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  #1  
Old 03-19-2009, 07:26 PM
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Dual Citizenship

Does anyone know if children who were adopted from Colombia are still considered citizens of Colombia? My dad is filling out some background check information for his job and needs to know if our son has dual citizenship.
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2009, 01:31 AM
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Only thing I know to do is contact the Columbian embassy and see if they can give you an answer. Adoption should sever that tie, and the U.S. should recognize your child as American only, just foreign-born.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:54 AM
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I asked my lawyer this exact question while in Colombia. Her reponse is that she's still considered a citizen of Colombia.
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  #4  
Old 03-20-2009, 05:16 AM
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Colombia considers anyone of Colombian birth to be Colombian. Your son does not have to relinquish his foreign citizenship to become a US citizen because Colombia does not require it. In fact if you travel to Colombia now or in the future, your son will be required to enter/exit Colombia on his Colombian passport and enter/exit the US on his US passport.
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:34 AM
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Thanks, everyone! So, do we need to keep renewing his Colombian passport in order to visit Colombia in the future?
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Mami to David, born in Guatemala
born 12-12-05
home 06-09-06

And Mami to Drew, born in Colombia
04-04 Applied to our agency
11-04 submitted dossier to ICBF
09-21-07 Got the call!
10-17-07 Andrew James was placed in our arms!

And now Mami to Eliana, born in the U.S.
04-09 Applied to agency
05-09 Matched
08-09 baby girl born

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  #6  
Old 03-20-2009, 09:18 AM
sak9645 sak9645 is offline
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BamaMom07:

Your statement is incorrect. Acquisition of U.S. citizenship by an internationally adopted child does not necessarily sever foreign citizenship ties.

Many foreign countries do revoke a child's citizenship when he/she is adopted by an American family. This is true, for example, with China and South Korea. Children from China and Korea who are adopted by Americans are not dual citizenship, because their citizenship in their birth countries was revoked upon adoption.

However, many other countries do not. Russia, for example, considers an internationally adopted Russian child to be a Russian citizen. The only way that Russian citizenship will be rescinded is for the child to attain the age of 18, go to a Russian Embassy or Consulate in the U.S., and formally renounce it.

According to the U.S. State Department, the U.S. does not have a problem with dual citizenship, as long as an American citizen did not do anything to attain the foreign citizenship. A child who is regarded by a foreign country as a citizen, even after adoption by an American and conferring of citizenship by the U.S., did not do anything to attain the foreign citizenship except for being born overseas, so the foreign citizenship does not jeopardize his/her American citizenship in any way.

However, if an American citizen applied for foreign citizenship, chose to serve in a foreign country's army, or voted in a foreign election, this would be seen by the American government as cause for revocation of his/her American citizenship.

It is my understanding that Colombia considers a child to be a citizen of that country, even after adoption by Americans and attainment of U.S. citizenship. Just as with Russia, if the child ever travels to Colombia, he/she must do so on his/her Colombian passport, even though he/she must re-enter the U.S. on his/her U.S. passport.

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  #7  
Old 03-20-2009, 10:29 AM
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So, to summarize.

Drew will always be considered a Colombian citizen, and MUST enter Colombia on his COLOMBIAN passport. So, if you plan to return to Colombia, he must have a current passport.

Passports can be allowed to expire. Just like here in the US. However, if you do forsee a trip tp COlombia in the future (for another adoption for example), you will need to keep his passport current.

In your case, you can do this by mail. Fill out the application -- available on-line and mail the application, new pictures, old passport and fees to the consulate in San Francisco. My DH got his back in 1 week.

Not all consulates allow you to mail it in but SF does and WE (you and I) live in a state that is part of the SF Consulate's jurisdiction. So, if you don't live in the SF jurisdiciton, you will need to call your local Colombian consulate and find out if they require you to go to the consulate in person to renew your passport.

As a corrollary to this, your child must also serve in the Colombian army if he plans to go back to Colombia. There are ways to get exceptions to this, (for example -- he can serve a two year mission for your church, or join the catholic priesthood or plans to stay out of the country from 18-28 years of age-- you pay a fee of $115 US dollars every other year for 10 years and eventually can get the LIBRETA MILITAR), but these and other exceptions may well change in the next 15 years -- so it would be a good idea to start checking back with the consulate his junior/senior year of high school. Of course, this is only an issue if your son wants to travel, live or work in Colombia as an adult. Something to think about in the future.

