I believe I heard cases when a Chinese citizen living in the US attempted to renew their passport they were asked for proof on what grounds they were residing in the US as there was no US visa in their expiring Chinese passport (the person was a US dual citizen).

Now, has anything like this ever happened when a person applied for a visa to some other country and instead received a similar request to justify on what legal basis they are in the present country?

So, to give an example of what I mean, if a Chinese citizen living in the US sent their Chinese passport (without a US visa) applying for a tourist visa to, say, an Australian, Russian, Polish, etc embassy. Just an example, I'm trying to see if anything like this is possible/has happened in general.

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    Many countries have this requirement. Many do not. Are you asking about a specific situation? Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 1:03
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    It is normal that a country renewing a passport verifies that the person renewing it actually has the citizenship that entitles them to do it. Since China does not admit dual citizenship, it is entirely likely that they will investigate if they suspect that someone has lost their Chinese citizenship, which would be the case if they had acquired US citizenship. Living in the US without a visa would be evidence of that. Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 2:10
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    I am a British citizen and US permanent resident. When I applied, at the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles, for a visa to visit China as a tourist, they checked and kept a photocopy of my green card. Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 8:00
  • @DJClayworth I have not had a US visa since 1978. I would extend it from "without a visa" to "without evidence of being permitted to live in the US as an alien". Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 8:16
  • @MichaelHampton it is a specific situation but I was curious in general as well, and the 2 answers here (even whilst the question was vague) helped me with the decision making. I'll give a bit of time before accepting one of them in case someone else will want to chip in too. But great answers.
    – kiradotee
    Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 11:40

2 Answers 2


Beyond those countries that don't permit it trying to catch dual citizens, a key part of applying for a visitor visa is demonstrating strong ties to your home and that you plan to return after your visit. If you're in a country on a long-term basis where you're not a citizen, the consulate wants to make sure that your situation there is lawful, stable, and that you'll be able to come back. If you're in country A without legal status, country B is unlikely to issue you a visa, as they'd be reasonably concerned that you're likely to end up in their country without legal status as well.

So one such example is the UK. In their Guide to supporting documents: visiting the UK , they list under "Other documents you may want to provide – all visitors":

confirmation of legal residence, if you are not a national of the country in which you are applying or your right to reside there is not included in your passport

Similarly, France tells those who need short-term visas who are applying from the US:

If you are not a US citizen, please provide proof of your legal status (green card, visa and I94 or endorsed I20 for F1 visa holders or endorsed DS2019 for J1 visa holders. The "travel endorsment" signature is valid for one year and must not expire before the date of return to the USA).

France is not there to enforce US immigration law, but they do want to ensure that visitors are likely to leave France at the end of their stay.


Some countries have restrictions on where you can apply based on where you reside (and not where you are), as in long term residence. Some do ask for justification of that.

For instance, the Japanese consulate in San Francisco writes:

I. Visa application are accepted only from residents in our jurisdiction.

Area of Jurisdiction

  • Northern and Central California
  • Nevada (All Areas)

Proof of residence such as your California/Nevada Driver’s license/ID card, utility bill, etc. is required.

II. Only those with long-term resident status in the U.S. can apply for a visa

Proof of residency includes the following:

(1) U.S. passport (U.S. citizen)

(2) Alien registration card (U.S. green card or permanent resident of U.S.)

(3) Valid long term visa (short term visa, like B1/B2 visa, is not acceptable)

So here, you must prove that you are not only legally in the US, but on a long term visa, AND that you reside in the specific area of jurisdiction of that consulate.

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    That begs the question of what you should do if you are touring the globe, and want to visit Japan after San Francisco. Sort out your visas before leaving home presumably. Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 14:36
  • @RobinSalih Yes, for all countries that have these kind of requirements, that's your only option. Some other countries don't care and you can apply anywhere (though you'll usually still have to prove ties to a country somewhere, which is often easier if you are in your country of residence).
    – jcaron
    Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 15:33

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