Application for Restoration of Chinese Nationality

Before Applying

Application for Restoration of Chinese Nationality

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Introduction

The Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China (CNL) has provided for the restoration of Chinese Nationality.

Eligibility

Any person who meets the requirements laid down in Article 13 of the CNL can apply for restoration of Chinese nationality

Article 13

Foreign nationals who once held Chinese nationality may apply for restoration of Chinese nationality if they have legitimate reasons; those whose applications for restoration of Chinese nationality have been approved shall not retain foreign nationality.

Nationality Law of the People’s Republic of China and the “Explanations” 

Factors to be Considered in an Application

It is not possible to set out all the circumstances in which the Director of Immigration would normally accept as having a legitimate reason but consideration will be given to:

  • whether the applicant has the right of abode in Hong Kong
  • whether the applicant is living in Hong Kong
  • whether the applicant is of good character and sound mind
  • whether it was necessary for the applicant to renounce Chinese nationality or declare a change of nationality to enable him/her to retain or acquire some other nationality or citizenship, and the reasons for wishing to restore his/her Chinese nationality now
  • whether the applicant followed his/her parents’ or one of his/her parents’ nationality when he/she was under the age of 18, and the reasons for wishing to restore his/her Chinese nationality now
  • whether there are other legitimate reasons to support his/her application

Applying

Application for Restoration of Chinese Nationality

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Means of Application

The application should normally be made while the applicant is in Hong Kong. Applicants can submit their applications in person or by post to:

Nationality Sub-section
Travel Documents and Nationality (Application) Section
Immigration Department
4/F, Immigration Tower
7 Gloucester Road
Wan Chai
Hong Kong

Underpaid mail items will not be accepted by the Immigration Department. For proper delivery of your mail items, please ensure your mail items bear sufficient postage with return address before posting. (Details)

If the applicant is outside Hong Kong, he/she can send the application directly by post to the HKSAR Immigration Department at the above address or submit it in person at the nearest Chinese Diplomatic and Consular Mission.

Statement of Purpose for Data Collection

The personal data that the applicant is asked to provide in the application form will be used by the Immigration Department for one or more of the following purposes:

  • To process the applicant's application for restoration of Chinese nationality;
  • To administer the Nationality Law of the Peoples Republic of China and the “Explanations of Some Questions by the Standing Committee of the National Peoples Congress Concerning the Implementation of the Nationality Law of the Peoples Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” adopted by the Standing Committee of the National Peoples Congress on 15 May 1996;
  • To administer/enforce relevant provisions of the Immigration Ordinance (Chapter 115); Immigration Service Ordinance (Chapter 331) and to assist in the enforcement of any other Ordinances and Regulations by other government bureaux and departments through carrying out immigration control duties;
  • To process other persons application for immigration facilities in which the applicant is named as a sponsor or referee;
  • For statistical and research purposes on the condition that the resulting statistics or results of the research will not be made available in a form which will identify the data subject or any of them; and
  • Any other legitimate purposes as may be required, authorised or permitted by law.

The provision of personal data in the application process is voluntary. However, if the applicant does not provide sufficient information, the Immigration Department may not be able to process his/her application.

The personal data provided by the applicant may be disclosed to government bureaux, departments and other organisations for the purposes mentioned above.

The applicant has the right to request access to and correction of his/her personal data as provided for in sections 18 and 22 and Principle 6 of Schedule 1 of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance. The applicants right of access includes the right to obtain a copy of his/her personal data provided in the application form subject to the payment of a fee.

If the applicant has any questions about the personal data collected, including access and corrections to it, he/she should contact:

Chief Immigration Officer
Travel Documents and Nationality (Application) Section
Immigration Department
4/F, Immigration Tower
7 Gloucester Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Telephone: (852) 2829 3093

Completing the Application Form

Applicants should complete all parts of the application form that are applicable to them. Items that are not applicable should be crossed out and signed by the person making the declaration. There are some parts of the application form that will require their special attention.

Part 3 – Reason for restoration

Applicants must fill in this part to support their applications for restoration of Chinese nationality. Documentary proof may be required to support their applications.

Part 4 – Criminal record

Applicants must give details of all convictions by a court of law in or outside Hong Kong of any crime or offence they have committed

Part 5 – Declaration

After the applicant has completed the application form, he/she should sign and date the declaration in Part 5 of the application to make it valid. If the applicant is unable to sign, he/she should impress his/her left thumbprint on the form. If the applicant is aged under 18 on the date of application, a parent or legal guardian must sign the declaration.

