Citizenship and Nationality/China

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This is for the People's Republic of China. See also Taiwan for the less recognized Republic of China.


Citizenship information is based upon The Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China (PRC), dated September 10, 1980. On December 20, 1999, Macao became a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. The citizenship laws concerning Macao are based on the Interpretations of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on the Implementation of the Nationality Law of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao Special Administrative Region, dated December 20, 1999.

  • Birth within the territory of the PRC does not automatically confer citizenship. The exception is a child born to unknown or stateless parents. (Article 6)

    • Child, at least one of whose parents is a Chinese citizen, regardless of the country of birth. (Article 4 and the beginning part of Article 5)
    • Child born abroad, whose parents have settled abroad and the child has acquired the nationality of the parents’ new country, is not considered a citizen of the PRC. (Ending part of Article 5)
    • Residents of Macao having a Chinese blood relationship, born on the territories of China (including Macao), as well as other persons of Chinese nationality, whether or not they hold Portuguese travel certificates or identity cards, are all Chinese citizens.
    • Residents of the Macao Special Administrative Region having both a Chinese blood relationship and a Portuguese blood relationship may, in accordance with their personal wishes, choose either the nationality of the People’s Republic of China or the nationality of the Republic of Portugal. Selection of one of the nationalities shall mean the forgoing of the other nationality.

    • PRC citizenship may be acquired upon fulfillment of one of the following conditions: Person has close relatives living in China; person has settled in China; or, the person has other legitimate reasons. (Article 7)
    • Foreign nationals who once held Chinese nationality may apply for restoration of Chinese nationality if they have legitimate reasons. Once the application is approved the person may not retain the foreign nationality. (Article 13)
    • NOT RECOGNIZED. (Article 3)

    • Voluntary renunciation of PRC citizenship is permitted by law, upon fulfillment of at least one of certain requirements. The requirements are:
    • Person is a near relative of a foreign national.
    • Person has already settled abroad.
    • Person has other legitimate reasons. (Article 10)
    • State functionaries and military personnel are not permitted to renounce PRC citizenship. (Article 12)
    • 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 9)