Frequently Asked Questions about Chinese Nationality

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Q1. I was a Chinese born in Hong Kong and hold a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card. I have emigrated overseas and am now holding a foreign passport. Am I still a Chinese national in HKSAR?

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress have given explanations concerning the implementation of the Chinese Nationality Law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).  According to the explanations, for those Hong Kong residents who are of Chinese descent and born in Chinese territories (including Hong Kong) are Chinese nationals, notwithstanding that they hold or have held British Dependent Territories Citizen passports or British National (Overseas) Passport for the purpose of travelling to other countries and territories.

Chinese nationals of the HKSAR with right of abode in foreign countries may, for the purpose of travelling, use the relevant documents issued by the foreign governments.  However, they will not be entitled to consular protection in the HKSAR and other parts of the People's Republic of China on account of holding the above mentioned documents.

According to the Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China, the British Citizenship acquired by Chinese Nationals in HK through the “British Nationality Selection Scheme” will not be recognised.  They are still Chinese nationals and will not be entitled to British consular protection in the HKSAR and other parts of the People's Republic of China.

Unless you have renounced your Chinese nationality, you are a Chinese national in the HKSAR.  If you choose to be treated as a foreign national in the HKSAR, you may with valid documents in support, make a declaration of change of nationality to the HKSAR Immigration Department.  Upon approval, you will no longer be regarded as a Chinese national and can enjoy consular protection from the country of your declared nationality. However, the change of nationality may affect your right of abode in the HKSAR.  For details, please refer to Q4 & Q12 of the 'Right of Abode in HKSAR' under the FAQs. http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/faq/faqroa.html

Q2. I am a Hong Kong permanent resident holding British National (Overseas) passport (BN(O) passport) and not a Chinese citizen. I may be eligible for registration as a British citizen under section 4B of the British Nationality Act 1981. How can I prove that I am not a Chinese citizen?

You may approach the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong to submit your application for registration as a British citizen. If you are residing outside Hong Kong, you may approach the British Consulate in that country for advice. Where necessary, with the applicant's consent, the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong will refer the application to the Immigration Department for verification. The Department will directly reply the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong after process.

Q3. I had submitted an application for naturalisation as a Chinese national, and received your confirmation letter stating that I will be granted with the “Certificate of Naturalisation as a Chinese National” on the condition that I produce documentary proof showing I no longer hold, or have already renounced my foreign nationality, and have made full payment of the fee for this application. I then submitted an application for renunciation of nationality to my local Consulate, and the result is pending. However, my current passport is going to expire, and I need to make an urgent trip. What should I do?

According to Article 3 & 8 of Nationality Law of the People’s Republic of China (CNL), the People’s Republic of China does not recognise dual nationality for any Chinese national; and a person whose application for naturalisation as a Chinese national has been approved shall not retain foreign nationality.  If your current passport of the nationality that is being renounced is expiring or has been returned to the relevant diplomatic representative for cancellation while you have to make an urgent trip outside Hong Kong during the processing of your application for naturalisation, you may apply for a HKSAR Document of Identity for Visa Purposes as an interim measure to facilitate your urgent travel. You may visit our website at http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/service/travel_document/Application_for_HKSAR_Document_of_Identity_for_Visa_Purposes.html

for more information on the said travel document. You may also consult your case officer for advice if you encounter further difficulties in travel during the interim period.

Q4. I had submitted an application for restoration of Chinese nationality, and received your confirmation letter stating that I will be granted with the “Certificate of Restoration of Chinese Nationality” on the condition that I produce documentary proof showing I no longer hold or have already renounced my foreign nationality. I then submitted an application for renunciation of nationality to my local Consulate, and the result is pending. However, my current passport is going to expire, and I need to make an urgent trip. What should I do?

According to Article 3 & 13 of Nationality Law of the People’s Republic of China (CNL), the People’s Republic of China does not recognizse dual nationality for any Chinese national; and a person whose application for restoration of Chinese nationality has been approved shall not retain foreign nationality. If your current passport of the nationality that is being renounced is expiring or has been returned to the relevant diplomatic representative for cancellation while you have to make an urgent trip outside Hong Kong during the processing of your application for restoration, you may apply for a HKSAR Document of Identity for Visa Purposes as an interim measure to facilitate your urgent travel. You may visit our website at http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/service/travel_document/Application_for_HKSAR_Document_of_Identity_for_Visa_Purposes.html

for more information on the said travel document. You may also consult your case officer for advice if you encounter further difficulties in travel during the interim period.

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