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Chinese Nationality? Foreign-born

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  1. #1

    Chinese Nationality? Foreign-born

    Hi All,

    Hope experts here can give me some opinions on whether my child would be entitle to Chinese Nationality.

    Firstly some background information:

    Me: HKSAR passport + HKPID + Australian passport holder
    Wife: Australian passport + Vietnamese passport holder

    My wife is pregnant at the moment and we are planning for her to give birth in Vietnam. I understand that if she is to give birth in HK our child will have Chinese nationality. However, I would like some opinions on how Article 5 of the Chinese Nationality Law would be applied in our child's case.

    Article 5: Any person born abroad whose parents are both Chinese nationals or one of whose parents is a Chinese national shall have Chinese nationality. But a person whose parents are both Chinese nationals and have both settled abroad, or one of whose parents is a Chinese national and has settled abroad, and who has acquired foreign nationality at birth shall not have Chinese nationality.

    I am satisfied that by holding an Australian passport, I would be classified as a Chinese national who has settled abroad. However, the matter I need clarification is that if my wife gives birth in Vietnam, the child will not acquire foreign nationality automatically at birth.

    This is because based on my research

    Article 16(2.) of the Vietnamese nationality law (http://moj.gov.vn/vbpq/en/Lists/Vn%2...x?ItemID=10451) states:

    "2. A child either of whose parents is a Vietnamese citizen at the time of his/her birth and the other is a foreign national has the Vietnamese nationality if so agreed in writing by his/her parents at the time of birth registration. In case a child is born in the Vietnamese territory but his/her parents fail to reach an agreement on the selection of his/her nationality, the child has Vietnamese nationality."

    I interpret this to be that when our child is born in Vietnam, the child does not acquire Vietnamese nationality automatically. The parents can agree to what nationality the child will take. If no agreement can be reached then the child will take Vietnamese nationality.

    With regards to Australian nationality, a child born outside Australia with an Australian parent does not acquire Australian nationality by descent automatically at birth, it needs to be applied for.

    With the above in mind, do you think my child will be entitled to apply for Chinese nationality at birth when he is born in Vietnam if we do not apply for Australian and Vietnamese nationality and apply for Chinese nationality first?

    Many thanks.


  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Only if you as Chinese national are not deemed as settled abroad when the child is born will the child be a Chinese national. So if you move back to HK and the child is born in Vietnam then it is ok.

    Lord Dashwood likes this.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by appleapple:
    With regards to Australian nationality, a child born outside Australia with an Australian parent does not acquire Australian nationality by descent automatically at birth, it needs to be applied for.
    using your logic, the only citizenship the baby is eligible at birth is vietnamese, at birth. so the baby go stateless or becomes a vietnamese.

  4. #4

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    Instead of playing 'chase the passport', how about letting the mother-to-be decide where she is most comfortable giving birth?


  5. #5

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    You haven't told us where you are living at the moment.

    If your wife gives birth in Vietnam, while for the whole time you, the Chinese parent, are living in Hong Kong, then you would not be considered "settled abroad" so the child would still have Chinese nationality.

    If you are living in Australia now, then you are correct - you are "settled abroad" and you child would only have Chinese nationality if he does not "acquire foreign nationality at birth". Despite what you mentioned about the technicalities of the Vietnamese nationality law, I suspect HK immigration would not interpret it that way. I think "acquire foreign nationality at birth" means that the baby does not need to go thru an application process (i.e. with a chance of being rejected) before being granted that nationality.


  6. #6

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    Just have the baby in HK why so much headache, think for the babies future where he/she will have HKID / SAR passport / Home return permit / Aussie passport / Dont think Vietnamese Passport is worth having to be honest for travelling purpose.

    dumbdonkey and imparanoic like this.

  7. #7

    Thank you for all the replies so far.

    We are living in Australia at the moment, however it is interesting to note that if I had moved back to HK to live I would be considered not "settled abroad". I was always under the impression that the mere holding of foreign citizenship or PR would have deemed myself to have "settled abroad". But it does make sense that if I move back to HK I would not be considered "settled abroad".

    The main reason that we decided for her to give birth in Vietnam is because her family and extended family are in Vietnam. We thought it would be better for her to give birth there so she could receive better support before and after birth. Also, I believe if she is to give birth in HK we will have to pay the foreigner hospital rate as she does not have HKID, unless I apply dependent visa for her which I believe will be difficult considering we are residing in Australia and don't have much connections with HK anymore.

    I may contact HK immd with this one, however I have got a feeling that they will only give me a rehash of what Article 5 is and not give me any definite answers that apply to my situation.


  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by wtbhotia:
    Just have the baby in HK why so much headache, think for the babies future where he/she will have HKID / SAR passport / Home return permit / Aussie passport / Dont think Vietnamese Passport is worth having to be honest for travelling purpose.
    In other words, best of both worlds, and more importantly, no hassle for kid, while owing a Vietnamese passport will cause head ache for the kid in future
    wtbhotia likes this.

  9. #9

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    are you aware of the second generation hong kong residents work visa program?


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by dumbdonkey:
    are you aware of the second generation hong kong residents work visa program?
    still a hassle, barriers to entry on slightly lowered

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