10

I am 26 years old, US citizen (born and raised), have never been to China but planning on going this year. My parents were Chinese nationals at the time I was born so I am considered a Chinese national according to their law. I am only finding this out now as I was told I need a travel document, and not a visa to travel to China. My only concern is, will I have issues when exiting China since I am also considered a Chinese national? Is there anything else I need to know? I have a US passport and nothing else, just want to do my research before I go. Any help would be appreciated!

1
  • Are you sure you haven’t already committed some crime under Chinese law? If you are a male person you had to serve the military – the PLA – as a Chinese national, although to be fair an obligatory pledge of allegiance would be pretty worthless given your background. I don’t know the details how such a case is handled. Mar 10 at 23:24

1 Answer 1

8

My parents were Chinese nationals at the time I was born so I am considered a Chinese national according to their law.

Check again if either of your parents were permanent residents of the U.S. at the time of your birth. If either had green card, you are not a Chinese national.

My only concern is, will I have issues when exiting China since I am also considered a Chinese national?

Normally, your Chinese travel document, if issued for two years, is valid for exit and entry, unless otherwise endorsed. This (being in "conflict of nationalities", where a Chinese national involuntarily acquires another nationality by law of another country) is no longer something that unusual.

As a Chinese citizen, you are not entitled to U.S. consular protection while in China*, though as a U.S. citizen, you can and should still ask U.S. embassy for help if incidents arise. You should still bring your U.S. passport; if nothing else, the airlines need your American passport to allow you to board the plane to the U.S.

[*] Exception exists for persons who are considered to be Chinese citizens, but entered China with a U.S. passport and an apparently valid Chinese visa (despite that the visa should not have been issued to a Chinese national). These persons are entitled to U.S. consular assistance under a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and China. Persons who travel on a Chinese travel document is considered as Chinese citizens only within China and cannot claim right to consular protection.

8
  • 1
    Thanks for your response. No my parents were not permanent residents of the U.S at the time of my birth, so I would fall under a Chinese national. I was reading that you are supposed to select a nationality or renounce it when you turn 18, however I am 26 and just learning about this. I am going to apply for the travel document, but is renouncing my chinese citizenship something I still have to do or can I just forget about it?
    – myu
    Jan 22 at 16:50
  • 1
    @myu Although the law never changed, the past practice was indeed to ask you to renounce it; however, the practice has now gradually changing to recognize the Chinese nationaly of people with "conflicting" nationalities. You still have the option to renounce it, if you wish to do so.
    – xngtng
    Jan 22 at 16:52
  • 1
    Thank you very much, i appreciate your help and response in this matter
    – myu
    Jan 22 at 16:55
  • 2
    Basically, applying for the Travel Document will be the litmus test: if they issue it to you, the PRC considers you to be a Chinese citizen. If they refuse, you're not. And if they do, make sure you get the 2-year document.
    – dda
    Jan 23 at 1:20
  • 1
    Can you elaborate on what you mean by "U.S. consular protection while in China"? Does this apply to all U.S. Citizens who visit China?
    – Anemoia
    Jan 23 at 4:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .