It’s tricky for a U.S.-China dual national child to depart China. The child must present to the immigration inspector in the China airport both (a) a travel document issued by the Chinese government and (b) a document authorizing their entry to the U.S.
The most obvious strategy won’t work. The child cannot present their China and U.S. passports. The reason is that the officer won’t recognize the child as a U.S. citizen. Under Article 3 of China’s Nationality Law of 1980, the Chinese government “does not recognize dual nationality for any Chinese national.”
So, here are the other options:
- PRC Exit and Entry Permit: The 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 the child’s U.S. passport. The permit is issued based on the rationale that there is a “nationality conflict” preventing issuance of a PRC passport to a person who holds a foreign passport.
- Transit Via a Third Country: The second option is to depart China with a PRC passport to a third country or region for which the child has a visa or where no visa is required. From there, the child can enter the U.S. with the U.S. passport.
- Pro Forma Visa: A third option, which is the topic of this article, is to apply for a U.S. “pro forma” visa to be stamped into your PRC passport. The PRC passport is a valid travel document, and the U.S. visa is sufficient evidence to satisfy the immigration inspector in the Chinese airport that the child is authorized to enter the U.S. Upon arriving in the U.S., however, the child must present his U.S. passport to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer.
–Source: U.S. Consulate in Shenyang (Jan. 2018 Newsletter)
Feel free to schedule a consultation with our firm to discuss immigration and nationality law issues for your dual nationality child.