have their own policies and rules.

It looks like you are absolutely correct.  As I suggested above, they do make up their own rules.

Obama was born in Hawaii yet many Americans denied he was an American citizen qualified to become a president of the United States. Imagine the situation of this child born in Vietnam deciding to run for president in the future. Don't you believe his/her case would be treated even worse than Obama's? You failed to see the logic here why other proofs are necessary. I imagine the amount of citizenship proofs that generation of Americans would require of this child.

Second, a child born to one or both American parent is considered an American child until that child decides at age 18th not to claim that citizenship right. Is this true? If so, is it not automatic, regardless of the registration that has to take place to make it formal?

Finally, you talked about the parents getting VN birth certificate for the child.  Is that not a given in the 21st century? My post assumed that in this modern age where VN health is improving, most mothers give birth at hospital and get birth certificates there. So it is useless to instruct parents here to first get VN birth certificate.

America2Vietnam :

I found one guy that mentioned on a pregnancy thread that it's important to get the Vietnam citizenship and passport first then apply for the American citizenship.

Is this true? There was little explanation with his post so I didn't understand the nuance of this requirement.

According to Minh Gia Law Firm in Hanoi and Hoang Phi Law Firm in Saigon, if the child acquires US citizenship first, then the parents must apply for Vietnamese citizenship as if the child is a foreigner even though s/he is born to a Vietnamese parent and in a Vietnamese hospital. 

In doing so, the birth certificate must include a Vietnamese name because any foreigner who applies for Vietnamese citizenship must be called officially by his/her VIetnamese name.  OTOH, if the parents choose to give the child Vietnamese citizenship at birth (a written agreement between the parents is required), then the child, a native born, can have his/her full name in any language as long as it's written in Roman alphabets. 

As there is more hassle applying for Vietnamese citizenship than a US one, it's advisable to have Vietnamese citizenship first.


Libhero :

My post assumed that in this modern age where VN health is improving, most mothers give birth at hospital and get birth certificates there. So it is useless to instruct parents here to first get VN birth certificate.

Birth certificate is not automatically given by the hospital.  The People's Committee where the birth happens is the agency that grants birth certificate, with birth record from the hospital as required proof.  If the birth didn't happen in a hospital, then a confirmation of the witness of the birth is needed.  If there isn't any witness, then a declaration of birth by the mother can be substituted.

first, go to the embassy and the passport department, a lot of such situations happen and probably nobody will answer you better than them. Also, you will need to fill out a passport form ds11, read the requirements for documents. It is not necessary to come directly to the office, it’s enough to write an e-mail to the department, describe the situation in detail in it. Good luck!

You better hurry before Trump signs an EO to repeal the 14th Amendment.

QuidProQuo :

You better hurry before Trump signs an EO to repeal the 14th Amendment.

If I were an American, I'd be more concerned about basic democratic rights.  :/

The 14th amendment applies to those born in America, not here in Vietnam. And if your a US citizen and have a child in America it too is a citizen. In short the 14th amendment does not apply to this conversation at all.

QuidProQuo :

You better hurry before Trump signs an EO to repeal the 14th Amendment.

You should not opine on a subject matter with false statements as you have no idea how Constitutional law works in the USA.

Andy Passenger :
QuidProQuo :

You better hurry before Trump signs an EO to repeal the 14th Amendment.

If I were an American, I'd be more concerned about basic democratic rights.  :/

FYI - the United States is a Repbulic, not a democracy.  :)

Vagabondone :

The 14th amendment applies to those born in America, not here in Vietnam. And if your a US citizen and have a child in America it too is a citizen. In short the 14th amendment does not apply to this conversation at all.

You are correct, the 14th amendment was passed and applied to slaves at the time so that they would be recognized as U.S. citizens because prior to its passage, they were not considered U.S. citizens.

For those who want a more detailed explanation about births to U.S. citizens outside the USA, here is some additional information from the State Department:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel … broad.html

Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by a Child Born Abroad

Birth Abroad in Wedlock to Two U.S. Citizen Parents

A person born abroad in wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother and a U.S. citizen father acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under section 301(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), if one of the parents has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the person’s birth.

NOTE – MEANING OF “IN WEDLOCK”: a person is considered to be born in wedlock for the purposes of citizenship acquisition when the genetic and/or gestational parents are legally married to each other at the time of the person’s conception or birth or within 300 days of the termination of the marriage by death or divorce, and both parents are the legal parents of the child under local law at the time and place of birth.


Birth Abroad in Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen and an Alien

A person born abroad in wedlock to a U.S. citizen and an alien acquires U.S. citizenship at birth if the U.S. citizen parent has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the person’s birth for the period required by the statute in effect when the person was born (INA 301(g), formerly INA 301(a)(7).) For birth on or after November 14, 1986, the U.S. citizen parent must have been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years prior to the person’s birth, at least two of which were after the age of fourteen. For birth between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, the U.S. citizen parent must have been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for 10 years prior to the person’s birth, at least five of which were after the age of 14 for the person to acquire U.S. citizenship at birth. The U.S. citizen parent must be the genetic or the gestational parent and the legal parent of the child under local law at the time and place of the child’s birth to transmit U.S. citizenship.


Birth Abroad Out-of-Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen Father – “New” Section 309(a)

A person born abroad out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen father may acquire U.S. citizenship under Section 301(c) or 301(g) of the INA, as made applicable by the “new” Section 309(a) of the INA if:

    A blood relationship between the person and the father is established by clear and convincing evidence;
    The father had the nationality of the United States at the time of the person’s birth;
    The father (unless deceased) has agreed in writing to provide financial support for the person until the person reaches the age of 18 years, and
    While the person is under the age of 18 years --

    the person is legitimated under the law of his/her residence or domicile,
    the father acknowledges paternity of the person in writing under oath, or
    the paternity of the person is established by adjudication of a competent court.

