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Post China and Dual Citizenship; from Ric Mauricio
Created by John Eipper on 03/29/15 3:55 PM

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China and Dual Citizenship; from Ric Mauricio (John Eipper, USA, 03/29/15 3:55 pm)

Ric Mauricio sends this comment:

In response to Mike Bonnie (28 March), you are correct that China does not recognize dual citizenship. As my PRC government friend told me, they discourage birth tourism.

But as Timothy Brown points out, the situation can be nuanced chaos.

In most situations, any child that is born in the United States or one of its territories will automatically receive American citizenship. However, children born to diplomats and other recognized government officials from foreign countries will not receive US citizenship if born on American soil. You can learn more about this by looking through Title 8 of the US Code.

If you were born in the US, your US citizenship will last your entire life unless you make an affirmative action to give it up, like filing an oath.

Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

In the case of United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898), the Supreme Court ruled that a person becomes a citizen of the United States at the time of birth, by virtue of the first clause of the 14th Amendment, if that person:

Is born in the United States, or has parents that are subjects of a foreign power, but not in any diplomatic or official capacity of that foreign power, or has parents that have permanent domicile and residence in the United States, or has parents that are in the United States for business.

Based on the US Department of State regulation on dual citizenship (7 FAM 1162), the Supreme Court of the United States has stated that dual citizenship is a "status long recognized in the law" and that "a person may have and exercise rights of nationality in two countries and be subject to the responsibilities of both. The mere fact he asserts the rights of one citizenship does not without more mean that he renounces the other" (Kawakita v. US, 343 US 717) (1952). In Schneider v. Rusk 377 US 163 (1964), the Supreme Court ruled that a naturalized US citizen has the right to return to his native country and to resume his former citizenship, and also to remain a US citizen even if he never returns to the United States.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) neither defines dual citizenship nor takes a position for it or against it. There has been no prohibition against dual citizenship, but some provisions of the INA and earlier US nationality laws were designed to reduce situations in which dual citizenship exists. Although naturalizing citizens are required to undertake an oath renouncing previous allegiances, the oath has never been enforced to require the actual termination of original citizenship.

Although the US government does not endorse dual citizenship as a matter of policy, it recognizes the existence of dual citizenship and completely tolerates the maintenance of multiple citizenship by US citizens. In the past, claims of other countries on dual-national US citizens sometimes placed them in situations where their obligations to one country were in conflict with the laws of the other.

In other words, although China does not recognize dual citizenship, their tax system will go after their citizens and the IRS will go after the US citizen by birth. "I am not a US citizen," said the PRC citizen born in the US through birth tourism. "Yes, you are," says the IRS. "We have proof right here, your birth certificate." "Now file those tax returns and fill out the FBAR and FATCA, or you will be fined $100,000 and go to jail." Now you know why that government official and I had a good laugh. It is so absolutely stupid to subject your child to this. Poor kid doesn't even have a choice in the matter.

As for becoming a US citizen to have better access to our universities, I have seen many times where non-citizens have received special treatment because they pay the full non-resident college tuition (probably funded by the Chinese government or wealthy parents). Sort of like the special treatment for H1b workers who get the jobs in Silicon Valley over their American counterparts.

I counsel non-Americans to be very careful when considering whether to enter the Citizen or Resident entrance or the Visitor entrance at the airports. You may open up a can of tax worms.

By the way, the Vatican allows dual citizenship.

JE comments: So US citizenship costs more if you're rich and Chinese, but the insurance policy is worth it if times get "interesting" in China.

We can presume that not many citizens of the Vatican practice birth tourism.

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