This was motivated by:
Does an American citizen holding a Belgian passport need an ESTA to visit the US?

In most (maybe "most" is too optimistic?) countries, as a citizen, you have the inalienable right to stay in the country, no visa or other special thing needed. If anything, you would need to prove that you are indeed a citizen. You don't have to ask, being there your given right.

Usually, you cannot be "expelled" under any normal circumstances either, and at least in the EU (but presumably in many other countries?) it isn't possible to take away citizenship from you, even if you are the most undesirable, criminal vermin (though you can give up citizenship under some conditions).

You usually, under normal conditions, cannot be extradited as a citizen either. Although as Puigdemont's case showed, you can in principle very easily be extradited as a second-class-citizen, such as e.g. a regular EU citizen in another EU state who, as an EU citizen, has the same unrestricted, inalienable rights like everybody, but happens to be not-a-local-citizen of the country he is currently in (Puigdemont was lucky that Spain's claim of "rebellion" was deemed invalid by the court).

So the question is:

Are there are any countries where, as a citizen of that same country, having a valid ID or passport (or a siminar thing which proves that you are a citizen) is not enough to be admitted to enter (or stay in) your country?

@Matthieu M. brought up the idea that since there exist countries where you need an exit visa, it might be possible that you are expected to show such upon re-entry.

  • 4
    "it isn't possible to take away citizenship from you" -- this is not correct. In a number of countries, you can lose citizenship if you take on citizenship of another country.
    – npl
    Jul 3, 2018 at 15:00
  • 2
    Define "citizenship". For example, Taiwan claims that all Mainland China citizens are their own citizens, but won't let them in without a special permit.
    – JonathanReez
    Jul 3, 2018 at 15:18
  • 1
    You ask about citizenship, but there are millions upon millions of people around the world who are not recognized as citizens of any country. The Rohingya are much in the news recently, but this is also the situation with countless other ethnic minorities as well as numerous people caught in bureaucratic limbo because of conflicting national laws or because they are caught in the middle after a revolution or conquest.
    – choster
    Jul 3, 2018 at 15:22
  • 2
    It is certainly possible for a citizen of country A to be extradited from that country to face trial in country B for crimes committed there, if the countries have an appropriate treaty and country A agrees. See for instance the case of Navinder Singh Sarao in which A = UK and B = US. Jul 3, 2018 at 15:23
  • 2
    Related, the British have a number of nationality types, as a result of their colonies, which do not allow work or residency in the UK/EU by default.
    – user71659
    Jul 3, 2018 at 16:49

1 Answer 1


There is a wacky situation in China... Since China is divided between two regimes that claim themselves to be the sole government of the entire country, interesting and crazy things happen.

Technically, all PRC citizens are ROC (Taiwan) citizens, and vice versa. But as they are de facto different countries, ROC citizens are not by default admissible to the PRC, and vice versa. However, neither of them issue visas to its own citizens, and especially not on their passports because that would mean recognizing the other government. So, they get a separate piece of paper/card that serves as an "entry permit".

Now, the even more wacky part: the ROC government issues passports that do not grant the right to enter the ROC('s area of control). The new Exit, Entry and Immigration Law of the Republic of China grants the right of abode only to ROC citizens with an established domicile in Taiwan (to be specific, within the islands of Kinmen, Matsu, Penghu and Taiwan), so this rules out any mainland citizens. Naturally, most ROC passports are issued to residents of Taiwan, and almost all residents of the mainland are denied ROC passports. But there are two cases where the Government of the ROC might issue passports to citizens without domicile in Taiwan:

  • the ROC issues passport to members of the overseas Chinese community, among which identification with the ROC remain strong. They are ROC citizens by jus sanguinis, so, as long as they have no domicile in the mainland, they are eligible to be issued ROC passports as long as they show proper documentation. In practice, their passports almost always come with a Special Entry Permit (臨人字) that allows them to reside in Taiwan for at most three months per entry;

  • some (mainland) Chinese dissidents, having moved abroad, are granted special permission to use ROC passports (by Article 6 of the Passports Ordinace of the Republic of China), as they are often unable or otherwise unwilling to receive PRC passports. There are only about a few hundred people under this status, but their passport usually do not contain the Special Entry Permit, and thus their passport does not grant them to enter their "own country" as all. It is not clear how many ROC passport holders have totally no right to enter Taiwan, but a rough estimation would be "just a few dozen, perhaps".

In the mainland, a similar restriction applies. Unlike the ROC, the PRC have no objections issuing passports to residents of Taiwan, provided that they first obtain the Taiwan Compatriot Permit (i.e. the Travel Permit to Mainland China for Taiwan Residents). However, Taiwan residents can be barred entry to the mainland if they are denied this travel permit.

Moreover, Chinese residents of Hong Kong and Macao - who are both de jure and de facto PRC citizens - might also be barred entry to the mainland! All of them are issued PRC passports, but to travel the mainland one needs a Home Return Permit. Clearly, some members of the political opposition in Hong Kong have been denied this permit. They are PRC citizens both in name and in fact, but their country simply does not let them in.

  • In particular the part about Hong Kong / Macao is interesting. One might handwave Taiwan as there's actually two different countries, but the Hong Kong / Macao situation that you describe is truly stunning.
    – Damon
    Jul 4, 2018 at 9:03
  • @Damon The 2nd part I mentioned about Taiwan is a similar story :-)
    – xuq01
    Jul 4, 2018 at 10:52

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