Immigration. Travel. Living.

China: citizenship obtaining

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As practice shows, the process of obtaining Chinese citizenship requires a lot of effort, but they are not always justified.

Chinese legislation was adopted back in 1980 and has hardly changed since then, thanks to which it has retained its distinctive conservatism and rigidity. And, although the PRC adheres to a strict migration policy, the “Law on Citizenship” still contains sections on obtaining citizenship by persons who are not among the country’s indigenous inhabitants. Besides, China is overpopulated, and this fact makes the procedure for obtaining citizenship only more problematic. The state always carefully monitors that foreigners applying for Chinese citizenship meet several state requirements.

First, you need to understand why you need to apply for Chinese citizenship, what is its advantage in comparison with the right to a residence permit.

To enjoy the possible benefits on the territory of the PRC, it is not necessary to seek Chinese citizenship. It is much easier to get a residence permit. For those who want to work in China, a residence permit for work will allow them to freely cross the border of the country as long as required. Besides, when the document expires, it can be easily extended.

Perhaps the only advantages of Chinese citizenship are:

  • Possibility of visa-free travel around the country. Since the PRC includes several administrative regions, including autonomous ones, movement around the country is not always free for foreigners. Provinces such as Hong Kong and Macau have their specific immigration policies.
  • Permission to work in high government positions.
  • Social benefits.

The preparatory stage for obtaining Chinese citizenship for foreigners

If you are serious about obtaining Chinese citizenship, you need to, first of all, decide on how exactly you can achieve your goal. But in any case, the first step towards Chinese citizenship is to create a kind of foundation for life in the Middle Kingdom. This can include employment, study, marriage, and, of course, long-term residence in China.

Besides, please note that the procedure for obtaining citizenship is sometimes delayed for more than one year, and it is important that during this time you do not have problems with the law. The Chinese are very law-abiding, and they expect the same from foreigners.


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List of required documents

So, to apply for Chinese citizenship, you need to provide:

  • Identity document (foreign passport and its photocopy).
  • A statement signed with your hand. If the applicant has not reached the age of majority, the necessary papers are filled out by parents or guardians. The Chinese Citizenship Application Form is available here.
  • Photos are 3.3 x 4.8 cm. They must be taken against a white or light blue background.
  • Health certificate. China is worried about the health of its people, so people with dangerous illnesses cannot obtain Chinese citizenship.
  • Police clearance certificate of the applicant at home (such papers are checked by the Chinese consulate).
  • A document confirming the existence of a sufficient amount of cash or a permanent source of income.
  • Biometric data, i.e. fingerprints.
  • If there is, documentary evidence of service to China is attached, be it technical, intellectual, or any other field of activity. Feedback from people respected in society can also do a good job.
  • Chinese passport photo
  • A photo for a Chinese passport must be strictly 3.3×4.8 cm

How to obtain Chinese citizenship: procedure and terms

There is an opinion that it is possible to become a citizen of the PRC by purchasing real estate in China. It is a myth. To obtain citizenship, you need serious legal and personal grounds, the purchase of real estate does not apply to them.

To apply for Chinese citizenship, you must collect all the documents and take them to the emigration department of the public security organs. It is a government agency that performs the same functions in China as the Ministry of Internal Affairs in other countries. A positive or negative response will be given within 15 days. If you refuse, you must clearly explain the reason for the rejection of the application. According to the “Law on Entry / Exit of the PRC”, you may be refused in the first place for the following reasons:

  • deliberately false information in the application;
  • lack of at least one required document;
  • violation of the law while living in the PRC, incompatible with further residence in the country;
  • inappropriate visa category;
  • other reasons why public security authorities reserve the right to refuse citizenship.

“A foreigner who wishes to abide by the constitution and laws of China has the right to apply for citizenship.” (Article 7 “Law on Citizenship”)

If the answer is positive, you can get a ready-made passport from consular offices and other foreign missions of the PRC, as well as from the external relations bodies of the people’s governments of provinces, autonomous regions, and cities. Information about the passport holder is duplicated in the document in Chinese and English.

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