Translation: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Release, “How Chinese Citizens Should Deal with Nationality Issues” (Apr. 14, 2008)

Chinese-English-TranslationSource: China Web

Due to global integration and the day-by-day increase of Sino-foreign contacts, nationality problems are arising for Chinese citizens living in Mainland China . Some Mainland Chinese citizens qualify under foreign law to apply for or automatically acquire foreign citizenship (even if they have never been abroad) due to a foreign adoption, foreign marriage, or having foreign relatives. But Chinese law and regulations only recognize “automatic forfeiture of Chinese citizenship for Chinese citizens who are both settled abroad and voluntarily naturalize or acquire foreign citizenship.”

So here are some hints for Chinese citizens living in Mainland China to handle nationality issues according to law:

Several Ways Chinese Citizens Living in Mainland China May Acquire Foreign Nationality

1. If a Mainland China child is adopted by foreign citizens in Mainland China, that Mainland China child may obtain foreign citizenship according to the citizenship laws and regulations of that country. After the April 1, 1992, effective date of the PRC Adoption Law, there have been some foreigners who have gone through the procedures to adopt Mainland China children according to the law. Currently, under some countries laws and regulations, if that country’s citizens adopt a Mainland China child in Mainland China, in that case it’s possible for the Mainland China child to apply for or automatically acquire that country’s citizenship. As a result, a Mainland China child who has never been abroad may establish and obtain foreign citizenship due to the foreign adoption.

2. If a Mainland China citizen marries a foreign citizen in Mainland China, then the Mainland China citizen may obtain the foreign citizenship in accordance with that foreign country’s laws and regulations. Beginning with the reform and opening up of China, some Mainland China citizens and foreign citizens have established contact together in various ways and have gone through marriage registration procedures in Mainland China. Currently, under some countries’ laws and regulations, after the marriage of the foreign and Chinese citizens, it’s possible for the Chinese citizen to apply for or automatically acquire foreign citizenship. As a result, a Mainland China citizen who has never been abroad may establish and obtain foreign citizenship due to the foreign marriage.

3. Mainland China citizens who are applying for or obtaining foreign may have minor children with Chinese citizenship who, under the law of the foreign country, acquire the foreign citizenship simultaneously with their parents, even though they live in China. Currently, some countries’ laws and regulations recognize dual citizenship for their citizens, in which case the minor children with Chinese citizenship may obtain that country’s citizenship along with their parents. As a result, a Mainland China citizen who has never been abroad may obtain the same citizenship as his or her parents who are applying for foreign citizenship.

To date, under Chinese laws and regulations, notaries at Chinese consulates are unable to provide a “Certificate of Renunciation of Chinese Citizenship or “Certificate of Not Having Chinese Citizenship.”

Methods and Channels for Chinese Citizens Living in Mainland China to Legally Handle Nationality Issues

According to provisions in articles 3, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, and 16 of the PRC Nationality Law:

The PRC does not recognize Chinese citizens as having dual nationality.

Chinese citizens who are close relatives of foreign citizens may apply and be approved for renunciation of Chinese nationality.

If an application for renunciation of Chinese citizenship is approved, Chinese citizenship is lost at once.

State functionaries and active duty military personnel should not renounce Chinese citizenship.

Applications of Chinese citizens under the age of 18 to renounce citizenship may be filed on their behalf by their parents or other legal representatives.

Citizenship-related applications should be filed with the Mainland China city or county public security bureau. Examination and approval is by the Ministry of Public Security.

As a result, the above-mentioned Chinese citizens living in Mainland China who have never gone abroad (referred to as “parties” below) may refer to the below methods and channels for handling nationality issues:

Parties (besides State functionaries and active duty military personnel) who voluntarily obtain foreign citizenship should apply for renunciation of Chinese citizenship to the public security bureau at the Mainland China city or county where their household registration booklet is registered. Then the Ministry of Public Security will examine and approve the application. Parties under age 18 may be represented by their parents or another legal guardian in carrying out the procedures to apply to renounce Chinese citizenship. Upon approval of a party’s application to renounce Chinese citizenship, when the PRC Ministry of Public Security issues a certificate, Chinese citizenship is lost.

A party may use the “Certificate of Renunciation of Chinese Nationality” and other materials to apply for a passport or other national identity document at the diplomatic or consular agency of the foreign country, according to its law and regulations.

The party will be considered an overseas Chinese staying abroad, and if necessary may to a notary at a Chinese consulate for a “Certificate of Not Having Chinese Citizenship.”

(Author: Consular Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

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