12 replies to this topic
Posted 2011-04-14 02:33:59
Does anyone know how long I need to wait in order to get my Thai Nationality renounced?
I want to apply for a HKSAR passport but I need to renounce my Thai Nationality in order to get it. I have moved to HK from Thailand with my parents since I was 3 years old (I am 32 now). So I have been staying in HK for over 28 years. Recently, I want to start my career into politic in HK and I realize that it is to my benefit if I hold a sole HK (or Chinese) Nationality, So I went on to check the necessary proceduces to apply for HKSAR passport. My ancestors are from China and my wife is a HK-born Chinese so I am fully qualified to apply for HKSAR passport. However, to apply for HKSAR passport, I need to give up my Thai Nationality. To give up Thai passport, I need to apply to the Thai embassy and the problem start here because:
1) I don't know if Thai government would ever approve it. I heard someone saying that it is almost impossible to give up Thai nationality.
2) I don't know how long it would take.
3) I realize that I will have no citizenship at all because after HKSAR has approved my application, they will have me submit the renunciation documents from Thai authorities before granting me the passport.
According to Thai law, there is no clear rule on how long I need to wait. Therefore, does anyone could help me on this? I am a frequent traveller, I need to travel to places like Europe, China, Japan & Australia almost every month. At the moment, It is already a headache to me as Thai passport needs visa for almost every developed countries. Without any passport, it will be a disaster to me.
Many many thanks in advance for anyone who could offer help!
Posted 2011-04-14 03:44:10
You probably have already spoken to a Thai lawyer about this and have seen Thailand's Nationality Act and an English translation of it. Sections 13 to 22 deal with the renunciation and revocation of Thai nationality.
You did not mention it specifically but it appears that both your parents were Thai nationals at the time of your birth. If this is the case, there is no clause allowing you to renounce your Thai nationality but section 22 states unequivocally that "a person of Thai nationality who has been naturalized as an alien...shall lose Thai nationality." In other words, the moment you receive your Chinese nationality your Thai nationality will be automatically forfeited because the Thai law says so, without the need for you to renounce it and for the Thai government (Minister of the Interior) to accept the renunciation.
If the Chinese government insists that you renounce your Thai nationality even though the Thai law does not provide for this and instead strips you automatically of it when acquiring another nationality, you could, after you have the written approval of your Chinese nationality, write a letter to the Thai Minister of the Interior informing him of your acquisition of the Chinese nationality and request his written confirmation that as a consequence you therefore have lost your Thai nationality in accordance with Thai law, explaining that you need this confirmation to comply with the requirements of the Chinese government. Hold on to your Thai passport and continue to use it for travel until you get your Chinese passport, ie hand in your Thai passport to the Chinese passport authority in exchange for your Chinese passport.
Posted 2011-04-14 06:34:27
Maestro, technically however, the OP will be taking the nationality of his spouse, under which Thai law does not have a problem with:
The OP for all intents and purposes is getting nationality by virtue of marriage i would suspect (even though he'd probably qualify under his own steam).
As such, I'd just apply to the Thai embassy and they can do the paperwork.
The issue is how long it takes to process. Ulitmately, it is at the discretion of the Minister of Interior, and as such it could take 1 day, 1 month, 1 year or 10 years. Who knows?
The OP should check with Chinese authorities however. It could be acceptable that an application to renounce has been made. This is often accepted by many authorities in lieu of an actual renunciation, given that governments are aware of how long the actual renunciation may take to process (or may actually be rejected) over which the applicant has no control.
Posted 2011-04-15 00:46:29
You're right, Samran. I forgot about the Chinese wife. This makes renunciation possible. I suspect there are lots of precedents of this type and it will be routine for the Thai ministry to deal with.
Posted 2011-06-13 12:17:12
If you look through the Royal Gazette, you will occasional announcements of lists of people who have voluntarily renounced Thai citizenship, mainly in order to become Taiwanese but some to become German, Korean or other nationalities that are strict on demanding renunciation of previous nationality. The renouncers are mainly women married to foreigners but there are a few male names getting German nationality. Taiwan has the same requirement that you have to become stateless before you get Taiwanese nationality, even they allow Taiwanese by birth to have as many foreign nationalities as they like. There are serious issues concerning the number of Vietnamese women that become stateless and remain like that for years because they are booted out by their Taiwanese husbands before their Taiwanese citizenship comes through. Then they no longer qualify for Taiwanese nationality and it is very hard to recover Vietnamese nationality. So you need to check this point very carefully to make sure that the HKSAR citizenship will be approved as soon as you have the renunciation certificate. I don't know exactly how you travel back to HK with the certificate which you probably have to sign for in person!
For exact details contact Special Branch's nationality renunciation department at Police HQ in Bangkok. Details of documents required for renunciation are available in Thai on Special Branch's website.
By the way I have heard of several people who managed to keep British passports in their back pockets after getting HKSAR passports. It may be worth investigating this approach before taking the drastic step of becoming stateless. If you do renounce Thai citizenship, you are automatically entitled to reapply for it and you are also automatically entitled to get Thai permanent residence.
Posted 2011-06-15 13:22:32
Maybe you can renounce citizenship at the Thai consulate in HK to avoid trying to travel back to HK as a stateless person with no passport. However, that might be too logical.
Posted 2011-06-15 15:22:00
According to the Consular Affairs department you can renounce at an embassy/general consulate. Just fill in the forms there.
Posted 2011-06-15 15:28:50
This may or may not be useful in your case but I saw a form at Pattaya Registry Office, for Applying for Identity card and Resuming Thai Nationality. This might actually mean if thing goes wrong there is a way to get Thai nationality back, so check with lawyers about the complete procedure for renouncing and resuming Thai nationality before taking any further action so you can get a complete picture.
Posted 2011-06-21 23:05:25
You can get Thai nationality back and the law exempts you from from the requirement to have 5 years' residence in Thailand and have knowledge of the Thai language (i.e. no need to sing). However, I think you still need to comply with the other requirements, including having a job in Thailand and three years' of salary tax receipts. Special Branch's naturalisation department at Police HQ would be able to give definitive answers on this. Embassy and consular staff wouldn't have a clue but might venture their opinions anyway.
Posted 2011-06-23 19:55:02
I am in a similar situation to you, where i was born in Hong Kong and have full hk id card, and also have a Full British passport. I was incorrectly informed that i could not have a HKSAR passport due to the Chinese nationality law not allowing dual citizenship, but HK is a special administrative region, and there are special exemptions to the Chinese nationality law which apply to Hong Kong citizens. basically, it allows HK citizens to hold foriegn passports, but the Chinese government will only recognise foreign passports as travel documents, and you cannot get consular protection from the other country. You should read the followong HK government website pages:
So i am not sure you need to renounce your Thai citizenship, if you have full full HK id card.
Posted 2011-06-23 20:41:54
You should specifically read question 6 from the above webpages. the way i read it: if you do not declare your Thai citizenship to the immigration department, you can apply for a HKSAR passport.
I am a Chinese national holding a valid Hong Kong permanent identity card and a foreign passport. Can I apply for a HKSAR Passport?
If you have returned to settle in Hong Kong and have not declared a change of nationality to the Hong Kong Immigration Department, you remain a Chinese national and are eligible for a HKSAR Passport.