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US Citizenship --> HK Citizenship

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  1. #1

    US Citizenship --> HK Citizenship

    Hi,

    I'm a US Citizen, but living in HK with a 3-start HK ID. Now my job requires me to travel frequently to places such as Pakistan and India. I'm thinking about applying for a HK passport to travel to these places because it's probably much safer to travel there with a HK passport rather than a US passport. (as experienced by my friend during the Mumbai bombing).

    My understanding is that to do so, I have to renounce my US Citizenship and give up my US passport. It is ok because I only spend very few days in the US each year anyways.

    Can anyone suggest how I can go about doing this? Or can anyone refer me to a good lawyer in HK who is familiar with the procedures to give up my US citizenship?

    Thanks,


  2. #2

    Join Date
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    I believe your understanding is wrong. If you have a *** HKID then in principle you are already a Chinese Citizen of HK, all you need to do is apply for the passport.

    On what basis do you have the *** HKID? Were you born here? Are you ethnically Chinese?

    Last edited by PDLM; 26-03-2010 at 01:48 PM.
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  3. #3

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    You dont need a lawyer..just file for a HK passport and the HK immi will give you all the info.

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  4. #4

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    is either your parents a HK citizen at the time of your birth?
    If not, then you might get turned down for HK passport on this basis alone.

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  5. #5

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    By being a US Citizen, you may have lost your Chinese Citizenship already. The requirement for you to renounce your US citizenship is from the Chinese side not the US side. The US has been increasingly tolerant of dual citizens, the Chinese less so.

    With renouncing US citizenship, it is a rather popular and therefore lengthy process due to the tax and other implications. For instance I have been told that the wait to do it in Hong Kong is a number of years.

    Under the old system you would continue to be liable for US taxes for a further 10 years. Now the system has moved on to a mark to mark of all your global wealth with a tax then applied to all your assets.

    There are some exceptions, albeit very few of them, and for that reason you may want to consult with a lawyer.

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  6. #6

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    If you are born as a Chinese Citizen of Hong Kong then you do not need to renounce your Chinese Citizenship in order to take a foreign citizenship. Many tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Hong Kong Chinese Citizens also hold another citizenship.

    What you can't do is Naturalize as a Chinese Citizen without simultaneously renouncing your other citizenship(s).

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  7. #7

    Further Question

    Thanks to all the replies. I have 3-star HK ID because my mother has one. I'm ethnic Chinese.
    So I think if I apply for HK passport, then legally I'll have to renounce my US citizenship right? Can anyone refer me to a lawyer with experience handling renouncing US citizenship for further inquiry?

    Thanks a bunch.


  8. #8

    Join Date
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    If you are going to renounce your US citizenship, get in touch with the guys at the State Department - they can email you all the specifics and you will also need to speak with a consular officer outside of the US. You will likely have to meet with them several times before you will be allowed to formally renounce your citizenship. They will explain all the effects of renounciation to you before you are allowed to proceed. The process typically takes several months if you follow through (not years as a poster above noted). However, you may have certain obligations to the US government for taxes, etc., depending on your income (the criteria has recently changed, so lots of info that comes up on Google that is not from an official US web site is not up to date) for years after renouncing citizenship. The consular officer will explain all of this to you.

    Re: a lawyer - are you looking for HK/ China or US advice? For a US immigration lawyer, you will likely need to find one in the US - haven't come across any based here in HK. A lawyer won't be allowed to meet with the US consular officer either with or for you.

    Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship

    Last edited by hello_there; 26-03-2010 at 07:15 PM.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by gogobear:
    Thanks to all the replies. I have 3-star HK ID because my mother has one. I'm ethnic Chinese.
    So I think if I apply for HK passport, then legally I'll have to renounce my US citizenship right? Can anyone refer me to a lawyer with experience handling renouncing US citizenship for further inquiry?
    Ps. I think you've actually got two separate sets of questions:

    i) Do you need to renounce your US citizenship to get a HK passport (you will need HK law advice for this bit); and

    ii) How do you renounce US citizenship (you will need US law advice for this bit). Unless you have significant assets or income from the US, the value add from a US lawyer vs. just speaking with a consular officer, will be minimal. The basic steps for renunciation are quite straight forward. If you do have significant US assets, you should speak with a US lawyer who has experience in estate planning and immigration matters. The estate planning bit is the harder and more time consuming part.
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  10. #10

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    my wife (a UK citizen with 3* PR) has just applied for a HK passport for her and our HK-born youngest.

    She DID NOT have to renounce her (or our son's) UK citizenship in order to apply for the passport.

    gogobear likes this.

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