What is the process to become a Chinese citizen?


In order to gain a Chinese citizenship, you have to FIRST gain your Foreigner's Certificate for Permanent Residence in the PRC (中华人民共和国外国人永久居留证, aka, Chinese green card). This is the most difficult part.

To be qualified for the certificate you must either:

  1. Hold a relatively high-level post in China
  2. Have direct and stable investment in China
  3. Have made some big/important contributions to China or be the kind of professionals that China needs desperately
  4. Be a spouse or unmarried child under 18 of the ones that meet at least one of the 3 above requirements
  5. Be a spouse of a Chinese citizen
  6. Be a unmarried child under 18 whose parents are Chinese citizens
  7. Be over 60 years old and have direct relatives in China and none outside China

And you must have no criminal records.

More importantly the Chinese govt does not issue much of these certificates every year. That is to say, even if you are qualified you could most probably still be denied such a certificate.

It's said that Hong Kong SAR citizenship is easier to get. Of that I have no knowledge.

3 Replies to “What is the process to become a Chinese citizen?”

  1. From what I've been told over the years, there is no such option. Even marrying a Chinese person does not grant you citizenship. They give you a permit to stay and work, but that's about it. Considering their overpopulation issue, I don't think immigration is one area that China is ready to tackle.

  2. After struggling a bit with one of the English section of the gov.cn website[1], my best guess is that for foreigners this is a difficult thing to do. 

    If, somehow, you do think you are eligible though (the specific requirements are frustratingly vague), it may still be possible, and I think the actual process is basically:

    1. Start living in China.
    2. Fill out the application form[2].
    3. Hope for the best.

    As a note, if you succeed, you're expected to give up any previous citizenship you had, naturally.

    [1] http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/ce/ceind
    [2] http://english.gov.cn/service/im

  3. Hong Kong may be a loophole if you wish to become a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) permanent resident. Hong Kong SAR was established on July 1, 1997 as part of the handover of Hong Kong from the British back to the Chinese after 99 years (an imperialist's number). As such, Article 24 of the Sino-British Joint Declaration defines those who may become a Hong Kong Permanent Resident and right of abode in Hong Kong as follows:

    1. Those of Chinese nationality born outside Hong Kong of Chinese citizens born in Hong Kong before / after the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR; or ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of no < 7 years before / after the establishment of Hong Kong SAR.

    2. Those who are not of Chinese nationality who have entered Hong Kong on valid travel documents (legally), and resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not < 7 years and have taken Hong Kong as their place of permanent residence before / after the establishment of Hong Kong SAR.

    3. Those under 21 born in Hong Kong of those in #2.

    4. Those who fit #1-3, who, before the establishment of Hong Kong SAR, had the right of abode in Hong Kong only.

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