British citizen and HKSAR passport

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  1. #11

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    Whilst Discobay correctly points out the letter of the law, empirically it is honoured in the breach more than the observance. I know many people who for all practical purposes retain Chinese citizenship (e.g. *** on HKID) and yet also hold a foreign passport and citizenship.


  2. #12

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    Yes PDLM but 3 stars is not the equivalent of Chinese nationality. It is only an indication of right of abode. We have many expats of non-Chinese race who have 3-star ID cards but can never get HKSAR passports and therefore can not become Chinese nationals (without doing a Rouse).


  3. #13

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    Just to clarify some issues addressed here:

    1) China does NOT recognise dual nationality in law, but under the Chinese Nationality Law, it is possible for Chinese citizens to acquire foreign nationality whil having/retaining Chinese nationality. (This is when e.g. a child is born in China to a Chinese and non-Chinese parent, or as applied in HK/Macao, Chinese PR in HK/Macao gaining foreign passports without declaring a "change of nationality" to the HK/Macao immigration authorities). Nonetheless, if Chinese nationality is retained, regardless of whether you have de facto foreign nationality or foreign passports, under Chinese law, such foreign nationality/passports will NOT be recognised (at least when you're in China).
    As in the case of HK, foreign nationality held by HK Chinese nationals will be regarded as merely "right of abode abroad", while foreign passports they hold will be deemed to be mere "travel documents" (i.e. not recognising that the passports are proof of nationality.)

    2) As for the UK, the UK British Nationaliity Act does not forbid dual nationality. Under common law, any act / thing not forbidden by law is permitted. Thus, you may have multiple citizenships/nationality. You may even hold multiple British nationality status (e.g. British citizen + British Overseas Territories citizen / BNO). For instance, many of the BOTCs of Gibratar are entitled to register as British citizens without having to give up their BOTC status.

    3) 3 star on HKID: This does NOT indicate directly right of abode or nationality (though one may infer their status from this symbol). This symbol actually means- the holder of the ID is entitled to a "HKSAR Re-entry permit" which enables them to exit and enter HK when they go to the mainland of China or to Macao. And the following persons are eligible for the 3 star-

    (i) Chinese citizens having right of abode or unconditional stay in HK;
    (ii) non- Chinese citizens having Right of abode or Unconditional stay in HK, and CANNOT OBTAIN ANY OTHER PASSPORTS

    If you're non-Chinese, you have the 3 star on your ID card only if you are NOT ELIGIBLE FOR ANY OTHER PASSPORTS (e.g. UK, USA, passports, etc.).

    If you are eligible for a passport (regardless of who issued it),
    and you have the 3 star symbol on your HKID card,
    and provided that you are entitled to the 3 star symbol inscribed on your ID card
    --> you must be a Chinese citizen.

    4) Having a 3 star symbol does NOT necessarily mean you can get HKSAR passports.
    Because as mentioned, you have this symbol if you are Chinese and you have EITHER right of abode OR unconditional stay in HK.

    To be eligible for HKSAR passport- you must be:
    1) a Chinese citizen; and
    2) a holder of a Hongkong Permanent Identity Card (meaning you're a PR in HK, and you hold the PIC card).


  4. #14

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    Also- HOME visit permit

    1) 3 star symbol: since most of the people who have this symbol on the ID card (only for persons with ROA or unconditional stay) are Chinese (or Chinese citizens)-- the mainland authorities will only check the *** symbol, and their name to ensure that they are ethnically Chinese and thus a Chinese citizen (for non-ethnical Chinese who are Chinese citizens- this may be a little more complicated).

    2) Anyway, the conditions for applying for the Home Visit permit are:
    (i) resident of HK or Macao (this includes those who have just arrived in HK with a Single-Way Permit granted by the Mainland Public Security Authorities for settling in HK/Macao)
    (ii) Chinese citizen.

    3) Consular protection: as explained, it is possible in some circumstances for Chinese citizens to hold foreign citizenship. However, under Chinese law, their foreign nationality (and foreign passports) will not be recognised. Thus, no matter what passport/documents you hold to enter China (including mainland, HK, etc.), you'll be regarded as Chinese, and you're not entitled to foreign consular protection (unless you renounce your Chinese nationality or somehow lose it otherwise).

    ** In HK, the Immigration authorities are usually quite law abiding. So there should not be so much concern as to the legality of their acts. Of course, sometimes they do have misunderstandings with respect to the Chinese Nationality Law / Basic Law (relating to PR status), but you may approach and enquire, and ask them for the legal basis for their decisions.


