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!