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I am married to a Chinese citizen. We have two children born in Sweden; one was born before my wife got permanent residence and the other child was born after she got permanent residence.

We applied for visas to go to China to visit relatives, but only the child that was born before my wife got permanent residence was allowed to have so called "Chinese Travel Documents" (which are valid for 2 years), while the other child and I had to apply for "normal" visas. Is this as it should be?

We are actually also thinking of moving to China, but I am afraid that the children will not be able to go to school there if they keep Swedish citizenship (they are only 4 and 5 years old now) and how about the social part if they for example get sick and need to go to hospital, etc.

I would be grateful if you can clarify these questions for us.

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    Hello, You will get better answers for the second part of your question in the expats SE: expatriates.stackexchange.com
    – meego
    Mar 1 at 9:43
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    Unfortunately Chinese nationality law only gives birth citizenship to your first child. However as close relatives of a Chinese citizen, facilitated process for education/healthcare may be available without naturalization; but this depends on the province's or even municipality's policy. If Sweden considers renouncing nationality by a minor as invalid, a Chinese naturalization may also be possible.
    – xngtng
    Mar 1 at 12:57
  • Sweden, as I know, allows dual citizenship but the question is how the Chinese authorities will react if we apply for Chinese citizenship for the youngest child and at same time keep the swedish....
    – Miki Arsic
    Mar 2 at 12:27
  • China will demand a renunciation of the other nationality. But some countries consider that minors do not have the capacity to renounce their citizenship (because they are too young), or allow them to reclaim/resume citizenship after they become 18. In that case, a Chinese naturalization may be possible without affecting the original citizenship.
    – xngtng
    Mar 2 at 13:07

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This sounds correct. The child born before your wife got permanent residency is a Chinese citizen, while the child born after isn't. According to Article 5 of the PRC nationality law, a child born outside China to at least one Chinese citizen parent has Chinese nationality at birth, unless at least one parent is a Chinese citizen who has settled abroad, and the child has foreign nationality, in which case the child does not have Chinese nationality. The PRC government interprets "settled abroad" has having foreign permanent residency.

Article 5: Any person born abroad whose parents are both Chinese nationals or one of whose parents is a Chinese national shall have Chinese nationality. But a person whose parents are both Chinese nationals and have both settled abroad, or one of whose parents is a Chinese national and has settled abroad, and who has acquired foreign nationality at birth shall not have Chinese nationality.

Both of your children were born to at least one Chinese citizen parent. At the time of the younger child's birth, at least one parent (your wife) was a Chinese citizen who had settled abroad, and the child has foreign nationality (Swedish) at birth; therefore, your younger child does not have Chinese nationality. At the time of the older child's birth, neither parent was a Chinese citizen who had settled abroad (your wife had not "settled abroad", and you were not a Chinese citizen), and therefore your older child automatically has Chinese nationality at birth even though he/she also has Swedish nationality at birth.

See also this page from the PRC embassy in Zambia that contains answers about whether a child has Chinese nationality in various situations. In particular, see (translated from Chinese):

1, I am a Chinese citizen in country X, holding a permanent residence visa in country X, my partner is a country X citizen, our child was born in country X, who has country X nationality at birth according to the nationality law of country X. Now we want to return to China to visit, what document should the child apply for?

According to our country's nationality law, your child does not possess Chinese nationality. They should apply for a Chinese visa.

4, I am a Chinese citizen in country X, holding a short-term visa in country X, my partner is a country X citizen, our child was born in country X, who has country X nationality at birth according to the nationality law of country X. Now we want to return to China to visit, what document should the child apply for?

According to our country's nationality law, your child possesses Chinese nationality. Regarding the situation of conflict of nationality, according to our relevant rules, your child should apply for a Travel Document.

Since your older child is a Chinese citizen, he/she cannot be issued a Chinese visa (unless you first renounce their Chinese nationality). The current PRC policy is to issue such dual-national children a PRC "travel document", a passport-like booklet valid for 2 years which identifies the child as a citizen of the PRC. This travel document can be used in conjunction with their Swedish passport to enter and exit China. If the child takes up residence in Mainland China, they can generally be added to the hukou, with their travel document and a properly authenticated and translated foreign birth certificate (although success may vary depending on locality in Mainland China). If they are on hukou, they should be able to use the benefits of any other Chinese citizen on the mainland.

Since your younger child is not a Chinese citizen, they will need to get a Chinese visit to visit Mainland China. There are visas of various lengths for relatives of people living in China, but I'm not sure if they will be able to access benefits.

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  • Thanks a lot for the clarification, another way we were thinking of is to apply for Chinese citizenship for our youngest child but keep the Swedish citizenship at the same time(in Sweden you can have both if needed), but also unsure how this will be received by Chinese government
    – Miki Arsic
    Mar 2 at 12:08
  • The normal route is Q1 visa, followed by residence permit. If the Chinese parent also establishes residence in China before or perhaps at the same time as the child, a facilitated permanent residence for the child is possible, which in principle should give the child a Chinese ID-like document and the "local" treatment in schooling etc. But the implementation depends on the local government (you have a much better chance in Shanghai/Beijing/Shenzhen etc compared to a third-line city far from the sea).
    – xngtng
    Mar 2 at 13:21
  • thanks for all help in these questions, so will contact chines consular in Sweden and check what can be or not be done , anyway thanks a lot.
    – Miki Arsic
    Mar 3 at 14:05
  • @MikiArsic: According to Article 8 of the PRC nationality law, if your younger child applies to naturalize to become a Chinese citizen and it is approved, he/she shall not retain foreign nationality.
    – user102008
    Mar 3 at 17:22

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