Applying for a PRC Exit and Entry Permit for a Child with Dual Nationality

出入境通行证 (Exit and Entry Permit)

This article explains how parents can apply for an Exit and Entry Permit (出入境通行证 churujing tongxingzheng) on behalf of a dual nationality child. Our law firm can assist with the application and advise about other available options.


Certain children may automatically acquire Chinese citizenship at birth (in China or abroad) if one or both parents are Chinese. See Who Automatically Acquires Chinese Citizenship at Birth?

At the same time, the child may automatically acquire or qualify to apply for foreign citizenship. For example, a child born in the U.S. is normally a citizen. And a child born outside the U.S. to one citizen parent and one noncitizen parent automatically acquires citizenship at birth if the parents are married and the citizen parent was previously physically present in the U.S. for periods totaling not less than 5 years, at least 2 of which were after age 14. INA § 301(g). See Guide to Aquisition of U.S. Citizenship by Birth Abroad.

However, under China’s Nationality Law, article 4, the PRC government doesn’t recognize the dual nationality of Chinese citizens. As a result, where the child is a PRC citizen but holds a foreign passport, the Chinese government may not be willing to issue a PRC passport to the child or place a Chinese visa in the child’s foreign passport on the ground that such benefits would amount to a nationality conflict (国籍冲突). In other words, granting such benefits would be tantamount to recognizing dual nationality.

Exit and Entry Permit

The public security bureau (PSB) exit and entry administration may, however, be willing to issue the child an Exit and Entry Permit, which is valid for one departure and one readmission to China within 3 months of issuance. PSB processing time is typically about 5 work days. The application fee is 20 RMB.

Annotation at the top of the page: “Limited to one-time exit and entry use by the holder.”

I’ve heard parents inaccurately refer to the Exit and Entry Permit as an “exit visa” for their baby. But remember that this is not a visa granted to a foreign national. Instead, it’s a travel document (not unlike a passport) granted to a PRC citizen whom the Chinese government has deemed unqualified for a passport.  The inside cover states, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China requests all civil and military authorities of foreign countries to allow the bearer of this permit to pass freely and afford assistance in case of need.” Still, as a practical matter, the only authorities who will need to review this document are the Ministry of Public Security’s border control troops at the airport, sea port, or land border when the child seeks to exit and reenter China.

Here’s what the Ministry of Public Security’s Working Rules for Managing Issuance of Exit and Entry Permits (2007), art. 16, say:

If it is inappropriate to issue a regular passport due to the applicant’s nationality conflict, the exit-entry administration of the public security bureau set up in the district of residence may examine, approve, manufacture, and issue an Exit and Entry Permit valid for one exit and entry during 3 months. The exit-entry administration of the public security bureau in the district of domicile should require the applicant to submit a foreign passport, one recent photograph with no hat, and a completed application form. Also, the individual’s identity should be checked in the public security bureau’s “nationwide legal database of persons not permitted to leave China” and “nationwide state personnel database.” Execution of procedures for examining, approving, issuing, manufacturing, and not issuing Exit and Entry Permits, etc., should be done in consultation with and consistent with the pertinent regulations of the exit-entry administration for the frontier area of the public security bureau.


Note that in some cities (but not others) the exit-entry administration may require, as a condition of issuance of the Exit and Entry Permit, that the child’s household registration be cancelled by the police station (派出所 paichusuo) where registered. The National Immigration Administration has stated that this is not a national policy. Hukou cancellation does not amount to renunciation of PRC citizenship. The child remains a PRC citizen but no longer will have access to benefits that depend on a hukou (e.g., treatment as a local for purposes of attending public schools and medical insurance).

Also note that since the above Working Rules require the application to be filed with the child’s place of residence (居住地), the PSB may require evidence of that residence, such as the PRC citizen parent’s local hukou (户口) or residence permit (居住证). See State Council, Interim Regulation on Residence Permits (居住证暂行条例), Order No. 663 of the State Council, issued Nov. 26, 2015, effective Jan. 1, 2016 (“A citizen who leaves his or her place of permanent residence, resides in another city for more than half a year, and satisfies one of the conditions of having a legal and stable job, having a legal and stable residence, continuously attending school may …. apply for a residence permit.”).

The PSB exit and entry administration’s procedures for issuance of an Exit and Entry Permit differ slightly depending on the locality:

本须知仅供申请人参考,不可复印 This notice is only supplied for applicants’ reference and must not be photocopied.
具体所需材料视申请人实际情况而定 The documents needed will depend on the applicant’s actual situation.
出入通行证办理指南 Guide to Applying for an Exit and Entry Permit
1. 填写出入境通行证申请表一份(咨询台领取) 1. Fill in one copy of the Exit and Entry Permit Application Form (available at the information counter)
2. 二寸近期彩色照片两张(一楼照相馆照、带条码) 2. Two recent 2-inch color photographs with bar code (taken at the first floor photography studio)
3. 提交最近一次出入境通行证或旅行证复印件(首次申请无需提供) 3. Copy of most recent Exit and Entry Permit or Travel Permit (not required for first-time applicants)
4. 儿童外籍护照资料页原件及复印件 4. Child’s foreign passport ID page (original and copy)
5. 出生证明原件及复印件,如为外文需由翻择社翻译成中文5. Birth certificate (original and copy) (including a Chinese translation by a translation agency, if in a foreign language)
6. 外方家长有效护照原件及复印件(复印资料页、签证页) 6. Foreign parent’s valid passport (original and copy of the ID page and visa page)
7. 中方家长身份证、户口本原件及复印件(限沈阳户口) 7. Chinese parent’s national ID card and household registration booklet (original and copy) (Shenyang household registration booklet only)
8. 每次需儿童本人到场采集现场照片,监护人如不能到场需提供代办人身份证及委托书 8. Each time the child must come in person to be photographed on the spot. The guardian must either come in person or be represented by an agent with a national ID and power of attorney
9. 公安机关认为有必要的其他材料9. Other documents the public security agency believes are necessary

Book the child’s flight with the foreign passport, then upon checking in to the flight departing China, show that passport. When passing through border control, show the exit and entry permit as evidence the child has a right to leave, and show the foreign passport (with a visa if needed) as evidence the child has a right to enter the country of destination. When reentering China, show border control the exit and entry permit as evidence the child is a PRC citizen with a right to enter China.

