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I was reading up on Chinese nationality law about dual citizenship. I noticed the law states:

Article 9: Any Chinese national who has settled abroad and who has been naturalized as a foreign national or has acquired foreign nationality of his own free will shall automatically lose Chinese nationality.

So let's say a child is born in China to Chinese parents. The Chinese parents move to the United States and obtain green cards, and then naturalize before the child turns 18. Under U.S. law, children under the age of 18 who hold green cards when one of their parent naturalizes automatically acquires U.S. citizenship.

Under these circumstances, what happens to the Chinese citizenship of the child? In this case the child did not obtain U.S. citizenship on their own free will as it was given to them automatically.

Does this result in the child holding dual Chinese American citizenship?

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    When reaching 18 the child has to make a decision: keeping the US citizenship after becoming an adult is tantamount to acquiring it on your own free will. – dda Feb 16 '18 at 3:27
  • @dda - you should convert your comment to answer – Peter M. Feb 19 '18 at 22:14
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When reaching 18 the child has to make a decision: keeping the US citizenship after becoming an adult is tantamount to acquiring it on your own free will.

Visiting China on a US passport will require getting a visa – thus visiting a Chinese consulate. And admitting you're not a Chinese citizen.

On the other hand, visiting China on a Chinese passport entails a couple of hurdles: getting the passport and explaining to the Consulate, and Immigration officers how a Chinese citizen lives in the US without a US visa.

In both cases, you'll end up losing your Chinese citizenship.

  • "When reaching 18 the child has to make a decision: keeping the US citizenship after becoming an adult is tantamount to acquiring it on your own free will." Do you have any basis in the law or official source for this claim about age 18, or that there is a "decision"? Nowhere in the PRC Nationality Law does it mention a case of making a "decision" on nationality. – user102008 Feb 25 '18 at 6:17
  • "explaining to the Consulate, and Immigration officers how a Chinese citizen lives in the US without a US visa." How about the truthful explanation that the child, legally, has both Chinese and US citizenships, if the answer to this question is that Article 9 doesn't apply? – user102008 Feb 25 '18 at 6:25
  • It is not uncommon to have children with both Chinese and US citizenships -- a child born in the US to at least one Chinese citizen, where neither parent was a Chinese citizen who had foreign permanent residency, has both Chinese and US citizenships, and the PRC consulate issues them a Chinese Travel Document which says within it the bearer is a citizen of the PRC. The child is then supposed to use both this document and a US passport to enter and exit China. Although this is a different situation than the case here, it shows that the consulate can recognize children with both citizenships – user102008 Feb 25 '18 at 6:29
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    So the question is only, does the child lose Chinese citizenship, or not (and thus has both citizenships), according to PRC law? – user102008 Feb 25 '18 at 6:30

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