Supporting Documents

Applicant should submit his/her application together with the following documents and photocopies:

  • Hong Kong identity card
  • birth certificate
  • passport(s) or travel document(s) showing his/her travel records and length of residence in Hong Kong, or any of the following documents:
    • letters from employers certifying the periods of his/her employment with them
    • letters from schools or other educational establishments showing the periods he/she attended
    • tax returns or a letter from the Inland Revenue Department showing that he/she has paid taxes in past years
    • any other document showing his/her residence in Hong Kong
  • proof of his/her relationship with the parent/legal guardian who submits the application if he/she is under the age of 18, such as:
    • his/her birth certificate
    • his/her parents marriage certificate
    • court order granting guardianship (if the application is submitted by a legal guardian)
  • Other proof to support his/her application

(If the applicant cannot produce any of these documents, he/she should explain why.)

(a)

For applications submitted directly to the HKSAR Immigration Department

If the applicant submits the application in person, original documents with photocopies are required. If the applicant submits the application by post to the HKSAR Immigration Department, only photocopies of the supporting documents should be sent with the application. Original documents should not be sent by post. The applicant will be required to produce the original documents for verification at subsequent interview(s). If the applicant is outside Hong Kong, he/she will have to provide the name and address of a local referee who will be contacted by the Immigration Department to produce the originals of the documents for verification.

(b)

For applications submitted through Chinese Diplomatic and Consular Missions

If the applicant submits the application in person to a Chinese Diplomatic and Consular Mission, he/she will have to produce the original documents for verification upon application.

Fee

(a)

For applications submitted directly to the HKSAR Immigration Department

A fee of HK$1150 is payable upon submission of the application. However, the collection of fee does not constitute any guarantee or assurance that the application for restoration of Chinese nationality will be approved. If the applicant pays by cheque or bank draft, it should be crossed and made payable to ‘The Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. No cash should be sent along with the application.

For applications submitted by post from overseas, the bank draft should be drawn on a bank in the HKSAR in HK or US Dollars (HK$1,150 or US$148). If the cheque or bank draft is not drawn on a bank in the HKSAR or not in HKSAR currency, the applicant should also include a bank handling charge of HK$100 (or US$13) in the same cheque or bank draft.

Alternatively, the applicant can provide the name and address of a local referee who will pay the fee on his/her behalf after receiving notification from the Immigration Department.

The fee paid is non-refundable in all circumstances.

(b)

For applications submitted through Chinese Diplomatic and Consular Missions

If the applicant submits the application through a Chinese Diplomatic and Consular Mission, he/she will be required to pay a handling charge and the expenses of forwarding his/her application to the HKSAR Immigration Department in addition to the application fee mentioned in paragraph (a) above.

The fee paid is non-refundable in all circumstances.

After Applying

Application for Restoration of Chinese Nationality

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After Submission of Application

An acknowledgement will be given or posted to the applicant to acknowledge receipt of his/her application which was submitted in person or by post. Arrangement will be made to interview the applicant at a later date. If the applicant needs to contact the Immigration Department about his/her application, he/she should write to the Nationality Sub-section and provide the application number, with his/her full name and date and place of birth.

The declaration in Part 5 of the application form includes an undertaking to inform the Director of Immigration in writing of any changes that may affect the accuracy of any information the applicant provided in the application. It is important for the applicant to do this while the application is being considered

If the application is successful, the applicant cannot retain his/her foreign nationality. On production of the proof of not retaining his/her foreign nationality, the applicant will be granted a certificate of restoration of Chinese nationality.

The Director of Immigration may cancel a certificate of restoration if he is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the certificate was obtained by fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact. Action may be taken against that person in accordance with the law.

Changes in Immigration Status and Foreign Nationality if Application is Successful

The applicant will have the right of abode in Hong Kong after approval of his/her application for restoration of Chinese nationality if:

  • the applicant had the right of abode in Hong Kong before 1 July 1997; or
  • the applicant is able to meet the criteria applicable to a Chinese national:
    • he/she was born in Hong Kong before or after the establishment of the HKSAR if his/her father or mother was settled or had the right of abode in Hong Kong at the time of his/her birth or at any later time; or
    • he/she has ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than seven years before or after the establishment of the HKSAR; or
    • he/she was born outside Hong Kong to a parent who was a Chinese national with the right of abode in Hong Kong at the time of his/her birth.

The applicant cannot retain foreign nationality if his/her application for restoration of Chinese nationality is approved.

Frequently Asked Questions about Chinese Nationality