My parents were born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and they left the country because of the “Khmer Rouge” genocide.

We are now living in France but they would like to go back in Cambodia and settle there. How can they get proof of their Cambodian citizenship?

  • I would like to give you a precision. My parent got an a political asylum in France because of the "Khmer Rouge" genocide but they don't have the ID paper that confirming their Cambodian citizenship.
    – eQuity
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 7:55
  • It could make things difficult, to the point that it could be impossible to prove that they are indeed citizens (are birth registers from that time still available in Cambodia?) but does not necessarily change their status under the law.
    – Gala
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 16:47
  • Birth registers existed from that time in Cambodia. But during the genocide, administrative documents were destroyed.
    – eQuity
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 12:51
  • That's what I was afraid of. I know that in some countries it's possible to get a ruling by a judge to replace a birth certificate but I am really unsure what you can do in practice in Cambodia.
    – Gala
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 13:36

4 Answers 4


According to the law of nationality (another reference) you should be recognized as having Cambodian/Khmer citizenship by the government of Cambodia.

Article 4:

  1. Shall obtain khmer nationality/citizenship regardless of the place of birth for:

    • any legitimate child who is born from a parent ( a mother or father) who has khmer nationality/ citizenship , or
    • any illegitimate child who is born from and recognized by a parent (a mother or father) who has khmer nationality, or
    • any child who is not recognized by the mother and father (parents), when upon the court passed a judgment stating that such child was really born from a parent ( a mother or father) who has khmer nationality/citizenship, or
  2. shall obtain khmer nationality/citizenship, by having been born in the Kingdom of Cambodia:

    a. any child who is born from a foreign mother and father (parents) who were born and living legally in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

    b. any child who is born from an unknown mother or father ( a parent) and a newly born child who is found in the Kingdom of Cambodia, shall also be considered as having been born in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

The procedure for claiming the citizenship I have not been able to find as of yet but the Embassy of Cambodia should be able to provide information on the exact method of confirming your citizenship.


While I do not have the slightest idea about how to go about this, I would suggest a visit to the Cambodian embassy in France would be a good starting place. And also research on the internet, especially in Cambodian-related forums.

According to this page, children born overseas to Cambodian parents are entitled to Cambodian citizenship, but are required to renounce any other citizenships they may hold. (Note: Such requirements are usually not enforceable.)

  • Actually dual citizenship not being recognized is false: FAQ
    – Karlson
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 3:07
  • I didn't say it wasn't recognised, I just meant that when applying, they expect you to renounce other citizenships. This is surprisingly common (in Thailand and Singapore they do the same, for example), but usually unenforceable.
    – Scott Earle
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 3:24
  • You didn't but the page you referenced did.
    – Karlson
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 3:27

The Cambodian embassy in France has a copy of the law and should be able to assist further.

It seems both you and your parents are Khmer citizens so the only practical requirement to move to Cambodia would presumably be to obtain a passport. According to the embassy, the main thing you need for that are birth certificates. Hopefully it's not too complicated for your parents to get them.


My mother and father had an arranged marriage. My father is caucasian and my mother is Khmer. I was born in the States, but my mother was able to obtain Khmer citizenship for my siblings and I at the airport in Phnom Penh. All she did was tell the the people in charge of visas that we were her children and gave them a little extra $$ to give us citizenship. Unfortunately, it only lasts as long as the passport. So once your passport ends, the citizenship ends.

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