The Great Chinese duel Nationality passport conundrum
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Aug 6, 2012 1:38 AM Last Post By: Voyager_2002
Aug 2, 2012 9:19 PM
The Great Chinese duel Nationality passport conundrumFirstly please don't advice me to check UK or Chinese immigration website because they are both about as useful as a fart in a spacesuit :)
I am British my wife is Chinese. Our daughter was born in China and has Chinese citizenship (Hukou) all in her Chinese name. She also has a British passport in her British name.
Her Chinese visa (which we got before we got her Chinese citizenship) has now expired. I want to take my daughter back to the UK in October and I understand the easiest way to do this will be just to get her a Chinese passport and apply for a visa to leave for a holiday in Britain (as if I try to leave on her British passport the authorities will see that she has over run her visa). This is not a problem though it could be a bit time-consuming.
The problem is that I want to renew her British passport soon as it will expire and understand that I will have to send it to Hong Kong unless I do it when we are back in the UK. When the British authorities see that her Chinese visa has expired and realise she has duel nationality will they inform their Chinese counterparts?
I am not even sure if the UK accepts duel nationality these days??
Any advice welcome,
Aug 2, 2012 10:15 PM
1The UK accepts multiple citizenships. I have a friend who quite legitimately holds 4 - she's learnt not to travel with all the passports after having an "interesting" time explaining herself once to Heathrow immigration.
I would just renew the UK Passport. Even if they did tell their Chinese counterparts (which I think highly unlikely), so what - you got her chinese citizenship before her chinese visa expired. Unless it required you to leave and re-enter the country, it doesn't matter.
Aug 2, 2012 11:31 PM
Aug 3, 2012 1:56 AM
3OK - hypothetical but it rleates to my own Oz/UK dual citizenship.
When I fly to Oz I leave the UK on my UK passport but I have ALSO had to show the airline that I have the right to arrive in Oz, without a visa by showing them my Oz passport. When I arrive in Oz I show them my Oz passport and have to leave on the same passport but again, the airline needs to be satisfied I can legally arrive in the UK - so I have to travel on two.
Won't the same apply leaving China? The airlne needs to see she has the right to arrive in the UK and so will want to see her UK passport.... they will then know she has dual nationality.
Aug 3, 2012 2:42 AM
4Bear in mind if she travels on a Chinese passport then you can't call upon the British Embassy for Consular support. Do you really want to travel to a country with a dubious human rights record and not be able to call upon the support of the British Govenrment if something goes wrong.
I have mixed nationality kids and I would never let them travel on anything other than their British passport.
I worked with a guy from Singapore with dual nationality who was arrested in Singapore for avoiding miltary service. Fortunately he was travelling on his British passport and was able to get the Embassy's help. Had he not done so he would have been left to his own devices.
Aug 3, 2012 2:46 AM
5#4 - can I just point out to you that the OP is Chinese and lives in China....? The OP is not asking about travelling there but travelling to the UK for a holiday.
You can't always choose which passport to travel on as I said in my post. I am required by Australian law to have an Australian passport if I have dual nationality and I have to use it. I could not get a visa for my UK passport even if I tried.
Aug 3, 2012 3:20 AM
Aug 3, 2012 3:34 AM
Aug 3, 2012 3:44 PM
8I can confirm that the UK does allow dual nationality and would not inform other countries about anything like renewal of a passport.
Remember that if your daughter travels on her Chinese passport she will need a valid visa for the UK as well as a Chinese exit visa. I have heard that the British authorities no longer provide visas for people who hold (or are entitled to hold) British passports.
And post #4 is poorly informed. Firstly, UK consular assistance is useless. Secondly, it is clearly stated in every British passport that the UK cannot protect dual nationals against the action of the government of their "other" nationality.
Aug 4, 2012 1:36 AM
Aug 4, 2012 3:41 AM
10On reflection, the key question is whether or not the Chinese permit dual nationality for children such as the OP's daughter. If so, the simplest solution would be simply to renew her British passport and use that for the journey. If not, things become a little more complicated: one approach would be to get her a Chinese passport and permission to enter Hong Kong; then travel between Hong Kong and the UK on her British passport. There are strict controls on people leaving Hong Kong and the identity of all travellers is carefully checked on computer systems, but I have no idea whether the authorities in the Hong Kong Special Autonomous Region have integrated their information systems with those in the rest of China.
Aug 4, 2012 3:51 AM
Aug 4, 2012 11:36 AM
12The issue of dual nationality is complex. You should check whether under th e Chinese nationality law your daughter is e ven allowed to hold another passport. Someon e has mentioned Singapore: well under singapore's nationality law, on e who was born to parents of mixed nationality must decid e which nationality to keep at the ag e of 22; however, draft-dodges cannot give up their nationality before serving in the armed forces as required.
Aug 5, 2012 8:25 AM
Aug 6, 2012 1:38 AM
14Vivienne, I think the OP meant that he was considering getting a British visa stamped into his daughter's Chinese passport. Anyway, I think that Chinese people do need some kind of official permission before their first international journey, but I know that regular travellers can leave the country on the spur of the moment, so they obviously don't need an exit visa for every journey.
China (including Hong Kong) is the only country I've visited where passports are scrutinised far more carefully on the way out than on the way in. So that would seem to be the way they control foreign travel by people they would rather keep inside.
Edited by: Voyager_2002
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