A noncommercial collection of information about citizenship, dual citizenship and multiple citizenship

[Please refer to How to Read a Country Entry for help interpreting this material. It was produced prior to March 2001 as part of a US government report entitled Citizenship Laws of the World. The accuracy and depth of these country listings varies significantly, and some information may be incorrect. At best, this page presents only part of the story for a particular country. Additional information for this country may be available in Country Information]

CHINA (People's Republic of China)

CITIZENSHIP: 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.

BY BIRTH: Birth within the territory of the PRC does not automatically confer citizenship. The exception is a child born to unknown or stateless parents.

BY DESCENT: Child, at least one of whose parents is a Chinese citizen, regardless of the country of birth. 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.

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.

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.



VOLUNTARY: 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.

State functionaries and military personnel are not permitted to renounce PRC citizenship.

Contact the PRC Embassy for details and required paperwork. Final approval for renunciation of PRC citizenship is granted by the Ministry of Public Security. When dealing with the Embassy, Chinese speakers are preferred.

INVOLUNTARY: No information available.

ANY QUESTIONS concerning citizenship, or requests for renunciation of citizenship, should be directed to the address below:

If contact with the Chinese Embassy is difficult, some information may be obtained from either the State Department's Office of Citizen Consular Services or the Library of Congress's Far Eastern Law Library.

Embassy of the People's Republic of China Consular Section 2300 Connecticut Ave., NW Washington, DC 20008

Embassy Telephone: 202-328-2500/01/02 Consular Telephone: 202-328-2518 Fax: 202-328-2564



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