Here is more info:
Consulado General De Colombia En Los Angeles - LIBRETA MILITAR
Servicio Militar - Ejercito Nacional de Colombia

Last edited by Sumerce : 03-20-2009 at 10:36 AM.
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  #8  
Old 03-20-2009, 12:07 PM
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OK, I have a quick question.

Why do they MUST enter the country with the Colombian passport?

I have duel citizenship with another country, and I can enter there with either passport. I have to exit with whichever passport I used to enter. So, is there a law in Colombia that mandates this?

Just curious ;-)
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  #9  
Old 03-20-2009, 03:38 PM
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Yes!

The New Constitution (1991) establishes the rules of Dual Nationality in Colombia. It states that all persons born in Colombia will always be Colombian and must identify themselves as such when entering and leaving the country.

Here is some information from: Embajada de Colombia en Japón - De la doble nacionalidad

It says: "Los colombianos con doble nacionalidad deben ingresar, permanecer y salir de Colombia con pasaporte colombiano." On this page you can see the information on the libreata militar being a reqiurement even if you live outside (en el exterior) Colombia. It sates that if you serve in another country's military, that will also count as military service for Colombian purposes.

More on the double nationality:

Bienvenido al Consulado General de Colombia en Houston

"De acuerdo con el articulo 22 de la ley 43 de 1993, “cualquier colombiano que tenga doble nacionalidad debe someterse en el territorio nacional a la Constitución Política y a las leyes de la República. Esto significa que para ingresar al territorio colombiano, mientras permanece en el país, y a la hora de salir de él, deben hacerlo en calidad de colombiano”. Es decir, con cédula de ciudadanía colombiana (cuando lo requiera) y pasaporte colombiano. "

Infomigrante - Recomendaciones para el retorno de doble nacionalidad

On a personal note, after my husband became a US citizen, we travelled to Colombia. When we arrived in Bogota, he showed his US passport. The DAS official saw that on his US passport it states he was born in Colombia. So, he asked for his Colombian passport. My husband said, "I am a US citizen and as such I renounced all allegiance to foreign countries. This is my passport." The DAS agent then said, "There is a flight for Miami in 1 hour, you can either identify yourself as a Colombian or you can be on that flight."

That said, this has been a topic on the Colombian family board before and not everyone met such a tough agent. Some have easily travelled on a US passport. But, within the last 3 years they are cracking down more and more.

Last edited by Sumerce : 03-20-2009 at 03:55 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-20-2009, 07:08 PM
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Oh wow.. that is really interesting!!!
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  #11  
Old 03-20-2009, 11:15 PM
sak9645 sak9645 is offline
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Russia does not allow a child adopted from that country to visit on an American passport with a Russian visa. Families planning to take their adopted child back to Russia for a second adoption or for a birthland visit, who have submitted the whole household's U.S. passports to the Russian Embassy in order to get visas, have had their adopted children's passports returned with a notation that they must use Russian passports.

And under U.S. law, you can't enter the U.S. if you don't have either a U.S. passport or an appropriate U.S. visa in your foreign passport. Since it is very difficult to get a U.S. visa as a foreigner, in most cases, you wouldn't even want to TRY to re-enter the U.S. without your American passport.

Sharon
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  #12  
Old 03-21-2009, 01:40 AM
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Sak,
I did advise to check with the Columbian embassy, because I AM NOT sure of the correct answer. When I said I meant adoption should sever the tie as far as the U.S. government is concerned, I believe that is still(?) true that the U.S. does not recognise dual nationalities. The other countries make their own decisions about recognising dual nationalities. I have a dual nationality myself, and so do several of my children, involving different countries. I Know with one of the countries involved we could travel on either passport to enter or leave that particular country. This fact is of extreme importance to children of divorcing parents from different countries. When our foster children's parental rights are terminated, we have asked that the judge request all passports from birthparents. Our fc are US citizens by birth, but also dual nationals due to parents country of birth. Holding both passports of a dual national child can help in preventing a noncustodial parent from unlawfully taking a child out of the country.
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:12 AM
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The US does not recognize dual citizenship -- this is true. However, there are no consequences for being a dual citizen and no legal mechanism for the govt to do anything about it except under very specific conditions. PLease see the following explanantion in English!

