Tenwest Mandarin School


Does our baby need a visa to be in China?

Ocean (1102 posts) • +8

My (Chinese) wife and I were at the PSB today. We have a child born in Kunming (so he's technically Chinese) who, as yet, isn't on a Hukou and has a British passport. He'll be starting Primary School next year and needs a "school ID number" to progress through Chinese education. Getting that number requires a Hukou registration/ID card. But getting a Hukou would mean he could no longer get the temporary Entry/Exit permit which allows him to visit abroad. Or at least it DID:

Apparently new rules now allow "mixed parentage" kids to hold dual citizenship until they are 18 years old. Thus, my son can get a Hukou, ID and indeed a Chinese passport and STILL get the Entry/Exit permits as required. The PSB said this was a new rule change and, having stumbled on it ourselves, I've added it to this thread for other parents' info.

ptkm09 (7 posts) • +2

Thanks Ocean, very important information. Our elder son will be starting school next year too, we thought about an international class in a Chinese school, but a Hukou/Chinese ID will be an advantage for him in any case.

michael2015 (599 posts) • 0

Best to go talk to visa exit entry PSB. Also you should quickly add children to hukou. Delays can result in penalties.

Once the kids are on hukou they are registered Chinese citizens regardless of other passports and citizenship.

Ocean (1102 posts) • 0

Yes, there are certain advantages for children of “mixed parents” to be registered with a hukou, but there is no rush to decide and certainly no penalties for delaying the decision. Indeed, until this latest rule change, you could not get an Entry/Exit permit if you were registered with a hukou, so there was a definite disincentive to register too quickly. Thankfully that has now changed but I agree it’s worth talking to the PSB directly for confirmation as we did today.

JanJal (803 posts) • 0

We did this the other way - our son has all Chinese paperwork, including hukou, ID and passport, and we are considering if/when to get foreign passport. I can only assume that this new change works this way too - we can get the foreign passport without it becoming challenging to hold his Chinese passport at same time.

However, this challenges me:

"my son can get a Hukou, ID and indeed a Chinese passport and STILL get the Entry/Exit permits"

If he has Chinese passport, why would he need Entry/Exit permits? At least our son (1yr) could travel to Europe just fine with Chinese passport. Of course he needed Schengen visa, since he doesn't share my nationality yet.

But I have understood that a Chinese passport would allow one to leave the country, and the foreign passport for the destination would allow one to arrive there = no separate Exit/Entry permits needed.

Though previously the problem of holding two passports would have been a problem, since China would have interpreted the presence of foreign passport as the Chinese nationality being cancelled. This would have been apparent from foreign visa & entry/exit stamps (or lack of them) in the Chinese passport.

michael2015 (599 posts) • 0

Generally, dual passport holders must use the home passport of nationality when entering your home country. It seems this is still based on the honor system - but that's the way it is.

So, when your children enter or leave China, they're supposed to use their Chinese passport.

Ocean (1102 posts) • +3

My son is Chinese though being born here, but we got a UK passport for him fairly early on. (Until this rule change) if he had a Chinese passport too, he couldn't leave China for the UK without having a UK visa in it BUT he couldn't get a UK visa in it while holding a UK passport. Catch 22. So Entry/Exit Permit was the only way.

As to your last paragraph, it's my understanding that if a child has Chinese nationality other passports are IGNORED by them. So the presence of foreign passports has no impact on their Chinese nationality. Only the Chinese passport is recognized. But this new rule seems to loosen up on that a bit.

alienew (423 posts) • -4
Comment hidden by user downvote Click to expand

Governments like to claim their subjects (also referred to as citizens), subjects must engage with bureaucrats and locate & jump through various hoops thrown at them in order to be who they want to be; seems a lousy way to treat people.

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