I am from Japan and married to a Vietnamese. We used to live in Japan and our son is now 5 months old. I have registered his birth and gotten a birth certificate for him in Japan. At present, our family resides in Vietnam and I wish to get a birth certificate for my son in the country so that he can have Vietnamese nationality. What should I do to get that?
According to Clause 2, Article 16 of the 2008 Law on Vietnamese Nationality, which was amended and supplemented in 2014, 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.
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__Photo: Internet
Therefore, your child will have Vietnamese nationality if, at the time his birth was registered, you and your wife agreed in writing to get Vietnamese nationality for him/her.
As you said, you have registered the birth of your child to get Japanese nationality for him in Japan, and wish to move to Vietnam to register his birth as a Vietnamese citizen. So, based on Vietnamese and Japanese regulations, we can answer your question as follows:
Regarding registration for birth certificate for children
According to the Vietnamese law on civil status, every civil-status event can only be registered once. As your child’s birth has been registered in Japan, his birth, therefore, cannot be registered in Vietnam.
However, to get Vietnamese nationality for your child, you have to prepare three sets of dossier of application for Vietnamese nationality, each must comprise:
- An application for Vietnamese nationality;
- A copy of the birth certificate, passport or another substitute paper of your child;
- A curriculum vitae;
- A judicial record card issued by a competent Vietnamese agency for the period your child resides in Vietnam. This card must be issued within 90 days before the date of dossier submission.
The dossiers must be submitted directly to the provincial-level Justice Department in the locality where your family resides. However, documents and papers included in those dossiers which have been issued by foreign authorities must be authenticated by consular offices and foreign-language documents must be translated into Vietnamese and notarized under Vietnamese law.
Within five working days after receiving a complete and valid dossier, the Justice Department will send to the provincial-level Public Security Department a written request for verification of your child’s identity.
Within 30 days after receiving the request, the Public Security Department will conduct the verification and send verification results to the Justice Department. During this period, the Justice Department will examine documents and papers in your dossiers of application for Vietnamese nationality.
Within 10 working days after receiving verification results, the Justice Department will complete the dossiers for submission to the chairperson of the provincial-level People’s Committee.
Within 10 working days after receiving the request of the Justice Department, the chairperson of the provincial-level People’s Committee will consider, make conclusion and send a proposal to the Ministry of Justice.
In case you wish to retain Japanese nationality for your child, the Ministry of Justice will, within 20 days after receiving the proposal from the chairperson of the provincial-level People’s Committee, re-examine the dossier. If finding that your child is eligible for naturalization in Vietnam, the Ministry will report the case to the Prime Minister for submission to the President for consideration and decision.
Regarding dual citizenship
Under Clauses 2 and 3, Article 19 of the Law on Vietnamese Nationality, once naturalized in Vietnam, your child may have both Vietnamese and Japanese nationalities, and will not be subject to the limit of age eligible for having dual citizenship.
However, according to Article 14 of Law No. 147 on Japanese Nationality (1950), which was amended and supplemented in 1952 by Law No. 268, in 1984 by Law No. 45 and in 1993 by Law No. 89, a Japanese citizen having a foreign nationality will have to make a decision to have only one nationality before reaching the age of 20. He/she will acquire the Japanese nationality if, as prescribed in the Japanese Family Law, making a commitment to take the Japanese nationally and relinquish the other foreign nationality. Accordingly, your child may only have both Japanese and Vietnamese nationalities before reaching the age of 20. If your child wishes to choose the Japanese nationality, he has to relinquish the Vietnamese nationality before being accepted to acquire the Japanese nationality.- (VLLF)