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Obtain Chinese Citizenship

Obtain Chinese Citizenship

The Chinese citizenship process is straightforward, with simple and fast formalities. However, the Chinese government is quite selective when it comes to foreigners who apply for citizenship and solicit their rights in this country. Legal advice and support can be provided by our law firm in China and particularly by our immigration lawyers in China matters.

 Quick Facts  
Nationalities accepted All

Law regarding the Chinese citizenship

Chinese Nationality Law 

Dual nationality

Not accepted

Can the Chinese nationality be restored? (Yes/No)

Yes, it is possible to recover Chinese nationality after it has been lost.

Who is in charge with citizenship applications in China?

Ministry of Public Security 

Who does approve/dismiss the citizenship applications of foreigners?

Local Public Security Bureaus

Requirements to obtain Chinese citizenship

– fill out the form;

– provide supporting documents;

– prove knowledge of Chinese knowledge

Citizenship application processing time

6 months 

Methods for obtaining citizenship in China


– employment,

– study,

– marriage, 

– long-term residence in China etc. 

Is knowledge of language necessary to obtain citizenship in China? (Yes/No) Yes
Benefits to obtain Chinese citizenship 

– medical assistance,

– housing,

– pensions,

– unemployment insurance, 

– other social welfare benefits

Personal income tax rate

– 3% for income up to CNY3,000;

– 10% for income between CNY3,001 and 12,000;

– 20% for income between CNY12,001 and 25,000;

– 25% for income between CNY25,001 and 35,000;

– 30% for income between CNY35,001 and 55,000;

– 35% for income between  CNY55,001 and 80,000;

– 45% for income over CNY80,000

Is permanent residence certificate required for citizenship? (Yes/No)


How can you get the permanent residence certificate? 

The applicant should apply for a D visa at a Chinese embassy and acquire a Certificate of Permanent Residence of Aliens from the public security authority that has accepted the applications within 30 days of admission.

When should I pay the fee for citizenship? While submitting the documents for citizenship application
 Criminal record solicited for citizenship application (YES/NO)   YES 

 Chinese citizenship through marriage

Gained through the naturalization process 

Chinese citizenship by descent   

 Granted if at least one parent is Chinese

 Citizenship for children born in China from parents without citizenship    They can become Chinese citizens if their parents live in China.
Birthright citizenship (jus soli)   

Not provided 

 Restoring Chinese citizenship (YES/NO)   


 Applying for citizenship outside China  

Through embassies and consulates 

 Chinese citizenship for minors 

The parents or tutors can make the application. 

 Dual citizenship permitted (YES/NO)


 Applicable immigration policies    Different immigration policies in China, Hong Kong and Macau
 What happens to Chinese citizens who acquire foreign nationality?

They lose their Chinese citizenship. 

 Chinese passport ranking

Ranked 61st on the Guide Passport Index 

 Visa-free access

Around 82 countries 

 Visa on arrival with a Chinese passport

 In countries like Thailand, Saudia Arabia, the UAE

Why work with our lawyers in China  We have experience in citizenship cases and we can help foreigners gain this status by managing the procedures. 

Eligibility criteria for Chinese citizenship in 2024

A series of conditions must be respected in order to properly apply for citizenship in China in 2024. China is over-populated, which complicates the process of obtaining citizenship even more. For instance, you can obtain citizenship if you get married to a Chinese individual if you already live in China or have Chinese parents but living abroad. Here are other requirements to consider at the time the Chinese citizenship application is made:

  1. One must fill out a form offered by the Public Security Bureau, Entry & Exit Administration, with personal information and reasons for such application.
  2. Supporting documentation, such as a personal identification card, residence permit, etc. is required.
  3. A document verifying the presence of a steady source of income.
  4. One must prove Chinese language knowledge.
  5. An application fee must be paid when submitting the documents.
  6. The Ministry of Public Security will then analyze the citizenship application file and get back with an answer.

The citizenship application process in China starts with an important document and that is the Certificate for Permanent Residence in the People’s Republic of China. This can be issued if:

  • You made significant investments in China.
  • You are a professional who works in China.
  • Being the spouse of a Chinese citizen.
  • Having direct relatives in China.

Also, the criminal record will be verified by the Chinese authorities prior to the naturalization process. One of our immigration lawyers in China can offer comprehensive assistance and legal advice to foreigners interested in Chinese citizenship in 2024. We can handle all the formalities, documents, and other bureaucracies, in order to smooth the process with the authorities. It is highly recommended to have legal support and avoid any possible misunderstandings. Furthermore, you are recommended to hire a Chinese divorce lawyer if you are facing any divorce proceedings in this country. The number of children and the preferences of both spouses are only a few of the numerous variables that affect every divorce case. To decide what will be most effective in your situation, you need legal experience. Applying legal tactics that were successful in another person’s divorce to your own situation might be devastating. So, instead of trying anything else, consult your matter with our experienced lawyers in China.