  5. #15

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    Discobay,

    What you said here:

    Quote Originally Posted by discobay:
    Yes PDLM but 3 stars is not the equivalent of Chinese nationality. It is only an indication of right of abode. We have many expats of non-Chinese race who have 3-star ID cards but can never get HKSAR passports and therefore can not become Chinese nationals (without doing a Rouse).
    Appears to be incompatible with Lybenbe's detailed (and, in my view, correct) summary. Unless that is you can prodcue evidence of *** HKID holders who are not in one of the two categories that Lybenben cites:

    Quote Originally Posted by lybenben:
    3) 3 star on HKID: This symbol actually means- the holder of the ID is entitled to a "HKSAR Re-entry permit" which enables them to exit and enter HK when they go to the mainland of China or to Macao. And the following persons are eligible for the 3 star-

    (i) Chinese citizens having right of abode or unconditional stay in HK;
    (ii) non- Chinese citizens having Right of abode or Unconditional stay in HK, and CANNOT OBTAIN ANY OTHER PASSPORTS[

  6. #16

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    I said that 3 stars is an indication of ROA. Having checked this up I stand partially corrected as there are exceptions where the 3 stars are not followed by the letter A. All my non-Chinese contacts who have 3 stars also have the A. Feel free to check your contacts.

    With regards to lybenben he seems to contradict himself (a lot).

    He said

    Quote Originally Posted by lybenben:
    3) 3 star on HKID: This does NOT indicate directly right of abode or nationality...
    Then he says:
    Quote Originally Posted by lybenben:
    And the following persons are eligible for the 3 star-
    (i) Chinese citizens having right of abode ...
    The final nail is this:
    Quote Originally Posted by lybenben:
    If you're non-Chinese, you have the 3 star on your ID card only if you are NOT ELIGIBLE FOR ANY OTHER PASSPORTS (e.g. UK, USA, passports, etc.).
    Which means my friends and colleagues who are non-Chinese, hold UK passports and have 3 stars are figments of my imagination.

  7. #17

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    >>100% yes, you are allowed to hold both of passports. - my personally hold both UK and HKSAR. - but you are not allowed to hold both a british passport and a BNO<<<

    Nonsense..You cannot hold both.

    To the original poster..You will need to give up your current nationality by renouncing your citizenship. Then you will need to apply for Chinese citizenship after which you will qualify for a passport.

    My brother just gave up his US citizenship and went through the process.

    Good Luck !


  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by discobay:
    Which means my friends and colleagues who are non-Chinese, hold UK passports and have 3 stars are figments of my imagination.
    Just to be clear, are these full British Citizen Passports or BN(O)s? Lybenben was quoting verbatim from HK Immigration's website, so the only thing I can think is that these are BN(O)s since they they do not indictate citizenship - they are merely a travel document conferring consular protection from the UK when outside China, and certain limited additional rights in the UK (but not the right of abode there).
    Last edited by PDLM; 21-01-2006 at 08:18 PM.

  9. #19

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    They are full British passports. The friends I refer to are non-Chinese Brits who have lived here for over 7 years, earnt their 3 stars and the letter A.


  10. #20

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    Hi, glad to hear from all of you. Just to clarify:

    1) It has been stated that I contradict myself as i say *** does not directly indicate ROA, but then I said persons having *** are eligible to either ROA or Unconditional stay.

    What I intended to say was, though *** is NOT the symbol that stands for ROA, it implies the residency status of the ID card holder. (ROA or unconditional stay)

    2) Chinese nationality (in particular, for Hong kong Chinese) is quite a complicated matter.

    What I have said before mainly applies to Hong Kong Chinese citizens who were Chinese citizens before and after 1997.
    For those who were NOT originally Chinese citizens (and PR of HK/Macao), the situation is different:

    * If you're a Chinese citizen (not from HK/Macao), if you are resident overseas and gained overseas nationality voluntarily, you AUTOMATICALLY LOSE CHINESE NATIONALITY
    * If you're a foreign citizen who wishes to apply for Chinese nationality (regardless of whether or not you live in HK/Macao or mainland)- you would need to give up your original foreign citizenship.
    [e.g. Michael Rowse had to give up his British citizenship]

    If you would like the legal basis for these-
    (a) the Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China applies to ALL CHINESE NATIONALITY MATTERS (including those in HK)
    (b) for HK, in addition to the Nationality Law, see also the Interpretation (or Explanation) of the Nationality Law by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress issued in 1996.

    (3) BNOs and BC passports-
    as far as the HK/Chinese authorities are concerned, as long as you're a Chinese citizen, any foreign passports (including BNOs, British citizen passports) would be deemed under Chinese law as merely travel document and not indicative of nationality status.

    Under UK nationality law, however, BNO is a British nationality status (similar to BOTCs, British citizens, British Overseas Citizen, British Protected Persons, etc.). For more details, please check the UK Home Office's website. (This cannot be verbatim from the HK Immigration Dept, since it would not explain the position of the UK government/law)

    (4) *** issue: prior to 1997, this symbol was given to those with ROA or unconditional stay in HK, who were of a CHINESE ETHNIC ORIGIN or of other non-British (or non-white- I'm not entirely sure) origin (e.g. Indian).

    discobay's friends might have got this before 1997?

    Anyway, the Immigration Dept sometimes does make mistakes as to *** (either they have truly mistaken, or that they haven't updated the status of the HKID card holder). So please DO NOT rely on the *** symbol entirely if you wish to confirm one's nationality status. If you wish to be sure on whether you are Chinese (or whether you should have ***- pls either view HK Immigration website or approach the Dept, or you may state your questions here!


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