Other Options to Consider

Depart and Reenter China with a PRC Passport: If the child is a PRC citizen, you should be able to obtain a PRC household registration booklet (户口 hukou) and PRC passport, prior to obtaining a foreign passport. To exit China, a PRC citizen is required to show the PRC passport (or other PRC travel document). See Exit-Entry Administration Law (EEAL), art. 11. The PRC passport would need to have a visa valid for the destination country unless no visa is required. EEAL, art. 9.

The problem that arises is that some countries, such as the United Kongdom and United States, will not issue visas to their own citizens:

  • United Kingdom: According to the UK government, a person “may not obtain a visa for the UK in a Chinese passport if you also hold a British passport.” So if the child already holds a British passport, you may need to either relinquish it to apply for a UK visa in the child’s PRC passport or travel to the UK through a third country.
  • United States: The U.S. will not normally issue visas to its own citizens (9 FAM 40.2 N1) and requires citizens to enter with a U.S. passport (7 FAM 085), with limited exceptions. One limited exception is that the U.S may issue a “pro forma” visa in the PRC passport where the U.S. consulate believes it is required to facilitate a citizen’s departure from China.

So, in those cases, a dual national child may need to travel to the United Kingdom or United States via a third country or region.

One option may be travel through Hong Kong or Macao. The PRC citizen child may be able to obtain a Hong Kong and Macao travel permit (往来港澳通行证). The child could leave the Mainland with that permit, then leave Hong Kong or Macao with the foreign passport. This would appear to comply with Chinese law because the Exit and Entry Administration Law does not apply in Hong Kong (HK Basic Law, Annex III) and Hong Kong doesn’t have a parallel requirement that PRC citizens exit with a PRC passport.

Similarly, upon returning to China, a PRC citizen is required to present the PRC passport (or other PRC travel document). EEAL, art. 11.

Travel Permit (旅行证): If abroad, the child  may apply for a Travel Permit (旅行证 lvxingzheng) at a PRC consulate, valid for multiple entries to China over a 2-year period. Like the Exit and Entry Permit, the Travel Permit may be issued to a PRC citizen ineligible for a PRC passport due to a so-called nationality conflict.

Renounce PRC Citizenship: The child may apply to renounce the PRC citizenship and then obtain a PRC visa in the foreign passport.

Questions or comments?

105 responses to “Applying for a PRC Exit and Entry Permit for a Child with Dual Nationality”

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  2. Phillip Sexton Avatar
    Phillip Sexton

    OK so the Exit and Entry Permit lets the child leave China and enter back in. But upon arrival at the forgein nation (U.S., U.K., H.K., Thailand, Philippenes, etc.), what documents do they need to allow them into their country?

    My current example:
    My child is now 2 weeks old, we have already applied for everything from the U.S. We will recieve his passport in a week. My wife states that her hometown does not require my child’s passport to process the Exit and Entry Permit. We plan to get tickets from China to the U.S. and plan to use the permit to exit China, and use his U.S. passport to enter through the U.S. port of entry. Upon returnning we plan to use his U.S. passport again at the U.S. port of entry, and the permit upon return to China.

    Would this be acceptable?

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar


      Yes, the PRC Exit and Entry Permit is typically not going to be helpful to enter another country. Instead, the child’s foreign passport will be used, and if the child’s is not a national of the country he or she seeks to enter, then a visa may be required in the passport.

  3. David Sujudi Avatar
    David Sujudi

    Hi Gary,

    My situation is similar to Phillip’s, except that my child has a Chinese Travel Document (obtained through a Chinese Consulate in the US) instead of an Exit and Entry Permit. And he also holds a US passport.

    Would my son be able to use the Travel Document to exit China and use the US passport upon entry to the US, and then, upon return, use the Travel Document to re-enter China?


  4. sam Avatar

    Hi Gary

    Your site is very helpfull!

    last time i applied for an entry/exit permit for my son in Shanghai it was valid for only 1 exit, so we had to then apply for an travel document in London to get back into Shanghai. this document has now run out. to avoid the need to get a travel document in London again (takes a while and 2 trips to the embassy) is it possible to get an exit and entry permit valid for 1 exit and 1 return? Do i just need to ask for this when i apply?

    thanks for any help you can supply

  5. Jon Patches Avatar
    Jon Patches

    Hi Gary,

    My son has left China previously on his Chinese passport and returned without any trouble. He has an American passport, but has never used it. Word here in Kunming is that the Exit/Entry Administration will not issue an exit permit on an American passport of a Chinese citizen.

    My question is, will Hongkong accept my son’s blank U.S. passport? My wife and I plan to have our son exit China on his Chinese passport, but then switch to his American passport to enter Hongkong.

    Thanks for your help!

  6. Fiona Durkin Avatar
    Fiona Durkin

    Hi Gary,

    I am a U.S. citizen and my husband is a Chinese citizen. Our son was born in China. He only has a U.S. passport. We plan on visiting America in August and we are trying to plan when to apply for our son’s Exit and Entry permit. Do you know how long it takes to get the Exit and Entry Permit? Also does the three months start counting down the moment you get the permit or the moment you leave the country?

    Thank you for you help

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Fiona: As mentioned in the above article, processing takes about 5 business days. The permit’s expiration date will be shown on the face of the permit–it expires 3 months after issuance.

  7. Sven Avatar

    Dear Gary,

    Your article was very helpful to successfully get the exit and entry permit for my son, though one question still remains.

    Which name (Chinese/Western) and which number (exit and entry permit/passport) do I need to use to book his flight ticket?


    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Use the passport number and name. That name should also appear in the Exit and Entry Permit, along with the name in Chinese characters.

