A Question from Our Listener about Dual Citizenship

Thứ Tư, 09 Tháng Bảy 201400:00(Xem: 4435)
A Question from Our Listener about Dual Citizenship

We received some interesting questions from our listeners and we will share the responses with our audience. One question regards the possibility of Dual Citizenship for the child of Vietnamese parents who were visiting the States at the time of the child’s birth. Is dual citizenship possible in this case?

The answer is “yes”. The child is automatically a US citizen at time of birth in the US. For the child’s Vietnamese citizenship, the parents can register the birth with the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in the US before they return to Vietnam. The website of the Vietnamese Consulate gives details about birth registration: http://www.vietnamconsulate-sf.org/en/consular-services/birth-registration/

If the child is born in Vietnam, and if one or both of the parents are US citizens, then the US citizen parent would apply to the American Consulate in Saigon to report the birth and apply for the child’s US passport. Of course the child is automatically a Vietnamese citizen if born to Vietnamese parents in Vietnam.

Adults who have a Vietnamese passport and were admitted to the US as immigrants could renew their Vietnamese passport and could also apply for naturalization as citizens of the United States. Maintaining a valid Vietnamese passport has no effect on US naturalization or citizenship. The same is true for Vietnamese refugees and asylum seekers in the US. They may wish to maintain their Vietnamese passports for the sake of travel abroad, though asylum seekers should not return to Vietnam while they are waiting for their asylum application to be approved.

Dual Nationals should keep in mind that the Vietnamese government does not give special treatment to persons who also have US citizenship. When a Vietnamese returns to Vietnam for a visit, he is subject to Vietnamese laws the same as any other Vietnamese citizen.

Being a US citizen allows the person to easily buy real estate in America, or set up a business, or vote. It also carries the responsibility of filing US tax returns, and reporting foreign income and foreign bank accounts. For males, there is the responsibility of registering for the draft.

The US State Department says: dual nationality means that a person is a national of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own nationality laws based on its own policy. U.S. law does not mention dual nationality and does not require a person to choose one nationality or another. Also, a person who is automatically granted another nationality does not risk losing U.S. nationality. However, a person who acquires a foreign nationality by applying for it, may lose U.S. citizenship if his intention is to give up U.S. nationality.

The U.S. Government allows dual nationality but does not encourage it because of the problems it may cause. Dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist nationals abroad. Dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to obey the laws of both countries. Either country has the right to enforce its laws, particularly if the person later travels there. Dual nationals may be required by the foreign country to use its passport to enter and leave that country. Use of the foreign passport does not endanger U.S. nationality.

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Q.1. Can a person with a US passport buy real estate in Vietnam?
A.1. Almost every year there are new rumors about foreigners buying real estate in Vietnam. According to the latest information, Viet Kieu and foreigners may buy a new apartment (before it receives the “pink paper”), if they are at least 50 years old, and if they reside in the apartment for at least six months a year.

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Q.2. How or why does a person give up US citizenship?
A.2. Most people who give up American citizenship are doing that to avoid paying US taxes. To renounce US citizenship, the person must be outside the US and appear in person before a U.S. consular or diplomatic officer in a foreign country and sign an oath of renunciation. A renunciation of U.S. citizenship is irrevocable
Former U.S. citizens are still required to obtain a visa to travel to the United States, or show that they are eligible for admission under the Visa Waiver Pilot Program (VWPP). Renouncing US citizenship does not allow persons to avoid possible prosecution for crimes which they may have committed in the United States, or escape the repayment of financial obligations they had in the US.

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Q.3. If the Vietnamese parents are visiting the US when their child is born, when should they apply for the child’s Vietnamese birth certificate?
A.3. It is better to apply at the Vietnamese Consulate or Embassy while still in the US. Applying when back in Vietnam would be much more complicated.
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