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The Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China (Template:Zh-stp) regulates citizenship in the People's Republic of China (PRC). Such citizenship is obtained by birth when at least one parent is of Chinese nationality or by naturalization.

The law was adopted at the Third Session of the Fifth National People's Congress and promulgated by Order No. 8 of the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and effective as of September 10, 1980[1].

As for Hong Kong residents, the law was adopted at the Nineteenth Session of the Standing Committee of the Eighth National People's Congress on May 15, 1996[2], a year prior to the Hong Kong handover and came into effect on the same day on July 1, 1997. The explanations concerning the implementation of the nationality of Hong Kong citizens is that Hong Kong citizens are Chinese nationals. The British Dependent Territories citizen, British Nationals (Overseas) and British Citizen passports are not recognized by the Chinese government. Hong Kong citizens who hold such passport or have a right of abode in countries outside the PRC are not entitled to British (or any other nation's) consular protection inside the People's Republic of China (including Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland).

Article 1: This law is applicable to the acquisition, loss and restoration of nationality of the People's Republic of China.
Article 2: The People's Republic of China is a unitary multinational state; persons belonging to any of the nationalities in China shall have Chinese nationality.
Article 3: The People's Republic of China does not recognize dual nationality for any Chinese national.
Article 4: Any person born in China whose parents are both Chinese nationals or one of whose parents is a Chinese national shall have Chinese nationality.
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.
Article 6: Any person born in China whose parents are stateless or of uncertain nationality and have settled in China shall have Chinese nationality.
Article 7: Foreign nationals or stateless persons who are willing to abide by China's Constitution and laws and who meet one of the following conditions may be naturalized upon approval of their applications:
  1. they are near relatives of Chinese nationals;
  2. they have settled in China; or
  3. they have other legitimate reasons.
Article 8: Any person who applies for naturalization as a Chinese national shall acquire Chinese nationality upon approval of his application; a person whose application for naturalization as a Chinese national has been approved shall not retain foreign nationality.
Article 9: Any Chinese national who has settled abroad and who has been naturalized as a foreign national or has acquired foreign nationality of his own free will shall automatically lose Chinese nationality.
Article 10: Chinese nationals who meet one of the following conditions may renounce Chinese nationality upon approval of their applications:
  1. they are near relatives of foreign nationals;
  2. they have settled abroad; or
  3. they have other legitimate reasons.
Article 11: Any person who applies for renunciation of Chinese nationality shall lose Chinese nationality upon approval of his application.
Article 12: State functionaries and military personnel on active service shall not renounce Chinese nationality.
Article 13: Foreign nationals who once held Chinese nationality may apply for restoration of Chinese nationality if they have legitimate reasons; those whose applications for restoration of Chinese nationality have been approved shall not retain foreign nationality.
Article 14: Persons who wish to acquire, renounce or restore Chinese nationality, with the exception of cases provided for in Article 9, shall go through the formalities of application. Applications of persons under the age of 18 may be filed on their behalf by their parents or other legal representatives.
Article 15: Nationality applications at home shall be handled by the public security bureaus of the municipalities or counties where the applicants reside; nationality applications abroad shall be handled by China's diplomatic representative agencies and consular offices.
Article 16: Applications for naturalization as Chinese nationals and for renunciation or restoration of Chinese nationality are subject to examination and approval by the Ministry of Public Security of the People's Republic of China. The Ministry of Public Security shall issue a certificate to any person whose application has been approved.
Article 17: The nationality status of persons who have acquired or lost Chinese nationality before the promulgation of this Law shall remain valid.
Article 18: This Law shall come into force as of the date of its promulgation.

Citizenship by birthEdit

On the 1st October 1949, most people of Chinese nationality acquired PRC nationality .

In general, a person born within the official borders of the PRC[3] acquires PRC nationality at birth, if they have at least one parent of Chinese nationality or if both parents are settled in China and are stateless or of uncertain nationality.

In China, children born of Chinese-foreign marriages are considered to be Chinese citizens by the PRC government, which can cause complications if a foreign passport is subsequently used to exit China. This can also cause complications for citizens of certain countries, particularly of Arab ones, born in the PRC and who may have automatically acquired the Arab citizenship at birth because at least one of their parents is ethnically Arab if not also born in an Arab country. This applies particularly to ethnic Algerians[1], Egyptians,[2] Libyans[3], Omanis [4] and Tunisians[5] born in the PRC.

Comparison to Other Countries

The PRC recognizes persons born in Hong Kong and Macau before and after their handovers as "born in China". These people of ethnic Chinese origin are also PRC citizens. Syria's treatment of ethnic Arabs on its soil is similar, recognizing them as being "born in Syria" even if they are non-Syrian.[6]

France, like China, recognizes nationals born on the mainland or in one of its dependencies as its nationals. This also applies to French people born in Corsica which, although not part of the mainland, is part of La Métropole, which is the European part of the country. Unlike China, French nationals, regardless of their place of birth, can travel between the Métropole and its dependencies by using an identity card.

References & FootnotesEdit

  1. Template:Cite web
  2. Template:Cite web
  3. The official borders of the PRC here means the border as recognized by the PRC government, which includes Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan


fr:Nationalité chinoise

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