  8. Erika T. Borj Avatar
    Erika T. Borj

    Hi Gary,

    I’m so glad to chance upon your website. I really need some advise from you. My story is a little lengthy so bear with me please…

    I am a US citizen and was working in Beijng from 2009-2012. During this time I got married to a Chinese national. When I was due to delivery our baby, I returned to the states to give birth and my son got his US passport there. We applied for a Chinese visa for him and returned to Beijing without a hitch. My company’s HR dept in Beijing applied to convert his temporary visa to a dependent visa under my work visa. However, when we submitted his documents, the Beijing authorities found out that his dad is Chinese without permanent residency overseas and rejected our application. That was when we learnt that our son is considered a Chinese national and hence did not require a visa to stay in China. When we eventually had to leave China, we went through the process of obtaining the exit permit and left with no problem. Now two years after leaving China, we are heading back for a 3-week visit. I don’t know if it is OK for my son to visit China on his US passport again, or if they will refuse entry on the grounds that his US passport isn’t recognized. We had submitted a copy of his US passport as required when we applied for the entry/exit permit back then, so I am worried that they will link it to his Chinese citizenship. If we managed to get a China visa on his US passport, does it mean that he is most likely to be allowed entry as a foreigner, or do you think we are better off applying for a Chinese permit for him?

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Assuming that the child is a PRC citizen, then the child is not technically eligible for a visa but can apply for a PRC travel permit (旅行证) in person at the PRC embassy or consulate nearest the child’s place of residence.

      If in the future you wish for the PRC government to recognize the child as a foreign national, then–at a time convenient for you–you can apply at the nearest PRC embassy or consulate to renounce the child’s PRC citizenship.

  9. Didier GUY Avatar
    Didier GUY

    Hi Mr.Chodorow,

    Although I am not US citizen (I am French), I am currently going through the same hassle.
    I am living in Beijing, where my daughter was born (she’s not even one month old), and her mother is Chinese.
    My daughter already has her French passport, but nothing at all has been done yet about declaring her to Chinese authorities.
    We are in the process of applying for an Exit&Entry permit for the daughter, to settle down in another country.
    According to what I read, the permit is valid for one reentry within 3 month.
    – what happens if we need to re-enter China after 3 months?
    – if we re-enter within 3 months, but still live abroad, do we have to go through another application for Exit&Entry permit while in China, and is it even possible without being registered as living in China?

    Thanks in advance,
    Best regards,

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Hi Didier,

      You’re correct: as mentioned abovre, the Exit and Entry Permit is valid for 1 departure and 1 return to China over a period of 3 months. For your child to qualify, there’s no requirement that the parents reside in China.

      If your child departs China with the Exit and Entry Permit then remains abroad for more than 3 months, then see the above information about applying for a Travel Permit (旅行证). This application is made at a PRC consulate. The Travel Permit is valid for multiple entries to China over a 2-year period. Like the Exit and Entry Permit, the Travel Permit may be issued to a PRC citizen ineligible for a PRC passport due to a so-called nationality conflict.

  10. […] Obtaining a Travel Permit or an Exit-Entry Permit Can Be a Hassle: It can take more than a month to obtain from the Public Security Bureau an “entry-exit permit” for a child to leave China, complicating travel planning, mentions the Times. Also, for a child who is abroad, distant travel to apply in person for a “travel permit” at PRC Consulate can be a hassle. The Times recounts an incident where a 10-month-old child had to travel “10 hours through Siberia in winter to reach the nearest Chinese Consulate, in Irkutsk.” For more, see For more, see Applying for a PRC Exit and Entry Permit for a Child with Dual Nationality. […]

  11. Jon Holand Avatar
    Jon Holand

    Thanks for the great information. How can I be 100% sure this is the right strategy for me?

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Jon: This is general information. The information contained here should not be construed as legal advice. Do not act or rely on this information without seeking legal advice from our firm or another qualified lawyer who learns your goals, investigates the specific facts of your case, researches how the law may apply to those facts, and then gives advice taking all that into account.

  12. Jon Holand Avatar
    Jon Holand

    Follow-up question: my wife is from Chongqing and is not a long-term resident in Shanghai (does not have a hukou here). Does she or all of us (including baby) need to go to Chongqing to get this booklet for the baby? Would this be necessary every time we leave the country or is it an easier way to do this in the future?

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Jon: I’ve linked to the Shanghai application procedures above. They say that the PRC citizen parent must have a Shanghai hukou, but the Working Rules say that it’s enough that the application is filed in the place of domicile (居住地), which would be satisfied if your wife has a Shanghai residence permit (居住证). So some legal advocacy may convince Shanghai authorities to accept the case if your wife has a Shanghai residence permit. If not, then the application will need to be filed in Chongqing. You or your lawyer should check the local rules in Chongqing about who needs to appear in person.

  13. Mike Avatar

    Hi Gary

    Our daughter’s birth certificate lists her name in English, so when we obtained an exit-entry permit for her, the PRC government asked us to provide a Chinese name. Now, will my daughter have trouble leaving China by air? The Chinese name in her passport doesn’t match the English name in her passport.

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Mike: You can buy a plane ticket in a name matching the foreign passport. PRC immigration will still allow your daughter to exit and re-enter by showing the passport and exit-entry permit.

  14. Geoff Avatar

    Great info on the web site! Got a question on the Travel Document for my baby. My wife is a Chinese National, Shanghai Houkou. Baby is not on the hukou, born in Shanghai. Shanghai PSB told my wife that getting one at a Chinese Consulate in the USA is tantamount to renunciation of Chinese Citizenship.

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Geoff: No, applying for a travel document (旅行证) does not automatically renounce PRC citizenship, nor is it tantamount to (i.e., the virtual equivalent of) renunciation.

  15. Thomas jones Avatar
    Thomas jones

    My child already has a PRC passport and will soon (hopefully) receive a UK I passport. Can he exit PRC just using his PRC passport and then use his new, as yet unused UK passport to enter UK with no other documents required?

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Thomas: The problem with this strategy is that when departing China through the airport a person must prove (a) they were here legally and (b) they can legally enter the country of their destination. Showing the PRC passport satisfies (a) but not (b) if the flight is to a country that requires a visa. For more, see the section above about “depart and reenter China with a PRC passport.”

      1. Eric Avatar

        It’s amazing website! Gary thank you for your great help. We live in China and my kids has both PRC and foreign passports. We always travel via 3rd country, because I’m afraid of what would might happen on airport if we decide to fly directly. I found some people on internet claiming that they fly directly showing PRC passport on departure in China while on arrival to their destanation the’re using foreign passport to enter. Our destination require visa in Chinese passport so questions from airline and immigration are inevitable. How risky is direct flight strategy? Is that a case of luck and immigration officer mood as well as current poliytical climat? Losing Huhou in case of any troubles would cause massive inconiniece with our school arangement.

        1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

          Eric: What’s your children’s nationality? When departing China to fly directly to your country, what evidence would they show China exit-entry officials to demonstrate their ability to enter the children’s country of nationality?

          1. Eric Avatar

            Thank you for your reply. They also hold European passport. In other countries it was fine to show second passport to exit-entry officials however here we’re worrying that it might end with consequences.

            1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

              Eric: Here’s my concern. PSB emigration officials in the airport want to see that your children are authorized to enter a country before the officials will let them board a plane to that country. Your children’s only evidence of their right to enter the EU is their EU passports. But if you show that, the official may perceive a “nationality” conflict in allowing your children to hold a PRC passport and a foreign passport simultaneously. That’s the same “nationality conflict” that prevents PSB from issuing a PRC passport to a PRC citizen they know holds a foreign passport. In this event, the PRC passports may be cancelled.

              1. Eric Avatar

                Gary: once again I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your reply. I found your website today and your response helps me to firmly continue the effort of travel via 3rd country. The risk is too high, even if showing both passports to PSB emigration officials in the airport worked for other people, we have no guarantee that we won’t get it trouble. I’m already a subscriber and a follower of

  16. Alberto Avatar


    I’m Italian citizen living in Qingdao, but I am applying for an exit and entry permit for my son in Haerbin, where my wife’s hukou is registered. Is there any problem flying out of the airport in Qingdao since the permit is issued in another city?

  17. Sylvain Avatar

    Dear Gary,

    Thank you very much for this summary that makes things much clearer!

    I’m a French citizen living in Beijing, where my daughter was born this year. Her mother is Chinese, with a Beijing hukou.

    If we want a hukou for our daughter, would it make sense to apply for an entry/exit permit first, get a travel document abroad and then apply for her hukou once back in China?

    I know a binational couple who did it this way – the lonely difference was that their child was born abroad.

    Thanks in advance for your insights



    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      No. PRC exit and entry permits are issued to PRC citizens who are ineligible for PRC passports due to a nationality conflict (国籍冲突). So getting an exit and entry permit will not help your child qualify for a PRC passport.

  18. Karim Taleb Avatar
    Karim Taleb


    My wife is Chinese, and she will deliver our child in China this month. My question is, can our son use my family name on his Chinese passport or he must he follow his mother’s name?

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Karim: The child can use the mother or father’s surname (or both). If your aim is to get a hukou and PRC passport for the child, then on the birth certificate the entire name must be written in Chinese characters. No roman letters are allowed.

      1. GM Avatar

        Personal experience: I (a foreigner) am in China, married (in China) to a Chinese national, and we had a child recently born in Hebei. We have BOTH the child’s names listed on the birth certificate. Actually, there are two lines in the name slot for the child’s name (when they enter the data into the computer form): the top line can accept English characters (for an English name or pinyin name) and the lower line is for the child’s name in Chinese characters. As long as the child’s name is listed in Chinese characters (and the child otherwise qualifies), he or she can get on the hukou, and then apply for a Chinese PP (in the Chinese character name).

        In contrast, The Chinese PP lists the baby’s name in Chinese characters AND pinyin. So, that is the official link for the baby’s name in Chinese characters and pinyin, whereas the birth certificate (if filled out correctly when applying) can list BOTH the English name (top line of the name slot) and Chinese name (on the lower line of the name slot). Both lines appear in the allotted name slot on the printed official birth certificate for the baby).

        FYI: On the birth certificate, the Chinese parent can only list his or her name in Chinese characters. Only the baby’s name has the dual-line capability.

  19. Malcolm Avatar

    I’ve just completed the process of getting a Exit/Entry Permit for my son in Zhaoqing, Guangdong (fairly painless), but I’m a little unclear on the process of actually using it. I noticed above that you said book the flight ticket using the foreign passport. Who do I need to show the Exit/Entry Permit to? The check-in agent at the airport, or is it just the Chinese immigration officer? Do I also need to show him the foreign passport as well? Can you please clarify this a little for me?

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Book the child’s flight with the foreign passport, then upon checking in to the flight departing China, show that passport. When passing through border control, show the exit and entry permit as evidence the child has a right to leave, and show the foreign passport (with a visa if needed) as evidence the child has a right to enter the country of destination. When reentering China, show border control the exit and entry permit as evidence the child is a PRC citizen with a right to enter China.

  20. […] we had to apply for Australian citizenship, then get her Aussie passport, then use that passport to apply for an entry-exit document from the Chinese government to allow her to exit and enter China as a Chinese […]

  21. Navin Avatar

    Hi Gary, thank you for your informative article. My son was born in China 10 months ago, and we live in Guangzhou. Upon his birth I have already obtained his Foreign Passport and Entry Exit Permit (Valid for 1 year with multiple entry and exits). During the application of his entry exit permit, I was even required to submit his Foreign Passport. We’ve already tried exiting China with his permit and entering Macau with his Foreign Passport and it worked without any problems.
    However I need some advice regarding his schooling options in China. Is he eligible to go to a Public school in Guangzhou? Also we are considering to send him to an international school, will he be accepted into an international school without a valid Chinese visa in his foreign passport.
    Any help on this issue will be really appreciated. Thanks

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar


      To find out if your dual citizen child can be admitted to school in Guangzhou, you’ll need to check with local schools. As to public schools, different cities have different policies about whether children without a hukou and/or with a foreign passport can attend and how they will be charged tuition. As to international schools, there are at least a couple kinds. One is a school that is foreign-owned and approved by the Ministry of Education to enroll the children of “foreign personnel holding residence permits in China.” Significantly, “the children of Chinese citizens” are not eligible for enrollment. And the Ministry of Education’s rules don’t address whether dual national children are eligible, so that is left to be addressed by local authorities. Other Chinese schools are Chinese-owned and not subject to those rules. If a school you are interested in attending is not able to answer your questions about whether your child is eligible to attend, you can ask the local education commission.

