Rising living standards and economic prosperity attract not only temporary labor migrants to the People's Republic of China, but also foreigners planning to stay in this colorful Asian country forever, i.e. in the long term to obtain a Chinese passport. One of the significant disadvantages of such a decision is the fact that China does not recognize dual citizenship.

Citizenship of China

Important. Article 3 of the Law "On Citizenship of the People's Republic of China" (hereinafter – the Law) states that the country does not recognize dual citizenship. Moreover, Article 9 states that as soon as a Chinese citizen receives a foreign passport, citizenship in China is automatically canceled.

Still, the positive sides of Chinese citizenship are much more. The country is successfully developing, infrastructure is being built, the incomes of local residents are growing, various restrictions in the social sphere are gradually being removed, and optimal conditions for investing in Chinese business are being created.

Next, let's find out how foreigners can get Chinese citizenship in 2024.

How to get Chinese citizenship – ways

The procedure for obtaining a Chinese passport is incredibly complicated and is accompanied by a number of bureaucratic delays. Moreover, no one guarantees a positive result. Each individual province or district, for example, Hong Kong or Macau, may put forward additional requirements for the candidate, but the general legal framework is laid in the Law "On Citizenship of the People's Republic of China", in force since September 10, 1980.

According to the above document, it is possible to obtain Chinese citizenship today in 2 main ways:

  • By birth

  • By naturalization

Chinese citizenship by birth

According to Articles 4,5,6 of the Law, each child automatically receives a Chinese passport if:

  • At least one parent has Chinese citizenship, regardless of the child's place of birth.

  • Both parents are permanently residing in Chinese territory and are stateless or nationality unspecified, and the child is born in China.

Chinese nationality by naturalization

As stated in Article 7 of the Law, foreigners and stateless persons may be issued a Chinese passport by naturalization in the following cases:

  • If there are Chinese citizens among close relatives.

  • Permanent residence in China.

  • On the basis of other legitimate reasons.

It is worth noting that no detailed information or explanations are provided in the Law, so the lion's share of responsibility falls on the officials authorized to make decisions on granting a Chinese passport. The Ministry of Public Security of the People's Republic of China reviews and approves applications for citizenship. In Hong Kong, the Immigration Department processes applications.

Chinese nationality by naturalization

The probability of granting a Chinese passport

The following factors influence a favorable decision to grant Chinese citizenship:

  1. Legality of being in the People's Republic of China. For example, official work in China, doing business, scientific activity or studying in Chinese universities.

  2. Period of permanent residence in Chinese territory.

  3. Stay in China of close family members (spouses, minor children) and the presence of relatives among the Chinese.

  4. A stable (legal) source of income sufficient to support yourself and family members. Note that the average salary in China is currently about $1,065 per month. Working in Hong Kong usually brings several times more than in the vast majority of the mainland.

  5. Strict compliance with Chinese law, including full payment of tax obligations.

  6. No criminal record and good health, both mental and physical.

  7. Adequate command of the Chinese language.

  8. Strong intention and interest in further residence in China, i.e. after obtaining citizenship.

Important. Marriage to a Chinese citizen does not give special privileges for obtaining a Chinese passport.

Applications for Chinese citizenship are submitted in person or by mail to the offices of the Ministry of Public Security at the candidate's place of residence or through consular offices in the country of residence. For this purpose, a special form is filled in and original/copies of the required documents are attached.

Each application is considered individually. The foreigner will definitely be called for an interview, where, if necessary, he/she may be asked to provide additional or clarifying information. The procedure may take more than a year, and cases of refusal to grant Chinese citizenship are quite common.

Grounds for loss of citizenship in China

Articles 9 and 10 of the Law provide the following reasons for loss of Chinese citizenship:

  • Relocation for permanent residence outside of China, followed by citizenship in another country.

  • Voluntary renunciation of a Chinese passport.

The cost of applying for Chinese citizenship

When applying for Chinese citizenship at the Ministry of Public Security, the processing fee is 50 yuan and the naturalization certificate is 200 yuan. In Hong Kong, an initial application fee of 1,730 local dollars is charged, which is non-refundable regardless of the decision. After the citizenship certificate is issued, a similar amount is paid. That is, the total cost is HK$3,460.

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