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ROA/RTL Question, Please

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    ROA/RTL Question, Please

    Hi, I wonder if anyone with similar circumstances has successfully been awarded the ROA/RTL.

    My mother is Hong Kong born Chinese and married my father (British born Chinese) in Hong Kong in the early 1970’s. Shortly after they moved to the UK, I was born. I tried to apply for ROA/RTL using form ROP881 but was advised that this was the incorrect form as it was intended for naturalised citizens of 7 years where applications are considered under current immigration criteria. Through this process I was advised that at the time of my birth my mother was not considered a Chinese citizen as she had moved to the UK and as such I did not acquire Chinese citizenship.

    My father lived in Hong Kong for 6 years and has an expired HK ID card so my route for acquiring an ID card would be via my mother only.

    Speaking to the nice lady in the immigration department who had handled my case throughout I was advised to apply again using form ROP145 as my application would be considered under pre-1997 rules. If I would have qualified for ROA/RTL pre 1997 I would stand a good chance of getting it now. She said I had to submit my application in person and they couldn’t accept overseas applications. When my mother renewed her ID card in 2003 she enquired and was told I should be able to acquire the RTL.

    It would be great to hear from anyone in similar circumstances to hear their experiences and if they have any advice.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Yeah - you're British - get used to the idea.

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    Thanks for your less than useful reply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orangecrush View Post
    I was advised to apply again using form ROP145 as my application would be considered under pre-1997 rules. If I would have qualified for ROA/RTL pre 1997 I would stand a good chance of getting it now.
    You said you'd use form ROP145 (The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region - Immigration Department). Did the lady give you any insight as to filling out Section 2? You're not a person of Chinese nationality, nor do I suppose you've actually lived in Hong Kong permanently. I'm asking because I think my situation is similar to yours.

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    Having looked at the form the only option that could apply would be number 6, ROA in HK prior only prior to establishment of the HKSAR. I interpret this to be asking if you qualified pre-1997 handover, in my case by virtue of being a British citizen I would have been able to gain ROA due to HK being a British colony at that time.

    Hope this helps, please let me know how you get on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orangecrush View Post
    Having looked at the form the only option that could apply would be number 6, ROA in HK prior only prior to establishment of the HKSAR. I interpret this to be asking if you qualified pre-1997 handover, in my case by virtue of being a British citizen I would have been able to gain ROA due to HK being a British colony at that time.

    Hope this helps, please let me know how you get on.
    I think that category is for those living in HK who were not of Chinese descent (i.e. Indians, Pakistanis, Nepalese) but didn't have rights to their ancestral countries. As for being a BC, then by that thought, all BC's would be eligible for ROA, not only those whose parents came from HK.

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    Found a reply on the message boards to another poster who had a similar query re. ROA, I’ve copied and pasted an extract from the reply from HK immigration.

    ‘Furthermore, a person may acquire the ROA in Hong Kong under the law before 1 July 1997 if he/she is a Commonwealth citizen and who immediately before 1 January 1983 had the right to land in Hong Kong by virtue of being a British subject:-
    (a) who was born in Hong Kong;
    (b) by naturalization in Hong Kong;
    (c) by registration in Hong Kong under the British Nationality Act 1948;
    or
    (d) married or had been married to, or was a CHILD of, a person mentioned in (a) to (c) above.
    Under the above mentioned law, “child” means a legitimate or legitimated child, a stepchild and a child adopted in a manner recognized by law.
    If a person fulfils the above-mentioned law, he/she would acquire the ROA in Hong Kong before 1 July 1997 according to the law as then in force.

    At the end of the immigration reply they ask the poster to submit an application using “ROP145”

    If and when you find out which boxes to tick please let me know and likewise I will do the same for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orangecrush View Post
    Hi, I wonder if anyone with similar circumstances has successfully been awarded the ROA/RTL.

    My mother is Hong Kong born Chinese and married my father (British born Chinese) in Hong Kong in the early 1970’s. Shortly after they moved to the UK, I was born. I tried to apply for ROA/RTL using form ROP881 but was advised that this was the incorrect form as it was intended for naturalised citizens of 7 years where applications are considered under current immigration criteria. Through this process I was advised that at the time of my birth my mother was not considered a Chinese citizen as she had moved to the UK and as such I did not acquire Chinese citizenship.
    Just on this point here... I am not sure that her simply moving to the UK resulted in loss of Chinese citizenship. People who emigrate don't necessarily acquire foreign citizenship. That has to be a voluntary legal process. It sounds like HK immigration are making an assumption about this. (Admittedly, there are probably not many HK emigrants who do not acquire foreign citizenship of their host country as soon as they are able to, but it is possible and I am sure there are probably a few.)

    At the time of your birth, what passport was your mother holding? Was it still a HK-CUKC passport? Because if so, and she had not acquired UK citizenship (UK-CUKC, in those days) then really she was still a Chinese citizen.

    i.e. if she had not 'upgraded' her British nationality status from HK-CUKC to UK-CUKC by registration (i.e. if she had not acquired UK right of abode by registration as a UK-CUKC), then she still maintained the same status as if she was in Hong Kong.

    (Leaving aside the fact that China never recognised the "British" nationality of HK people of Chinese ethnicity (who all went from BDTC/BNO to formal Chinese citizens in 1997, with BNO regarded only as a travel document not a statement of nationality), and the whole fudging of Chinese nationality law with respect to Hong Kong, whereby HK-born Chinese with foreign citizenship through emigration are still considered Chinese citizens if they don't declare it. On that basis, regardless of your mother's nationality status at the time of your birth, even if she had acquired UK citizenship (UK-CUKC, in the 1970s), she still remains a Chinese citizen to this day if she has not declared any foreign citizenship to the HK authorities. And so if that is her situation, how can they say she was no longer considered a Chinese citizen??)

    If I were you, I think I would expect at least to get RTL (which may be more likely than ROA), through your HK-born Chinese mother. If you get no further joy, I would advise maybe going to an immigration lawyer for an expert opinion of your situation and to take your case forward, if you can afford to.

    Good luck
    Last edited by Elfin safety; 17-01-2008 at 06:17 AM.

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    Thumbs up

    My mother acquired a passport shortly after marriage in HK, it says ‘British Subject Citizen of the UK and Colonies’ and has a stamp at the back which shows a visa exemption certificate for entry to the UK. My mother has at no time renounced her Chinese nationality or competed documentation to acquire British citizenship, I presume by marrying a British citizen this was automatically acquired.

    I agree 'Elfin safety' with that the question of nationality held/acquired/renounced etc is for want of a better term a ‘fudged’ area.

    Thanks for your reply, certainly given me something to look into further.

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    Thanks "orangecrush". Just to add to the point raised...

    From the HK Immigration Dept themselves:

    Under the CNL, Hong Kong residents and former residents who are of Chinese descent and born in the Mainland of China or Hong Kong are Chinese citizens. They will not be entitled to consular protection in the HKSAR notwithstanding that they hold foreign passports.
    Whether you are regarded as a Chinese citizen in Hong Kong does not depend on what travel document you have. It depends on whether you have made a declaration of change of nationality to the HKSAR Immigration Department.
    source:
    The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region - Immigration Department
    The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region - Immigration Department

    So how can they advise you that your mother "was not considered a Chinese citizen as she had moved to the UK"? (and deny your application for that reason). That flatly contradicts their own guidance on the issue, as quoted above. I would challenge them on that...

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