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Permanent Stay


pokeyzilla89

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I am a university student in Canada currently pursuing a computing and information science degree. I am a native English speaker.

I would like to move to China, stay permanently, and eventually become a citizen. I plan on teaching English there. I read in some other posts that you can become a teacher even if you don't have a university degree or any teacher training. Do these people stay out of trouble because they only stay in China for a short bit? If I go to teach in China before I complete my degree, would I become a major risk since I intend to stay in China indefinitely? To avoid that, should I continue pursuing my degree, even though it is unrelated to teaching? That is, will a university degree make me legally able to work in China?

Also, is anyone familiar with applying for a work visa and eventually citizenship?

Thanks for your help!

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Yes, you need a degree to work, at least as an English teacher, in China. It doesn't matter what the degree is in - I taught English for a while though my degree is in physics.

As for becoming a citizen, if you are not ethnically chinese, then you can forget it now.

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If you have neither university degree nor any teacher training, then you will be limited in the availability of work. You should get one or the other but need not have both. The teacher training required can be as simple as a quick course lasting just a few weeks. Ultimately, the degree is most important. Especially if you want the widest range of potential job opportunities (which you would want if you intend to live here permanently).

Currently you can never become a Chinese citizen (unless your parentage is Chinese). Even if you marry a Chinese person, you still don't get citizenship. The best on offer is a very long term visa

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Also, people don't particularily just up and move to China from Canada or __________. Usually they get out of China to live in Canada or wherever. You might want to actually try living here for a few months before "selling the farm" intending to start a new life here. To reiterate as stated (I am also married to a Chinese national), you will never become a citizen, they have too many people here already to let more in.

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As for becoming a citizen, if you are not ethnically chinese, then you can forget it now.

There are Tibetans, Uygurs, Sino-Koreans that are not ethnically Chinese. But right, changing it to China seems difficult. It was given to a few foreigners, wasn't Edgar Snow one?

In Hong Kong it's easier. Stay legally in HK for 7 years, become permanent residency, apply for a HK SAR passport. Then you are officially (HK) Chinese. There are quite a few non-Chinese-born-people went that way.

But it seems you are wearing the pink tainted glasses about China. I suggest you stay there some time and rethink it.

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I heard about a Brit who moved to China with his family some 30 years ago to join the communist party. Would that not make you eligible to become a citizen?

However, becoming a citizen in another country is usually a decision that is taken after several year's of living in another country. I have lived in several countries for 3 years plus but havent considered changing my citizenship simply because it could have a number of potentially negative implications for the future.

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Thanks for your replies!

I'm not ruling out Taiwan or Hong Kong. Will it be more difficult to get a teaching position in either of these two places than in China?

I'll finish my degree and won't rush into changing my citizenship.

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you can never become a Chinese citizen (unless your parentage is Chinese)

There are a very few Westerners who have taken Chinese citizenship though I would imagine it to be very difficult .

The Nationality Law states that:

Foreign nationals or stateless persons who are willing to abide by China's Constitution and laws and who meet one of the following conditions may be naturalized upon approval of their applications:

they are near relatives of Chinese nationals;

they have settled in China; or

they have other legitimate reasons.

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I heard about a Brit who moved to China with his family some 30 years ago to join the communist party. Would that not make you eligible to become a citizen?

Citizenship is only granted to foreigners under extremely special cases. As for your example, I'd imagine there are even fewer foreign members of the party in China so that in itself would make that individual be worthy of citizenship!

It would be more realistic for the OP to aim for getting Chinese PR if he intends to stay and settle down here, but apparently even this is not as easy as it sounds:

http://www.china.org.cn/english/LivinginChina/184128.htm

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It sounded pretty hard up until it said "Have come to China to be with your family, such as spouse, dependent minors or senior citizens". Given the other choices, though, I imagine that'll be stupidly hard to get, and you might very well end up having to fulfill one of the other requirements... I have no idea though, I don't know anyone who's ever received one.