      (For information about policies in Beijing, see here:

  22. Thibault Avatar

    Hi Gary,
    You have no idea how happy I am to have found out about your website. I’ve been looking into this for months and the information I got was always unclear and conflicting.

    I have 2 tiny questions:
    1) the entry exit document should applied in a) city of child birth/residence b) City of wife’s hukou? And will it be a problem if we don’t live in the city of my wife’s hukou?

    2) must I apply for the Travel Document in my country or in any country that has a consulate. In other words, can apply for an entry exit document, then we all go to HK, and apply for the travel document there? In addition, since its HK, does my daughter need a special “go-to-HK” permit like Chinese nationals do?

    Wife’s from wuhan, we live in Hangzhou, baby born in Hangzhou.

    Thanks a lot for your time and information.

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar


      (1) The child’s Exit and Entry Permit should be applied for at the Public Security Bureau Exit and Entry Administration with jurisdiction over the child’s place of “domicile.” That the place that has issued the PRC citizen parent’s local hukou or residence permit (居住证).

      (2) My general rule about applying outside the country of nationality is to contact the Embassy or Consulate in advance to verify that they are willing to accept the application and to ask whether there will be any special procedures or any likely delay. The Exit and Entry Permit can be used for travel to HK.

  23. Helen Avatar

    Hi Gary:

    Thanks for the great information. I wonder how I should choose the surname *in Chinese* for my baby on his Chinese travel document: based on your description , my baby has to obtain a travel document (unless I renounce it for him, which is too late for our travel plan to visit family in China in three months), as I am Chinese with no green card, and my baby was born in the U.S., while my husband is an American. Since my baby’s birth certificate in the U.S. and his U.S. passport have his Dad’s surname as his surname, there is no direct translation of his English surname name to Chinese. Making something up does not make too much sense either. Is it OK if my baby’s Chinese surname on his Chinese travel document follows my Chinese surname (I did not change my surname after getting married for various reasons)? Will it be an issue in the future since my baby’s surname on his U.S. passport is different from his surname in Chinese on his Chinese travel document? Thank you very much.


    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Helen: The Exit and Entry Permit will show the child’s name in Chinese and English. It’s OK if the Chinese is not a transliteration of the English name. Your surname can be used in Chinese.

  24. Andy Avatar

    Hi Gary,

    My son was Born in Beijing and immediately obtained a UK passport through eligibility from my side. My wife (his mother) is a Chinese national.

    We have since his birth relocated to Germany and are now planning to return for Chinese New Year. He exited China with the travel document as described above and did not Register for Hukou or Chinese passport.

    After checking the consulate Website, we applied for the ‘travel permit’ that you mentioned above. However when arriving for the appointment the staff were confused and said we couldn’t and we would most likely need to apply for a standard visa with his UK passport. Why did they say that?


    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar


      A key question is whether (a) your son was AUTOMATICALLY a British citizen under UK law at the moment of birth or (b) he had to APPLY to become a British citizen.

      If (b) is true, then that may count as “naturalization” in the UK. That may trigger loss of PRC nationality under Article 9 of the PRC Nationality Law. According to Article 9, “Any Chinese national who has settled abroad and who has been naturalized as a foreign national or has acquired foreign nationality of his own free will shall automatically lose Chinese nationality.” Presuming your son has lost PRC nationality, a PRC visa application may be in order.

      In contrast, if (a) is true, then Article 9 doesn’t apply because your son didn’t “naturalize” in the UK. In that case, your son remains a PRC citizen. And in that event, issuance of a PRC visa is not appropriate because under the PRC Exit and Entry Law visas may only be issued to “aliens.”

  25. […] first and second options are discussed here. A third option is to apply for a U.S. “pro forma” visa to be stamped into your PRC […]

  26. Sean Avatar

    I am an EU citizen and wife is Chinese. Baby born in Shenzhen. My wife went to apply for the 出入境通行证 at the Shenzhen PSB, which we expected would be a single departure and entry.

    However we’ve just got the 出入境通行证 and its in fact valid for 2 years and multiple entries…almost as if they have combined the 旅行证 into the 出入境通行证??

    It’s interesting that on departure, if for example we’re catching a flight to my country, we would show the 出入境通行证 for exit and show his passport as proof of permission to enter my country. By accepting the passport as sufficient proof aren’t they de-facto recognizing his dual nationality?

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Interesting news about the multiple-entry Exit and Entry Permit.

      When the child departs China, immigration will reviewing the EU passport to see that your baby has permission to enter the EU. That’s not really recognizing dual nationality, which typically refers to the Chinese government giving the child a particular right based on the foreign nationality (e.g., a right to consular assistance from the EU in China).

  27. Sergio Medyk Avatar
    Sergio Medyk

    I need to apply for the Exit-Entry Permit for my child and I am facing the following situation. My wife’s Hukou is registered in Baoying (a county level to the city of Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province). SHe doesn’t have a temporary residence permit in any other city. However, when my wife called Baoying’s Exit-Entry office, she has got the information that they have no idea about the 出入境通行证. This is pretty bad as our flight tickets are booked for mid-June. How should we handle this?

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      You may find that it’s helpful to go in person to the Exit-Entry Administration and bring the Ministry of Public Security’s instructions:

  28. Marcus Heta Avatar
    Marcus Heta

    Hi Gary
    Our son was born here 8 months ago and we have just recieved his NZ passport which is all he has ( mother is Chinese), she got a entry/exit permit from Zhuhai and says it is valid for a year with multiple exit/entrys….could this be true?

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      I’ve heard this multiple times recently but not yet seen the rule that the permit can be issued valid for multiple entries over a year. Has anybody seen this rule?

  29. Eric Avatar

    Hi Gary, Is the exit/entry permit only valid for minors or may adults also apply for it? If not, what happens when a child with dual nationality turns 18? If he/she can’t get a hukou (i..e also no ID card or Chinese passport) , what document does he/she need to stay in China? And what Chinese document is required when exiting the country with a foreign passport?

