Can a baby born in Malaysia keep 2 passports/citizenships?

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asked on Aug 6, 2009 at 14:37
edited on Oct 17, 2016 at 08:52
I am a Canadian & my husband a Malaysian. We just had a baby in Malaysia.

1) I was wondering can the baby keep dual citizenships until 18?

2) I would like her to have a Malaysian passport but Canada requires a Visa for Malaysian passports entering into Canada. The Embassy here says that since the mom is a Canadian, the baby will not be granted Visa to Canada & will have to have a Canadian passport to travel to Canada. If I use her Canadian passport to travel, when we come back to Malaysia she will need to get a visa to stay on in Malaysia right?

3) Should/Can we make 2 passports for her-Malaysian & Canadian.

We are very confused. How can we simplify things?
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answered on Aug 10, 2012 at 10:33
To travel, we go through a second or intermediary country.  For example our kid has both a USA and Malaysian passport, and when we leave Malaysia to go the the USA, we buy a ticket from Malaysia to Singapore and then a separate ticket from Singapore to the USA.  We leave Malaysia using the MAlaysian passport, but when in Singapore and checking in for the USA flight, we use the USA passport.  On the return, we use the USA passport to leave the USA and enter Singapore.  But from Singapore to Malaysia, we use the Malaysian passport.  It looks like we only went to Singapore in the Malaysian Passport.
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answered on Aug 10, 2012 at 21:30
I presume you notified/registered your child's birth to/at the Canadian Embassy in Malaysia. I would get a Malaysian passport for the baby ASAP as the father is a Malaysian.  I would use the registration papers etc to argue the case for the child being accepted into Canada or why not get the Child a Canadian passport at the Canadian embassy.
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answered on Aug 11, 2012 at 04:33
Hi Mom28,

Regarding question 1), my assumption is yes and until the age of 21. Article 23 of the Malaysian Federal Constitution states that a Malaysian 21 years of age or older may renounce his citizenship if he is a citizen (or is about to become a citizen) of another country.

However, Article 24 also states that a Malaysian who voluntarily claims and exercises in any country, being rights accorded exclusively to its citizens may be deprived of Malaysian citizenship. The constitution specifically names the act of using a passport issued by a foreign authority as voluntarily claiming and exercising such a right. There is no age restriction mentioned in Article 24, therefore I am not sure if this would apply in your situation.

In summary, my guess is the Malaysian government is okay with Malaysians holding dual nationality until the age of 21 as long as they do not exercise the rights of their other citizenship.

Most Malaysian dual nationals will do what 'In The Know....' suggested in order to evade possible detection of dual citizenship by Malaysian authorities.

Now regarding travel to Canada, the easiest would of course be to have a Canadian passport. However, there may be workarounds:

1) You may be able to obtain an F-1/Facilitation visa to be placed in your child's Malaysian passport. Note that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will only issue these visas when a Canadian passport cannot be issued in a sufficiently timely fashion and where the travel is urgent. These visas are also valid for a single-entry only. Chances of them granting your child such a visa every time she needs to re-enter Canada on her Malaysian passport is low but this might work the first time. (See section 20 of OP 11 -

2) You could travel to the United States by air and then return to Canada by land. Canadian children under the age of 15 do not require a Canadian passport to re-enter Canada by land from the United States. Proof of Canadian citizenship (I am assuming your child has a Certificate of Registration of Canadian Birth Abroad) is sufficient to be re-admitted to Canada. See

If you could drive from the US into Canada, that would be preferable. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) have a specific list of approved identification and travel documents that commercial carriers may accept. I am not sure if the above applies for travel on a commercial carrier.

Hope this helps.
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answered on Jun 22, 2013 at 03:43
edited Oct 17, 2016 at 08:56
I am a Malaysian and my husband is French, my baby was born in Penang and he is holding a Malaysian passport and French passport. We were leaving Penang in 2011 when my baby was 3 months old, and went to France for half year and currently stay in Abu Dhabi.

My question here is when we were leaving, I use my son's Malaysian passport to leave, and using his French passport to enter France and Abu Dhabi, and the visa from Abu Dhabi is also attached in his French passport.  I am planning to bring my son back to Penang for a holiday soon, and I don't know which passport should I use for him to enter KL/Penang, I read through some threads saying that I should enter Penang via 3rd country, but it is too late for me to do so as my ticket already bought (AD-KL-Pg). 

If I use his French passport to enter KL/Pg, it means that in his Malaysian's passport, he is still abroad, is there any issue for someone abroad for so many years without any stamp and affect him to renew his passport later?  If I use his Malaysian passport to enter, I worry the immigration will question why there is no stamp in his passport at all, and the worst is if they look at my passport they will see a visa issued from Abu Dhabi.  Which option is better?

In worst case, I will use his French passport to enter Malaysia in this trip, and I will bring him back to Penang again next year via 3rd country, does the steps below correct?