The other thing that does concern me slightly is the line "A Chinese green card can also be used separately as a legal certificate to stay in Beijing", which implies that even getting a green card isn't sufficient to live where you want. Is this likely to just be old law, or is it still in effect? It's only 1.5 years old, so I'm not sure.

While I would like to get residency in China, it's not going to happen, I suspect. They've got rather too many people already. I don't see them wanting to strain their underdeveloped social system any further by allowing foreigners in.

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It sounded pretty hard up until it said "Have come to China to be with your family, such as spouse, dependent minors or senior citizens". Given the other choices, though, I imagine that'll be stupidly hard to get, and you might very well end up having to fulfill one of the other requirements... I have no idea though, I don't know anyone who's ever received one.

Even if you are married to a Chinese national and wait the required 5 years before applying, it is apparently still not that easy to get.

The other thing that does concern me slightly is the line "A Chinese green card can also be used separately as a legal certificate to stay in Beijing", which implies that even getting a green card isn't sufficient to live where you want. Is this likely to just be old law, or is it still in effect? It's only 1.5 years old, so I'm not sure.

I think all they're getting it are what's stated in the following sections:

Foreigners without a Chinese green card need to renew their residence permit once a year. There are also limitations over the time duration and location they can stay within the PRC. In comparison, a Chinese green card for foreigners below 18 years of age is valid for five years and for those above 18, it is valid for 10 years. Because the Ministry of Public Security issues the card, it is valid throughout China.

Expats with a Chinese green card have the same rights in civil and commercial affairs as Chinese citizens. They can rent or lease houses without examination or approval from the public security bureau.

What I do find interesting is the following:

With a green card, one can buy commercial housing or even economic-class houses in the city they reside in, if they meet the requirements.

What exactly is meant by "commercial housing"? Does this include commercial property, in additionl to residential? Currently, non-green card holding foreigners are not allowed to purchase commercial property. The same goes for the government-sponsored "economic-class" housing. I would think that the answer would be 'yes', given the previous line abbout green-card holders having "the same rights in civil and commercial affairs as Chinese citizens". If so, then this is indeed worth pursuing if you qualify for it.

In any case, I think that seeing a Chinese version of this document would help to make things a bit clearer.

While I would like to get residency in China, it's not going to happen, I suspect. They've got rather too many people already. I don't see them wanting to strain their underdeveloped social system any further by allowing foreigners in.

I suspect it's one of those things that are subject to interpretation and change, as "they" see fit.

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Commercial housing (商业性房地产) as in built to be sold - ie by developers for profit. To be contrasted with economic-class ( 经济适用房 ) housing which is government subsidized and built to be affordable. There are different restrictions on the buying and selling of the different types. Not sure what exactly, but I think that, for example, purchasing a 经济适用房 requires a local 户口.

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Commercial housing (商业性房地产) as in built to be sold - ie by developers for profit. To be contrasted with economic-class ( 经济适用房 ) housing which is government subsidized and built to be affordable.

Thanks for that, spoken like an industry pro. :) But wouldn't "商业性房地产" also apply to non-housing commercial property such as office space? Or is there another term for that?

There are different restrictions on the buying and selling of the different types. Not sure what exactly, but I think that, for example, purchasing a 经济适用房 requires a local 户口.

I believe that you are right about the hukou requirement. In addition, you have to be "poor" enough to qualify for the subsidized housing. I am actually a bit surprised that they state that green card holders can qualify for this.

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I'm not ruling out Taiwan or Hong Kong. Will it be more difficult to get a teaching position in either of these two places than in China?
From what I see around me in Taiwan, it's extremely easy, especially if you are a native speaker and white. You are eligible for permanent residency after 7 years, and for citizenship after 5 (not 100% sure about those numbers), or sooner if you're married to a Taiwanese national.

But OP, have you actually lived in China before? If not, I strongly suggest you live there for a year or two to see whether you really like it. And even if you do end up living there forever, it might still be wise to not give up your Canadian passport.

