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[How To]: Get An Entry-Exit Permit For Your Mixed-Nationality Kid

Kids of mixed couples born in China can't just leave -- even if they have a foreign passport. Here's how to take care of that.
2023-05-20 12:00:00
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Mixed-nationality kids born in China, where either the mom or the dad has a foreign passport and the other parent has a Chinese passport, automatically acquire Chinese citizenship at birth.

China doesn't recognize dual citizenship, so the status of these kids is classified as a "nationality conflict" (国籍冲突), and they cannot obtain a Chinese passport to travel. Further complicating things, however, they also cannot leave the country using their foreign passport, since that one does not have a valid China Visa.

So, there's a bit of a runaround to deal with this issue, but the solution in brief is as follows:

You need to get your child an Entry-Exit Permit (出入境通行证) to leave the country for the first time. The Entry-Exit Permit is usually valid for one exit and return entry within 3 months of issuance. Then they come back in on a China Visa or a Travel Permit.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to obtain the Entry-Exit Permit. The official website for the process (in Chinese) is right here. It usually takes 7 workdays from application to receiving the document

Prepare all required documents.

Here's what you need to bring, all as originals and a photocopy of each as well:

  • The child brings:

    • foreign passport

    • birth certificate (出生证明)

    • Hukou (居民户口簿)

    • 3 two-inch color photos

  • The Chinese parent brings:

    • ID card (身份证)

    • Shanghai Residence Permit (上海居住证)

  • The foreign parent brings:

    • Foreign passport

    • Resident Permit or Work Permit (工作许可证)

  • Chinese-language Marriage Certificate (结婚证).

  • Chinese name of the child.

You need to prepare copies of all documents. You can make copies at the Entry-Exit Office for free, but there's often a long line in front of the counter (1st floor, turn left, at the back).

The color photos of the baby need to meet the standards of Chinese passport photos (white background, don't smile, not wearing a white shirt ...). You can take pictures at the Entry-Exit Office for 30rmb (both 1st floor and 2nd floor) but expect a line too.

If your marriage certificate is not in Chinese, it needs to be translated and validated by the Chinese Embassy of the issuing country and notarized at the notarization office.

"We live in Shanghai, but our Hukou isn't in Shanghai."

As long as the Chinese spouse has a valid Shanghai Resident Permit (上海居住证), it's okay to apply for the Entry-Exit Permit in Shanghai. Otherwise, you will have to apply at the location where the Chinese spouse's Hukou is.


Go to the Entry-Exit Office.

You need to apply on-site in person, with both parents present (at least for the first-time application). Kids under the age of 16 do not need to be present.

Despite the local government listing a few locations, it seems that applying for the Entry-Exit Permit is only possible at the Pudong Minsheng Lu location. 

Currently, there's no need to schedule an appointment to apply for the Entry-Exit Permit.

"We cannot both be present to apply for the Permit at the Entry-Exit Office."

In this situation, you can give someone else a Power of Attorney (授权书) if one or both parents cannot be present on-site for the application. Reach out to English-speaking lawyers for help with that.

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Unique situations -- what other documents might be needed?

If the name on the birth certificate is different from the name on the foreign passport (e.g. the name in the birth certificate is in Chinese, but the name on the foreign passport is in English) then you need to prepare a statement issued from your consulate confirming that it's the same person.

If the child was born out of wedlock, a report from an authorized agency showing the relationship between child and parents is required. Again, reach out to English-speaking lawyers.

If the child was born before the marriage, you have to do a paternity test at the Academy of Forensic Science.

These documents are required for a first-time application. For future applications, you'll only need to show the previous Entry-Exit Permit and photos, and one parent needs to be present.

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On the day at the Entry-Exit Office:

Both parents have to be present (unless you have a Power of Attorney).

Here's the process for the Pudong Location:

  • Go to the information counter on the first floor where you'll receive an application form and pick a number. You can select either self-pickup (自取)  or delivery (快递).

  • You'll have to wait until your number is called. The officer will keep all the documents and issue a new receipt.

  • Proceed to the cashier and pay 15rmb. The cashier stamps the receipt.

  • If you've selected the delivery option: With the stamped receipt, proceed to the EMS counter (back in the main hall). Pay another 15rmb and provide your delivery address to where they shall ship your document.

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Now that we can leave, how can we re-enter China?

The Entry-Exit permit is good for one exit and one entry only. For a more permanent solution, you'll want to apply for a Travel Permit (旅行证) that's usually valid for two years and multiple entries/exists. You'll do that through the Chinese embassy/consulate in your home country.

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