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So, I'm a dual citizen of China and Canada, working in the US. Chinese passport has a US tourist visa (B1/B2). Canadian Passport has a work visa for US. I need to fly from China to the US.

Here's the problem:

  • China doesn't like dual citizenship.
  • China has exit border control.

Therefore I have to fly out of China with the Chinese passport. But when I land, I want to cross the US border with the Canadian passport.

Will there be a problem with this mismatch? Since the airline will give the US my Chinese passport info. In the case that this is a problem, can I just enter the US on the Chinese passport with B1/B2? Then quickly go to Canada and come back on TN. (Because I can't work on a B1/B2).

Thanks!

Edit: Please do not dupe the question as the associated question isn't the same. This is about checking in to airline and cross border with 2 different passports. The other questions does not address this.

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    Are you truly and honestly a dual citizen, according to each country's laws? Or are you no longer a Chinese citizen and just pretending to be one? If you are truly a dual citizen, and using the appropriate documents, then why would Chinese exit control have a problem with it?
    – user102008
    Jan 10 at 5:27
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  • Are you flying into the US or into Canada? Jan 10 at 22:08
  • @user102008 from my interpretation, Chinese law doesn't "recognize" dual citizenship. But what you do outside of china is none of their business. That means when in China, you are only recognized as a Chinese citizen, and can only show Chinese passport to exit control
    – pommom
    Jan 11 at 0:21
  • @mlc thank you for the link, but its a bit of a different situation. That applies to when both countries openly recognize dual citizenship or have no exit border control
    – pommom
    Jan 11 at 0:22

1 Answer 1

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You have more problems than you think... First, you're not, legally, a PRC citizen anymore: by acquiring Canadian citizenship, you forfeited your PRC citizenship. It's not that the PRC doesn't like dual citizenship, it doesn't allow it... And if you are currently in China on your PRC passport, you are indeed in trouble (should you get caught).

Showing your PRC passport to the airline staff won't get you on the plane: there's no US visa on it. Showing only your Canadian passport won't get you on the plane either, as there's no China entry stamp: you'd have to show also your PRC passport. It's possible that the airline staff won't mind, but there's no guarantee that they won't notify Immigration.

However when you show up at the Immigration counter, and hand over your PRC passport and boarding pass to the officer, there won't be a US visa either. And that won't fly with them: they are just as thorough with PRC citizens leaving the country as with foreigners entering the country. You won't be let through, most probably – and will probably be escorted to secondary, and possibly more than that. You'll lose your PRC, and be sent on your way, hopefully straight away.

My first piece of advice is: leave China via a visa-free country (Malaysia just opened its doors to PRC citizens), or, it might work, via HK or Taiwan. From there you can fly to the US on your Canadian passport.

My second piece of advice would be to renounce officially your PRC citizenship – it will save you more trouble in the future, and as a Canadian citizen you can get a 10-year visa anyway. Plus, you won't be able to extend/renew your PRC passport in Canada or the US, as there's no Canada / US visa on it. That would cancel your citizenship too...

UPDATE

As @jcaron mentions I misread the question, and the US visa is in the PRC passport, so this gives you much more leeway – unless the airline staff passes on to Immigration the info that you are a dual citizen, you should be able to leave the PRC unscathed. And with a visa on your PRC passport, you should be able to renew it in the US (but not in Canada).

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    OP says they have a US visa in their PRC passport.
    – jcaron
    Jan 10 at 6:50
  • "by acquiring Canadian citizenship" The OP didn't say they acquired Canadian citizenship. It's possible to have both citizenships from birth, though they probably would have a PRC travel document instead of a PRC passport in that case.
    – user102008
    Jan 10 at 7:45
  • @jcaron Good point, missed that. That helps quite a bit then.
    – dda
    Jan 10 at 7:48
  • @user102008 You can get both citizenships at birth, when when you get 18, at least in the PRC, you have to give one up. And I don't think the OP would be eligible for a Chinese Travel Document in that case, since he wouldn't be recognized as a Chinese citizen. But as you mention, he has a PRC passport anyway, so that's moot.
    – dda
    Jan 10 at 7:51
  • This doesn't answer the core question, which is about leaving China with the Chinese passport (and its B visa) but presenting the Canadian passport at US immigration and entering in TN status, because if OP enters in B status then it will be necessary to change status (for example to leave and reenter) before returning to the job in the US.
    – phoog
    Jan 10 at 10:56

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