I am a Vietnamese citizen with a child (4 months old) born in the USA. The child’s birth was registered in the USA and holds US citizenship. I am currently considering bringing the child back to Vietnam to study. I want to ask, according to the regulations of Vietnamese law, can my child apply for Vietnamese citizenship while retaining USA citizenship?
According to Clause 2,3 Article 19 of Law on Vietnamese nationality 2008, persons naturalized in Vietnam shall renounce their foreign nationality, except following cases, in special cases so permitted by President:
- Being spouses, natural parents or natural offsprings of Vietnamese citizens; or
- Having made meritorious contributions to Vietnam’s national construction and defence; or
- Being helpful to the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
According to Article 9 Decree No. 16/2020/ND-CP dated February 03rd, 2020 of the Government about elaborating to Law on Vietnamese nationality 2008, persons in the above cases who meet all of the following conditions are considered to be special cases that are considered and approved by the President when naturalized Vietnamese citizenship while retaining foreign citizenship:
Satisfies the conditions for naturalization of Vietnamese nationality according to Law of Vietnamese nationality 2008.
Has made meritorious contribution to Vietnam’s national construction and defence and the naturalization of Vietnamese nationality with retention of foreign nationality is beneficial to the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Retention foreign nationality upon naturalization of Vietnamese nationality is satisfactory to regulations and law of said foreign country.
Renunciation of foreign nationality leads to impacts on his/her rights and benefits in the foreign country.
Does not utilize foreign nationality to harm legal rights and benefits of agencies, organizations and individuals; harm national security and benefits, social order and safety of the Government of Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Therefore, according to the regulations mentioned above, a person naturalized Vietnamese citizenship who falls under one of the cases specified in Clause 2 Article 19 of the Law on Vietnamese nationality 2008, if they apply all 05 conditions specified in Article 9 of Decree No. 16/2020/ND-CP, shall be considered as a special case specified in Clause 3 Article 19 the Law on Vietnamese nationality 2008 and shall be submitted to the President for consideration for Vietnamese citizenship without having to renounce their foreign citizenship. For other cases (not falling under special cases), the provincial People’s Committees and the Ministry of Justice shall require the person to renounce their foreign citizenship in accordance with the general regulations of nationality law when considering nationality documents.
Accordingly, if your child who is currently the USA citizen wants to naturalize in Vietnam without having to renounce the USA citizenship, in addition to being a child of a Vietnamese citizen, the child must also apply the 05 conditions mentioned above. However, considering the actual situation, the child (4 months old) cannot fully apply all 05 special conditions that are considered by the President of Vietnam for naturalization while retaining the USA citizenship. It is most evident in the 2nd condition, the child was just born and cannot have made meritorious contributions to Vietnam’s national construction and defence, so it is not possible to naturalize the child in Vietnam while retaining the USA citizenship in this case.