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From what I see around me in Taiwan, it's extremely easy, especially if you are a native speaker and white. You are eligible for permanent residency after 7 years, and for citizenship after 5 (not 100% sure about those numbers), or sooner if you're married to a Taiwanese national.

But OP, have you actually lived in China before? If not, I strongly suggest you live there for a year or two to see whether you really like it. And even if you do end up living there forever, it might still be wise to not give up your Canadian passport.

I dont think applying for Taiwan citizenship will be easy. From what I heard it is also almost impossible for foreigner to apply for Taiwanese citizenship. Although in theory it is possible but it is always being turn down. I read somewhere that lots of western face in Taiwan does not hold Taiwan citizenship. Correct me if Im wrong, thats what I heard only.

And one thing I really not really happy with China immigration is that even oversea Chinese (mostly 2nd, 3rd or 4th generation Chinese) cant really apply for China citizenship. Majority of the applicant are turned down thats what I heard. Im not sure why they want to do this but they should give citizenship to ethnic Chinese or give citizenship to pure Han Chinese because there are numbers of oversea CHinese still maintain their pure blood line and still retain the Chinese culture.

The government can impose a law that accept those who have highly qualified education, or bring contribution to the country thus indirectly help develop the country as well. Like Korea and Japan if you're ethnic Japanese or Korean, you can easily apply one and the government will welcome you. Its not like oversea Chinese contribute nothing to China, during the Chinese revolution of 1911 most of the funding are from oversea Chinese and during the sino japanese war I remember lots of local Chinese community contribute some money to help the war effort even at that time we're dirt poor! And recently there is also lots of investment going into China from oversea Chinese!

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Although purely theoretical, if a foreigner were successful in immigrating to China, and surrendered their original nationality (instead of being a dual citizen, which raises another whole series of questions about the status of Chinese nationals holding dual citizenship), would it be as bloody difficult to travel overseas as it is for Chinese born citizens?

Forgetting about the idea of actually immigrating for a moment, marrying a Taiwanese (or maybe even Hong Kongnese) gives you a lot of privileges that marrying a Mainland Chinese does, as I understand it. I'm married to a Mainland Chinese, and the visa you get through marriage is really just a glorified tourist visa. You can't even legally work, at least that's what I was told when I asked about it at the PSB. Looking at the requirement for gaining permanent residence through marriage as listed in the "Permanent Residence Application" book, issued by the Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration Bureau, it says:

"1) Marriage to a Chinese citizen, 2) marriage lasting for 5 years, 3) having lived in China for 5 continuous years, and resided in China not less than 9 months every year, 4) stable, ensured living and residence."

Unfortunately it doesn't list what privileges you enjoy after attaining permanent residence. A friend of mine who has been married to a Taiwanese woman for over twenty years, but living in the U.S. for the last 15, is planning to move back to Taiwan soon. He's entitled to buy land in Taiwan through his marriage (something even Mainland Chinese in China can't do, as all land is owned by the state), so when he goes back to Taiwan he's going to buy a piece of land out in the countryside and retire there. He can also legally work in any field without needing a special work visa. I believe marrying a Hong Kong citizen is pretty much the same, but not sure about buying land (there isn't much to be bought anyway).

My advice is that if you're looking for a place to settle down long-term, a place where you will enjoy a decent standard of living, then go to Taiwan. Mandarin won't do you much good in Hong Kong. You be forced to speak English, or learn Cantonese.

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Well with all the issues with student and business visas going on,

The one big benefit of a green can is that you don't have to worry about Visas coming to and from China.

This will be the first year that I extend my visa with a marriage certificate rather than have my company give me a new visa. I think I am looking forward to having a green card when it comes around.

(I have had several hassles trying to get visas in countries which we not my home country. I.e. getting one in France with an Irish passport etc..)

Unless a consulate or an MNE picks me up I am on my way to being green.

have fun,

Simon:)

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