Hello and thank you in advance for reading my post. I have a very unusual situation which has caused considerable head scratching in the last 24 hours!
I apologise in advance for the long post. There isn't a particularly easy way to explain!
My son (who is 6 years old) has a Chinese passport and a British passport, so he has both nationalities (only recognized as such in the UK though). I am a British citizen by birth, and my wife is a Chinese citizen currently holding a UK Biometric Residence Permit. My son was born in Beijing, China, (since I worked in Beijing for several years). He has a British birth certificate and a British passport. He is now living and going to school here in the UK since he returned to the UK in 2011 on a UK CoE Right of Abode visa in his Chinese passport (this visa has now expired). We all live in the UK, permanently.
I will travel with my son and my wife to China for the Spring Festival in February.
I took my son to the Chinese Embassy in London yesterday and they told us that they CANNOT issue him a Chinese travel (L) visa in his UK Passport because he still has a valid Chinese passport and so therefore he is recognized only as a Chinese citizen.
They said he must travel using his Chinese passport.
They told him they can give him a Temporary Single Entry/Exit Travel Permit, which is a small BLUE book that looks a bit like a passport that has my son's passport photo in it. I can go to collect it in London next week.
The Chinese Embassy in London also told me directly that this Temporary Single Entry/Exit Travel Permit (Blue book) can ONLY be used to ENTER/return to China (as a Chinese citizen).
However, the Chinese Embassy in London told me the Blue book will expire immediately after he enters China and it cannot be used to LEAVE China and return to the UK. So, therefore, when he has arrived in China, my son may not be able to return to the UK (he will effectively be 'in exile' after he arrives in Beijing).
Unless there is a way to successfully apply for another Temporary Single Entry/Exit Travel Permit (Blue book) when we are already in Beijing (i.e. from the Public Security Bureau who usually deal with this kind of thing) for him to use at Chinese customs in order to leave China?
The Chinese customs in Beijing will not let him use his British passport to LEAVE China to return to the UK because there is no Chinese travel (L) inside it (as I said above, the Chinese Embassy in London won't give him a travel (L) visa).
Additional background problem:
My son has a Chinese name in is Chinese passport (taken from his mother's side), and his UK/English name in his UK passport (taken from my side of the family). According to the Chinese Embassy in London, they 'don't know if he is the same person'. I had thought of this in advance and had a Deed Poll sent which renounced his Chinese name so that he should now only legally be known by his English name. I showed this to the clerk at the Chinese Embassy in London. They took a photocopy of it and said they would 'see if it could be useful'.
Having two names though means that to avoid mass confusion, it would be better surely to leave China on the same passport/name that to came into China on... I would assume anyway!
You may ask "Why can't my son travel to China using his British passport with a L visa stuck inside it from the Chinese Embassy?!" Well the answer from the Chinese Embassy in London is that because my wife is a Chinese citizen and because she is the mother of my son (they are on the same Hukou in Beijing), therefore my son, and possibly even my wife, must give up their Chinese citizenship before my son is allowed to be issued get a Chinese Travel visa to put inside his British passport.
Stuck in the middle?
This is not a very easy situation. My son seems to be stuck in between two nationalities. The UK government allows more than one nationality at the same time, but the Chinese government only allows one nationality. We want our son to have both nationalities, but the Chinese government (and the Chinese Embassy in London) won't allow this.
Whether my son wants to go to China to visit his grandparents next week or next year, it seems this is the hurdle that must be crossed.
I heard that my son may renounce his Chinese citizenship to effectively resolve the situation, but that this can take up to 10 months to complete. So my question is, when my son arrives in China in 10 days, can he apply for a Temporary Single Entry/Exit Travel Permit (Blue book) in Beijing from the Beijing PSB so that he can return to the UK? (incidentally, we will visit Beijing for 3 weeks)
Thank you very much for reading. Any help would be really appreciated. We may be quite a rare case where these exact circumstances have come about.