Emitter orientation effects in AlGaAs/GaAs heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs) in which DC current gain was greater for the [0 1 1] emitter orientation compared to the [0 1 1̄] orientation were previously attributed to the piezoelectric effect, however no effects of dielectric overlayers were examined. In this work, we establish that for InGaP/GaAs HBTs, dielectric passivation effects can be as important as the piezoelectric effect. Non-self-aligned InGaP/GaAs HBTs with ECR SiON dielectric deposited at 25 °C exhibited greater stress and showed less current gain difference and lower base current ideality factors for these orientations than identical HBTs that were passivated with plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) SiN dielectric. Non-self-aligned HBTs with ECR SiON passivation also showed slightly better rf performance for the [0 1 1] orientation with ft of 48 GHz compared to ft of 44 GHz for the [0 1 1̄] orientation. These differences in dielectrics are attributed to higher dielectric-induced damage in emitter-base space-charge region for the PECVD SiN film.