Exit AD - using French passport
Enter SG - using French passport
Exit SG - using Malaysian passport
Enter Penang - using Malaysian passport

Exit Penang - using Malaysian passport
Enter SG - using Malaysian passport
Exit SG - using French passport
Enter AD - using French passport

By doing so, do you think that the immigration will question me why there is no stamp from any country when he left in 2011? Because by logically, he should enter to somewhere in 2011 and a stamp and visa should appear in his passport.  Or the immigration staff in Penang will not check so detail on every exit/entry?
Besides this, I do worry that they will check my passport vs his Malaysian passport as well, cause there is an AD visa in my passport

Last, I do read something from other websites that a baby allow to hold dual citizenship until they are 21 years old, is that true?  If this is true, then I can show his both passport when entering KL/PG, right?

Seek help urgently as I really don't want him to loss his Malaysian's citizenship!
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answered on Feb 18, 2014 at 06:03
edited Oct 17, 2016 at 08:58
Hi chouchou,

I am thinking of the same issues like yours, which might happen to my daughter. The only different thing is, she was born in Taiwan and currently a Taiwanese citizen. At present, she is 4 months old. I am planning to apply for the Malaysian citizenship certificate for her but it will take about 1 year or so to get the approval and then issuance of the certificate. But I also plan to bring her back to Malaysia for holiday this May that means she will enter Malaysia using Taiwanese passport. I have checked with the Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (JPN) and was told the fact that my daughter entering Malaysia using a foreign passport will not affect her requirement to apply for citizenship. I was also told she can hold dual citizenship until age of 21. But I am very concerned and confused about which passport to use when we go in and out of Malaysia in future(assuming the application has got approved and she can have a Malaysian passport).

Do you finally have an answer to your problem? Kindly share?

Thanks a lot!
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answered on Feb 19, 2014 at 12:02

Did you apply for Malaysian Birth Certificate for children born overseas at Malaysian Embassy/High Commission in Taiwan?

To qualify, the following must be met :

i.          The FATHER MUST BE A MALAYSIAN CITIZEN at the time of birth of the child.  If the father of a child born overseas is not a Malaysian citizen, the child cannot be registered at the Consulate General under Article 14(1) (b), Section 1 (C) Part 2, Second Schedule of the Malaysian Constitution.

ii.          The child MUST BE REGISTERED within one (1) year of his/her birth. Failure to register thereof  is considered a late registration.  Late registration has to be referred to the National Registration Department, Malaysia for approval. The result of the application (approved or otherwise) will be notified to the applicant in due time.

iii.         Children born in Malaysia can be a Malaysian if either parents (father or mother) is a citizen of Malaysia.


The Malaysia Embassy/HC will issue you a Form(Borang) W Birth Certificate and then you apply for Malaysian PP for your child through the embassy/HC or obtain a Malaysian travel document to travel and then apply for your child Malaysian PP while in Malaysia as this is more faster. Ask Malaysian embassy staff in Taiwan for more details/clarifications.

Hope the above helps.
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answered on Aug 9, 2016 at 23:56
edited Jan 28, 2019 at 17:33
My baby is born in US. She has a US passport. I also want to apply for a Malaysia passport for her. 

Is it better to apply the passport through the Malaysia Embassy in the US, or apply it when we are back in Malaysia? If we apply in Malaysia, she will enter Malaysia using US passport. Not sure if this will pose a problem.
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answered on Aug 10, 2016 at 04:12
edited Jan 28, 2019 at 17:35

Please post more details. How old is your baby? And either of you, two spouses are Malaysian Citizens or not?

Maybe someone who has been in same your situation can share some info.
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answered on Sep 27, 2016 at 13:34
edited Jan 28, 2019 at 17:38

My boy is born in Australia and holds the Australian Passport. I applied for Form (Borang) W Birth Certificate in Putrajaya and currently is still waiting for approval (waited 6 months, since March 2016). I intend to get the Malaysian Passport for him after that. My concerns are:-

1) Is there any possibility that my son's application be rejected? (Both my wife & I are Malaysian. We provided all required info/docs to JPN Putrajaya)

1) Am I required to surrender his Australian Passport to Malaysia Government when I apply for his Malaysian Passport?

2) Should I apply for his Malaysia Passport in the Malaysian Embassy in Melbourne or in Malaysia? (Apparently it would only take 3 working days to get the Borang W if I were to apply for it in the Malaysian Embassy in Melbourne.)
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answered on Jan 23, 2019 at 11:10
edited Jan 28, 2019 at 17:39
I have the same question like everyone here; 

1. My daughter was born in Malaysia (2016), but we never apply Malaysia Passport for her. I know its my fault but is that okay for us to apply it now. We are living in US now and thinking about visiting Malaysia soon. By the way, I'm Malaysian and my husband is from US.

2. My son born in US and he will turn 1 this February. Is it too late if I want to apply the Malaysian birth certificate for him?
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