  30. Bart Avatar

    Dear Gary, thank you so much for all the useful information here. I have some questions:

    My son has a Dutch passport (I am Dutch, my wife is Chinese) and I obtained the Exit and Entry Permit (出入境通行证) from the Shanghai authorities without any problem (my wife’s Hukou is not in Shanghai). It’s for single exit and entry; would have been nice to get multiple exit and entry but did not happen in Shanghai.

    The permit is valid for three months, we planned a trip abroad last month but in the end decided not to bring our son. Now we plan another trip, but it is really at the end of the period of validity of the exit and entry permit. Can you confirm that he has to be back in China before the end of the period of validity?

    If we want to stay abroad longer than the period of validity, you would recommend going to a PRC Embassy abroad to get the travel permit (旅行证), right?

    Would it also be an option to apply for a new exit and entry permit, so the period of validity will end later, or will they not issue a new one if the old one is still valid and not used?

    Thank you very much!

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Bart: Yes, the Exit and Entry Permit is valid for exit/entry only prior to its expiration. So if you want to exit during the Permit’s validity but enter only after it expires, you either need to get a new Permit or apply for a 旅行证.

  31. Roberto Avatar

    Hefei’s (Anhui) PSB has unfortunately confirmed today to me that in order to issue an Exit/Entry permit for my three year old daughter / Italy+PRC passport holder the child’s household registration will have to be cancelled. Very disappointing.

  32. Sam Avatar

    Just applied for an exit entry permit again in Shanghai in the last few days as my son’s 2 year travel permit has run out. The format has changed and it’s now just a single piece of paper that folds to make a little booklet (not the thicker blue book like before). Procedure to apply hadn’t changed and the lady very helpful (filled out application form for me and did the photocopying herself). Cost 15 RMB. I applied on 30th April and the earliest I could collect it was 13th May, so almost a 2 week wait. Validity is 3 months and it doesn’t say anything about number of entries and exits, but I assume single use like before.

  33. dan Avatar

    Hello Gary wonderful website. I was married to a chinese woman (im Canadian ) we have a son, we are now divorced. i will take him to canada in December for Xmas just me and him. he has a canadian passport which is empty,never been used and in the passport he has his mothers last name. she is from jiangsu but has shanghai ID, can she take him to get the enrty exit book or should we both be present? any other suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      One parent’s presence with the child at the Exit-Entry Administration is enough.

  34. Holger Avatar

    Dear Gary, I’m very happy to finally have found this source of information and even with helpful answers!
    I read everything carefully but am not too sure whether my conclusions are correct for our case, it’d be much appreciated if you could help us to confirm or with advise.
    We live in Beijing, our daughter is 3 months old (born in Beijing), she holds a Chinese passport and is entered into the hukou of my wife (hukou in yunnan, but she has the Beijing residence permit). She also has the german passport. We thought we mde everything right but now it seems we might have made big mistakes. We would like to travel to Germany for Christmas but it seems we have now completely narrowed our options.

    The Beijing PSB does not issue the exit-entry permit for our daughter because she has a Yunnan hukou registration.
    1. Is it correct/very likely, that the Yunnan PSB (Kunming) will cancel the hukou-registration and her chinese passport if applying there for an exit/entry permit with her german passport? (we want to avoid the cancellation due to later required school eligibility etc.)
    2. In case we would manage to leave the PRC, is it very unlikely, that a chinese consulate in Germany would issue the travel document? (because its only for individuals wo are not eligible for a PRC passport?)

    If 1 and 2 are true, then for the future the only option remaing would be toalways leave via a third country (e.g. Thailand). thats unfortunately very time- & money intense…

    We’d be very happy if you find the time to feedback on our situation?
    regards from Chaoyang distruct!

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Holger: I’m not familiar with German law. Would the German Embassy be willing to stamp a visa into your daughter’s PRC passport so that she can leave through China by showing the PRC passport as evidence she is legally in China now and showing a German visa as evidence she has a right to enter Germany?

      1. Holger Avatar

        Dear Gary, thanks for your quick reply! Unfortunately not, the German embassy is stating the reason, that our daughther has a german passport, and that she therefore will not get a visa for Germany. But your question is good, I’ll actually go again to our embassy and ask again if – considering the situation we are in now – an exception can be made.
        First we go to Yunnan this weekend and try to get the exit/entry permit. But with everything I read I don’t see much chances to get it without cancelling the hukou and PRC passport. Would be interesting to know if you our other readers might be aware if the PSB and the Chinese Consulates actively ask for the Chinese passport when applying for the exit/entry permit or the ‘travel document’ respectively or if they silently tolerate the known circumstances (I assume they can easily see/check if a PRC passport has been issued).

        For now we can just try, I’ll post the results here (though I know that our case – as many other cases here- is also very special)

  35. Emmanuel Avatar

    Dear Gary,
    Thanks for this very helpful site. I am French, my wife is Chinese, and we have a baby born a few weeks ago in Beijing. My wife’s hukou is from Liaoning province. In order to have the entry/exit permit in Beijing, should we register our son on (or NOT register) the hukou? Thanks!

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      As mentioned above, if the child has a hukou, it will need to be cancelled before a 通行证 can be issued. As to applying in Beijing, 户口 is not registered in Beijing, she will need to have a Beijing 暂住证. Read the Beijing procedures I’ve linked to for the details.

  36. Holger Avatar

    I wish everyone a happy new year! As promised just a quick feedback. After beeing routed to Yunnans provincial capital Kunming to get the 出入境通行证 there, we were sent to Pu’er, because we did not have a 暂住证 for Kunming and my wife’s Hukou was issued in Puer. There we could apply for the entry/exit permit and it was granted one week later (single exit + re-entry). We went over Christmas to Germany where we could apply in a consulate general for the 旅行证 – which we could pick up yesterday December 31st, and which is valid for two years. So everything is smooth now! This description also sounds smooth, but actually each step involved a lot of discussions, you ask 3 persons, you get 5 different oppinions, so you need patience in the discussions.
    Have a smooth year 2020 & good luck with your applications!

    1. Eric Avatar

      Hi Holger, thank you for feedback. Congratulations on the whole operation and successful arrival back home. Did you cancel the child’s hukou, in order to get 通行证? Or you managed to get 通行证 and than 旅行证 while still holding Hukou and Chinese Passport?