Dual Citizenship - Immigration

LET ME REPEAT:

A CHILD BORN IN COLOMBIA WILL ALWAYS BE A COLOMBIAN CITIZEN -- UNLESS YOU GO THROUGH A LONG, COMPLICATED, AND COSTLY PROCESS OF RENOUNCING YOUR CITIZENSHIP -- which can only be done by the child himself, upon turning age 18.

Therefore, your child is legally obligated to fulfill all of the laws of Colombia. Please refer to the link I included -- it explains the pluses and minuses of dual citizenship.

As the wife of a dual citizen, and the mother of 2 more. I have spent a long time figuring this all out so that we can visit our family in Colombia, own property there and go to school or work there if that ever became necessary.

WHile the way dual citizens are treated in Russia and other countries is interesting -- it is not helpful when discussing the specific needs of children born in Colombia.

Colombian born child are required to obey all Colombian laws if they plan on visiting, living or working in Colombia at any point in the future. This means entering and leaving the country on a COLOMBIAN PASSPORT and fulfilling military service (currently for boys only -- though there has been talk of extending service to girls also) -- or going through the paperwork of becoming exempted. It also means at 18, they must register with the Colombian Consulate and request their own CEDULA de CIUDADADNÍA. There are no consequences if they do not do this --- UNLESS THEY PLAN TO GO TO COLOMBIA at any point in their adult life. So, as long as they have NO INTEREST in their birth country at all, it won't matter --- HOWEVER --- IMOHO it would be really sad to have been raised in such a way as to care so little about their birth country and culture that they would never want to return and see it for themselves at any point in their adult life.

FOR a great explanation -- long and lots of reading:
Center for Immigration Studies

Here is a quote:
A person in the United States may acquire multiple citizenships in any one of five ways. (Aleinikoff, 1998a, 26, 27; see also O'Brien, 1999, 575) He or she may be born in the United States to immigrant parents. All children born in the United States are U.S. citizens regardless of the status of their parents (jus soli). Second, a person may be born outside the United States to one parent who is a U.S. citizen and another who is not (jus sanguinis). A child born to an American citizen and British citizen in the United Kingdom for example, would be a citizen of both countries. Third, a person becomes a naturalized citizen in the United States and that act is ignored by his or her country of origin.3 This is true even if the country of naturalization requires, as the United States does, those naturalizing to "renounce" former citizenship/nationality ties. In the case of the United States, failure to take action consistent with the renunciation carries no penalties, and others countries can, and often do, simply ignore that oath of allegiance. Fourth, a person can become a naturalized citizen of the United States and in doing so lose her citizenship in her country of origin, but can regain it at any time, and still retain her U.S. citizenship.4

Colombia applies to the thrid case.

Last edited by Sumerce : 03-21-2009 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:48 AM
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1. While this conversation was asked specifically about Colombia, There is no harm in comparing how other countries treat internationally adopted children.

2. I know of two internationally adopted children whose parents raised them "well" IMO. Meaning adoption and birth country was talked about freely and openly. Child number one has NO interest in birth country AT ALL. Child number two, has a vague interest and "may" visit in the future, but isn't strongly compelled to do so. Both of these "children" now are in their mid 20's.
This is highly individual and may or may NOT reflect how they were raised.

Last edited by entropy : 03-21-2009 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:15 PM
sak9645 sak9645 is offline
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Below is the U.S. State Department statement on dual citizenship:

Dual Nationality


The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own citizenship laws based on its own policy. Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. citizen parents may be both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the country of birth.

A U.S. citizen may acquire foreign citizenship by marriage, or a person naturalized as a U.S. citizen may not lose the citizenship of the country of birth. U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship or another. Also, a person who is automatically granted another citizenship does not risk losing U.S. citizenship. However, a person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship. In order to lose U.S. citizenship, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship.

Intent can be shown by the person's statements or conduct.The U.S. Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Claims of other countries on dual national U.S. citizens may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist citizens abroad. The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person's allegiance.

However, 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. Most U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. Dual nationals may also 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. citizenship.Most countries permit a person to renounce or otherwise lose citizenship.

Information on losing foreign citizenship can be obtained from the foreign country's embassy and consulates in the United States. Americans can renounce U.S. citizenship in the proper form at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad.


Sharon
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Last edited by sak9645 : 03-21-2009 at 12:19 PM.
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