You are invited to watch a video presentation we have prepared on this topic:

Chinese Citizenship through marriage

Chinese citizenship can also be obtained through marriage. This is a simple naturalization process, and foreigners who want to get married to a Chinese citizen are suggested to talk to an advisor and ask for support in matters of documents. This process involves a series of formalities and bureaucracies, but it can be simplified with the help of our Chinese lawyers. If you are interested in applying for Chinese citizenship in 2024 through marriage, the services of our lawyers are at your disposal.

According to Article 16 of the Nationality Law of the People’s Republic of China, applications for naturalization in China and renunciation or restoration of Chinese nationality are subject to specific scrutiny made by the Ministry of Public Security of China. A certificate is issued by the Ministry of Public Security in China to any person with an approved application.

The Nationality Law of China

The Nationality Law of the People’s Republic of China clearly stipulates how immigration to China and citizenship can be obtained, also applying to the restoration or loss of Chinese nationality. It is important to note that according to Article 3 of the Nationality Law of the People’s Republic of China, the country does not recognize dual citizenship, and therefore, it is not permitted to Chinese nationals. Furthermore, Article 9 states that if a Chinese citizen obtains foreign citizenship, he/she automatically loses his/her citizenship. Chinese nationals who have settled abroad and have acquired foreign nationality may retain their Chinese nationality if they meet certain conditions such as maintaining close ties with China and not engaging in activities that are harmful to China’s national interests.

Foreigners or stateless persons who want to abide by China’s Constitution and who respect a few important requirements can be naturalized. As such, applicants with relatives in China or who already live in this country with a residence permit can apply for naturalization. You can have the support of our Chinese attorneys.

Chinese citizenship by descent

According to The National Law of the People’s Republic of China, Chinese citizenship by descent is offered only if ancestry is proven. In this case, the legislation does not recognize the place of birth. Here are other important aspects in this regard:
Nationality Law in China mentions that foreign citizens who have Chinese descent and can prove it are eligible for Chinese citizenship by descent. Here are other important aspects:

  • There is an exception, according to Article 5: a person whose parents are Chinese nationals and have both settled abroad and who has attained foreign nationality at birth cannot acquire Chinese citizenship.
  • If one of the Chinese parents is settled abroad and the child is born in a foreign country and obtains foreign nationality at birth, then the child cannot have Chinese nationality even if it is clear that the child comes from Chinese descent.

Minor children with at least one Chinese parent are eligible for Chinese citizenship, regardless of the country where they were born.  It is important to mention that children born abroad and having the nationality of the parents in that country are not considered Chinese citizens and cannot be part of the Chinese nationality application.

Cases in which Chinese citizenship is lost or renounced

Article no. 9 of the Chinese Nationality Law mentions that a Chinese citizen who emigrates overseas and obtains foreign citizenship stops being a Chinese national. As such, he or she can no longer be able to transmit Chinese nationality to the heirs. On the other hand, Chinese nationals have the opportunity to renovate this citizenship, as stipulated in no. 10 of the same set of laws. However, there are exceptions for Hong Kong Chinese persons and refer to the fact that they can still be Chinese nationals even after receiving foreign nationality. However, one can apply to the immigration department in China to be recognized as foreign nationals.

Applying in Hong Kong for Chinese Citizenship

Foreigners have the opportunity to apply for Citizenship in Hong Kong, but certain conditions must be met. For example, they must prove that they have relatives in China, that they are established in this country, or that they have other legitimate reasons for wanting to apply for this status. More in this case you can talk to one of our specialists on immigration issues in China. We recommend specialized help for the legislation may seem complex in certain cases. Chinese Citizenship by descent involves several formalities and procedures that can be explained by our immigration lawyers in China.

We invite you to discuss with our Chinese lawyer

When you want to apply for Chinese citizenship by descent it is good to consider the legal services offered by a specialist. Certain aspects of the legislation may seem difficult, especially since you have to prove, in this case, that you have Chinese descent. On the other hand, the process of obtaining citizenship in China can be quite simplified because our lawyers collaborate closely with local authorities on immigration issues, which can only be an advantage.

A short guide for relocation in China

Foreigners who want to relocate to China will have to verify if they need a visa. Once obtained, it is recommended to look for a place to stay and then apply for a residence permit. Some citizens from abroad will have to obtain a work permit if they accept a job in China. As for foreign investors who want to open companies in China, they can choose a Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise as the proper business structure for their activities. Here are some facts and figures that analyze the economy and business direction in China:

  • According to the latest facts and figures, the total GDP reached around CNY 121 trillion in China in 2022.
  • The total fixed asset investment registered for 2022 summed up to around CNY 57 trillion.
  • About CNY 13 trillion was the total real estate investment in China in the same year.
  • In 2022, around CNY 42 trillion was the value of imports and exports in China, representing a growth of about 7.7%.

Interested in residency in China? Our specialists can manage the paperwork for you. On the other hand, if you want to apply for divorce in China, it is best to talk to a specialist in the field and avoid any complications. As a foreigner, if you are running a company in China, you are recommended to get a trademark for your products and services. As China is a first-to-file country, so the first person who registers a trademark in China will get a right over it. Please contact our law firm in China and find out all the details.