      BTW this website is amazing! Thank you Gary!

  37. Bret Avatar

    Great website. Always a top choice of reference.

    My wife’s a Chinese citizen who has received a green card for the US. We’ve lived in US for several years and our daughter was born here. Our daughter has a US passport. Is our daughter eligible for a travel document or must she get a visa on her US passport?


    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar


      Certain children may automatically acquire Chinese citizenship at birth abroad if one parent is Chinese. See Who Automatically Acquires Chinese Citizenship at Birth?

  38. Andrea Avatar

    Dear Gary,

    I’m German, and my husband is Chinese. We live in China. We understand that our future baby will be a PRC citizen under Chinese law and a German citizen under German law. We plan to apply for a German passport. Otherwise, we would have trouble visiting Germany, as the German government automatically regards the child as a German national and, therefore, won’t issue a visa. We also plan to apply to PSB for an Exit and Entry Permit (no hukou or PRC passport).

    Since the Exit and Entry Permit is only valid for 3 months, how is the identity of the child proven within China? From just the birth certificate and Exit and Entry Permit?

  39. Bernd Avatar

    Dear Gary

    My Chinese wife and I made a stupid mistake, as we had not renewed our child’s Chinese travel document. My wife and our 3 year old girl who has German citizenship went to China at the end of June and they plan to stay there at least one year due to the pandemic here.

    Thankfully, she received an entry-and-exit permit for 3 months at the airport.
    However, we were told by the border control office at Pudong airport that we would be required to renew her permit every 3 months with newly authorized and legalized German documents each time.

    Is this statement correct?
    Can she stay in China for 1 year with this permits or would she need to leave after some months?
    Do you know any possibility, in order to avoid this repeated application process?

    Thank you for your site. I had checked it in the middle of the night, when my wife told me that our daughter might be rejected at the border.

    Thank you very much.

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar


      Sound like your child is a Chinese citizen who tried to enter the China without a valid travel document and was admitted after issuance of an exit-and-entry permit in the airport. (I would need to confirm this by reviewing relevant facts and documents to know for sure.) A Chinese citizen does not need any travel document to remain in China. If true, a new exit-and-entry permit would be needed to depart China.

  40. Bernd Avatar

    Thank you so much for your reply!

    To follow up: I am German, my wife Chinese, and our daughter has German citizenship. She was born in Germany. Never has my wife had any permanent residency outside of China.

    Thus, is she seen as Chinese citizen with the above facts?

    Thank you so much again!

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar


      Under China’s Nationality Law, article 5, a child born abroad has Chinese citizenship if (a) one parent is Chinese; and (b) the Chinese parent has not settled abroad. For more on this, see Applying to Renounce Chinese Citizenship.

      1. Bernd Avatar

        Thank you so much. I am relieved that we don’t need to apply for this permit every 3 months. All the best to you.

  41. Worried Avatar

    My son (4 years old) has a Chinese mum and British father. He has a British passport and a Chinese travel document.
    When he exits China he can use the travel document. Recently Chinese citizens are not being issued new passports. Could this affect my son ie might he be refused permission for his next travel document and if so what should we do? Can we exit using his British passport ?

  42. Mark Avatar

    My son is a US citizen born in China. In the past we have always gotten the entry/exit document when we left the country. However, in this case we are leaving permanently so we are on one-way tickets. Does he still need the entry/exit document to leave the country, or will his US passport suffice?

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Your son will still need a document to show to the immigration authorities in the airport to demonstrate he has been here legally. That’s a Chinese passport, Travel Document, valid visa or residence permit in the U.S. passport, or–most likely–a new Exit and Entry Permit.

      1. Mark Avatar

        Thanks very much for your quick confirmation. Yet another roadblock to being able to leave Shanghai during lockdown…..

  43. Dominique Avatar

    Good evening (at least here in France); I came across this page via a French forum : Bonjour Chine.
    I have seen some references to travelling from China via a third country (for ex. Thailand) to avoid all these problems with dual passports and so on : how does this work ?
    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Dominique: In the above article, I describe potential issues a dual national child may have traveling to the United Kingdom and USA with a PRC passport. What issues are there traveling to France? Please provide a link to applicable law, if you can.

  44. […] first option is to apply for a PRC Exit and Entry Permit to leave and (optionally) return to China within 60 days. Show the inspector that permit and your […]

  45. Dominique Avatar

    Hello, it seems to me that there is some risk that Chinese immigration authorities could realize from a child’s travel pattern that the child has China and France passports. For example:

    * Child leaves China with a PRC passport, enter Thailand, obtains a Visa On Arrival (valid for 15 days), leaves Thailand and enters France with her French passport.
    * Child stays in France for 3 months, exits France with the France passport to Thailand, then exits Thailand with the China passport to return to China.

    Immigration authorities in China will see that the child has been outside China for more than the 15 days allowed by a Thailand Visa on Arrival. Could Chinese immigration authorities realize that the child has a 2nd passport?

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Dominique: In short, yes. Of course, there could be several reasons a child stays abroad longer than the initial visa allows. For example, the child may simply extend their stay in the third country. Still, Chinese immigration authorities could, if they wanted to, investigate whether the child has a foreign passport. But I have not heard of an instance of such investigation.

  46. Dominique Avatar

    Good afternoon, thank you for taking the time to reply to me; this is reassuring.

  47. Luka Avatar

    Mr. Chodorow,

    I’m American, my wife is Chinese. We are planning to go to America with our son to experience life there and see if it is for us.

    For the method of using a third country, would it still be viable if I chose to stay in the States for an extended period of time? For example, if I stay in the States for 6 months, then go to a third country with my son’s American passport, and finally end in China with my son’s Chinese passport, would there be a problem? I’m concerned that the agents would notice the last Chinese exit stamp was a long while ago.

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Luka: While your concern is reasonable, I am not familiar with any case where Chinese immigration officials have asked further questions regarding the of time abroad, learned about the U.S. passport, and canceled the Chinese passport.