If you have questions about the contents of this section or related citizenship laws you should contact a private attorney.


A lot of people think that every U.S. citizen that has a baby outside the USA is guaranteed that their baby is a U.S. citizen, but that is not correct.  I personally know a couple in which the father is a U.S. citizen by birth but his wife is not and they had 3 girls born outside the USA.  They went to the U.S. embassy to get them U.S. passports and were rejected because his family left the U.S.A. before he was 14 years old and he could not meet one of the requirements stated above.  It can be complicated so it is best to check the requirements.

Everything can be changed with a stroke of a pen including the so-called 'Constitution'.

QuidProQuo :

Everything can be changed with a stroke of a pen including the so-called 'Constitution'.

You really need to read up on your American civics.  In fact the US Constitution is very difficult to change without strong bipartisan consensus.  It requires a super-majority, 2/3 of both houses of Congress followed by ratification of 3/4 of the states (currently that number is 38.)  Have you been listening to a certain politician in the US?

THIGV :
QuidProQuo :

Everything can be changed with a stroke of a pen including the so-called 'Constitution'.

You really need to read up on your American civics.  In fact the US Constitution is very difficult to change without strong bipartisan consensus.  It requires a super-majority, 2/3 of both houses of Congress followed by ratification of 3/4 of the states (currently that number is 38.)  Have you been listening to a certain politician in the US?

Sure, that was the same thing they said about Trump wouldn't be POTUS. Anything is possible with this admin.

Based on Brazil with its future president (a big fan of Trump), one can see in advance what the America of tomorrow (under President Trump) might look like.  I think Trump will take a little longer in America (than Bolsonaro in Brazil) to restrict freedom of expression, restrict the sovereignty of the central bank and the independence of the judges and lift the term of office restrictions.

Bolsonaro has already said today that he will cutt off the money supply to critical media.

It is so easy to undermine a democracy as long as the voters are not intelligent enough to recognise a leader who seeks autocracy and to punish him in elections.

They let themselves be blinded by lies and by dangerous-aggressive retoricism and blindly follow their leader until they attacking the critics by sending letter bombs.

I am glad that I will not live forever and that I must not experience the chaos leaved behind (including possible World War III) of increasingly elected narcissistic and protectionist heads of state.

Oh relax boys, it is not so bad. Trump will be out of office and we will move on. Not that we will ever be able to govern in America again. But fortunately we have term limits ( and no Trump nor any president can not change that unilaterally). But the crazy circus we have will continue its show and entertain and frustrate all. It is a crazy gun toting country, but hard to do better in many ways. Bot all dynasties have only lasted about 200 years, so.........! And old quidproquo doesn't know if his a*** has been punched or bored.

Hello everyone,

Nice to hear from all of you but please don't forget the main topic which is
Dual Citizenship Process - Child of American and Vietnamese and try not to lose the thread  ;)

Thank you  :top:

Alexia
Expat.com Team

Alexia :

Hello everyone,

Nice to hear from all of you but please don't forget the main topic which is
Dual Citizenship Process - Child of American and Vietnamese and try not to lose the thread  ;)

Thank you  :top:

Alexia
Expat.com Team

Can you please remove all these offensive political posts?  Thank you.

vndreamer :
Alexia :

Hello everyone,

Nice to hear from all of you but please don't forget the main topic which is
Dual Citizenship Process - Child of American and Vietnamese and try not to lose the thread  ;)

Thank you  :top:

Alexia
Expat.com Team

Can you please remove all these offensive political posts?  Thank you.

Over-moderation is a sure way to kill a forum.  Take a look at Dave's ESL where a strict 300 word limit followed by some bannings killed discussion.  The last post there was Oct 26.  I agree that people were moving off topic but Alexia utilized a soft touch which I feel is a lot better than the hammer.  :dumbom:  Thank you Alexia.  :top:

THIGV :
vndreamer :
Alexia :

Hello everyone,

Nice to hear from all of you but please don't forget the main topic which is
Dual Citizenship Process - Child of American and Vietnamese and try not to lose the thread  ;)

Thank you  :top:

Alexia
Expat.com Team

Can you please remove all these offensive political posts?  Thank you.

Over-moderation is a sure way to kill a forum.  Take a look at Dave's ESL where a strict 300 word limit followed by some bannings killed discussion.  The last post there was Oct 26.  I agree that people were moving off topic but Alexia utilized a soft touch which I feel is a lot better than the hammer.  :dumbom:  Thank you Alexia.  :top:

The offensive posts were hammers in of themselves.  My request to remove the offensive posts is not and is asked respectfully.  This is not a political forum because if it was, I would be the first to respond in kind that others may feel the same way.  Just because one agrees with a posts does not make it not offensive to others.  But of course, consideration of others is never an option when in disagreement.

vndreamer :
Alexia :

Hello everyone,

Nice to hear from all of you but please don't forget the main topic which is
Dual Citizenship Process - Child of American and Vietnamese and try not to lose the thread  ;)

Thank you  :top:

Alexia
Expat.com Team

Can you please remove all these offensive political posts?  Thank you.

There are lots of offensive posts outside politics here in the forum.
But nobody says anything.  Other posters even distribute masses of "likes" for these insults.

But when it comes to politics some people feel insulted and ignore the truth in a message.

I am also in favour of these posts being removed if all other offensive posts like "I TYPE EXTRA SLOWLY THAT YOU CAN FOLLOW ME", etc. are also removed.

Then you can also remove the tons of useless posts "Welcome to Vietnam", "Take it easy buddy", "Stupidity has no limits", etc..

Then this forum would be much slimmer and more informative.  But we don't want that!  Or do we?  :unsure

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