  48. Luka Avatar

    Thank you for your reply. Due to some other possible complications with owning two passports in China, we’ve decided that going the Entry Exit, 旅行证 path is better for our particular circumstances and goals. I will definitely be recommending your website and wechat to other friends. Your succinct yet deeply informative articles and replies are exactly what I was looking for.

  49. Marco Avatar

    Hi Gary,

    My wife is Chinese and I am Dutch. We have 2 kids that both only have a Dutch passport. When my wife wanted to apply for an exit entry permit, this was rejected with the reason that they can only get the permit when traveling to the Netherlands (based on their nationality). Apparently it won’t be issued anymore when traveling to another country. I suspect that this may have been a leftover policy from Covid or a local interpretation issue. Are you aware of any situations like this?

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Which city’s Public Security Bureau Exit-Entry Administration did you apply to?

  50. Gavin Avatar

    Mr, Chodorow,

    I’m British, my wife is chinese, and our daughter currently has a Chinese passport & Hukou. I want to send her to an international school, so i’ll want to start the process of getting her a British Passport.

    We also want to go back to UK this summer, for her to visit my family for the first time. I’ve read too many conflicting opinions and need some guidance.

    Can mixed children have both passport until they are 18. If she is able to obtain a second passport, what will I need to do to take her back to UK? What passport is recommend to use if we were travelling around Europe and reentering china.

    Thank you.

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar


      As mentioned above, for a dual citizen, China won’t recognize their foreign nationality. In the airport, when attempting to leave China, then, showing a foreign passport won’t be sufficient evidence that the child has a right to enter the country issuing the passport. The two solutions this article focuses on are: (1) leaving China with a Chinese passport and an exit and entry permit; and (2) leaving China with the Chinese passport and traveling through a third country or region en route to the country that issued the foreign passport.

      I recommend that you contact the education department in your city to determine the immigration-related requirements for attending an international school. In some cities (but not others), the child will be required to hold a foreign passport with a Chinese residence permit. This would entail first applying to renounce Chinese nationality.

  51. Hugo Fernandez Avatar
    Hugo Fernandez

    Hello Mr. Chodorow,

    I am in a dilemma here in Beijing.

    I am currently working and living in Beijing with my Chinese wife (from Yangzhou, Jiangsu) and my son, who is a Chinese citizen because he was born in China to a Chinese citizen mother. My son currently has an American passport but no hukou or Chinese passport. We are planning to go to the US for the first time; however, we are hitting a wall when it comes to information in regard to how to leave the country.

    The public security bureau is refusing to issue a visa or residence permit because my son is a Chinese citizen. I could get one if I first apply to renounce my son’s Chinese citizenship, but it sounds like that is somewhat troublesome

    I see from your website that it is possible to get an entry and exit permit that will allow my son to exit and reenter the country without issues. Do you have any specifics on how to apply or what this permit is called?

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar


      As mentioned in the first paragraph, this document is called an Exit and Entry Permit (出入境通行证 churujing tongxingzheng).

      As also mentioned above, the Working Rules require the application to be filed with the child’s place of residence (居住地), so the PSB may require evidence of that residence, such as the PRC citizen parent’s local hukou (户口) or residence permit (居住证). If your wife has no such document in Beijing, then the application may need to be filed in Yangzhou, Jiangsu. The above article has a link to the Beijing procedures. You’ll need to check yourself about Yangzhou procedures.

  52. Frank Avatar

    Hi Gary,
    The Chinese Consulate tells me my minor daughter, a U.S. citizen born in the U.S., is also a Chinese citizen.

    I’m a natural born U.S. citizen. My wife, at the time of our daughter’s birth, had a pending application for U.S. lawful permanent resident status.

    The Consulate says that as a Chinese citizen who already holds a U.S. passport, to travel to China my daughter will need to apply at the Consulate for a “Travel Permit.” Does this sound right?

    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar


      Sounds like your daughter is a Chinese citizen. Under article 5 of China’s Nationality Law, a child born abroad is a Chinese citizen if one parent is Chinese and has not settled (定居) abroad. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs interprets the term “settled … abroad” as meaning having the right to reside in a country indefinitely, such as with permanent resident status.

      The Ministry sees it as a “nationality conflict” to issue a PRC passport to a child who has a U.S. passport, so instead a “Travel Permit” can be issued.

  53. Gabriel Avatar

    My wife was able to get for my son a “one-time exit and entry” permit that is valid for 3 months after the issuance.

    Does this mean my son can EITHER exit or enter but not BOTH?


    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Gabriel: Take a look at the top of the ID page to confirm that the annotation reads “限持证人一次出入境使用” (Limited to one-time exit AND entry use by the holder”) not “限持证人一次出境使用” (Limited to one-time exit by the holder).

  54. Stan Avatar

    Hi Gary,

    I am a US citizen in China with a Chinese wife. We are trying to travel to US with our 5 year old daughter, who was born in China and has Both US and China passports.

    Was told a tongxingzheng is not allowed to be issued to my daughter since she has a China passport now. Are there any options now? Heard about a ‘pro forma’ visa but we can’t even schedule an appointment until December for a non-immigrant visa with the US consulate.


    1. Gary Chodorow Avatar

      Option 1: Your travel plans perhaps can be accomplished using the U.S. and China passports, as explained in the above article.
      Option 2: Try to get the tongxingzheng by first canceling the China passport. Before you do so, find out the rule in your city as to whether the hukou must also be canceled as a condition to issuing the tongxingzheng.
      Option 3: Pro forma visa. See U.S. Consulate in Shenyang on Pro Forma Visas for Dual Nationals. You can check the processing times at each U.S. consular post in China.

  55. Didier GUY Avatar
    Didier GUY

    We live in China. My daughter has a French passport, but as her mother is Chinese, she has to apply to the Chinese authorities for a travel document when she wants to leave China.
    We applied for this document today at the Beijing public security bureau and were told that according to a new rule (without telling us how long it’s been in force), since she has a French passport, it can only be issued for traveling to France.
    Knowing that we’re planning to travel to another country from Beijing, we’re a bit puzzled.

    – Are you aware of this rule?
    – Do you know of any cases where people have been refused exit at the immigration post at Beijing airport if their actual country of destination isn’t the proper one?

    Thanks you,

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