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Author Topic: "Green Card" Update  (Read 10436 times)

Escaped Lunatic

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Re: "Green Card" Update
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2014, 01:06:13 PM »
Well, I had been keeping that conversation in the upstairs areas, but since a couple of people decided to ignore the "what's said upstairs stays upstairs" rule, I'll go ahead and lay it out for everyone here.  Apologies in advance for taking this thread a bit off topic, but citizenship is often a follow-on to greencards in many countries, so it's not a complete wrecking of the thread.  If this does get out of control, I guess we can spin it off into a new topic.

Before getting into the reasons, I'd like to assault the core of some of the objections I've gotten, both in the Saloon as well as items I've found online about others who have or are planning on changing from US to any other citizenship.

If I went to nearly any US citizen and said "I've married a foreign woman, want to settle down in the US of A, and she'll be getting her greencard, then become an loyal M'rican citizen, and we'll spend our final years getting bedsores in adjacent cots in a Soon To Be Soylent Green Containment Zone retirement hacienda, the universal reaction would be "how wonderful!"  The reaction would be akin to walking into a conservative church and announcing the successful conversion of a "heathen" to the one true faith.

On the other hand, the general reactions of US citizens to any of their fellow citizens considering changing their allegiance to ANY other flag are  . . . less than positive.  If it's becoming a Brit, Kiwi, or some other "civilized" place, it's sort of the reaction I'd get if I announcing to my Southern Baptist parents that I'm becoming Catholic - not happy, but at least it's closely related.  Pick a country much more afield and the reaction becomes a twisted mix of "Blasphemer!" and "Treason against your homeland!"

The US government itself is rather vindictive.  If you give up your citizenship, it's forever (unlike China bjbjbjbjbj).  A requirement to publish the names of those who dare to renounce their citizenship was also enacted to try to frighten people way from doing this.  At least the reports are that tourist/business visas aren't an issue for former citizens and that greencards (with no citizenship option) are a possibility.  I'll personally be happy with a tourist/business visa in case I need to drop in for something.

I personally find it odd that "a nation of immigrants" can't handle the very thought of it's own citizens becoming immigrants somewhere else.  If me thinking about giving up my citizenship somehow makes me a traitor, what does this say about every immigrant who gave up their old citizenship to become a newly minted US citizen?

So, I'll hope everyone here can avoid falling into the "Getting US citizenship is a wonderful thing and giving it up is somehow evil" hypocrisy.  Yes, citizenship of any county has advantages and disadvantages, but the last time I checked, "America" wasn't supposed to be a religious faith that persecuted people who gave it up, and "Americanism" as an ideology also wasn't quite as perfect as children are subtly programmed to believe in in during Sunday school and elementary school.  If someone here can't handle the core concept that different people might desire different citizenships, then this conversation won't get very far.

So, if we can dispense with the instinctive defensive USA Über Alles viewpoint, then on to more practical reasons and objections:

Everyone here who's ever lived in China knows that even a 6 month teaching contract isn't for everyone.  Then again, there are people reading this who came for a 6 month or 1 year contract and have been here a lot longer than I have.

Some of you will eventually "go home."  Whether or not you consider changing your citizenship, I know at least a few of you are like me.  You can't go home - since you already are home.

Home is where I am now.  I like to travel, but this is where I want to come back to.  This is where I want one of the following to be done with my corpse:

a.  buried
b.  incinerated
c.  made into tasty green crackers ababababab
d.  cryogenically preserved so that I can be defrosted to annoy people in the future.

I know some of you are planning to retire somewhere besides China or your homelands.  If that's what makes you happy, then I wish you a long and entertaining retirement wherever you end up.  For me, I'm happy here and don't want to head off hunting for greener pastures as I get greyer.

But citizenship?  In China?

Let me go through the usual objections and my answers.

1.  What about Visas?  Yeah, Chinese citizens are at a disadvantage when it comes to travel arrangements to a lot of places.  The good news is that this is showing some signs of improvement.  The bad news for me is that I'm helping the inlaws do their forms for US tourist visas this week and the damned thing wants even crazier amounts of info than I remembered (every job I've ever had, complete with address, phone number, and supervisor's name - Eeeek!).  My personal news - other than business trips, my wife and often my daughter are with me, so the visa burden won't really be that big of a deal.

2.  Health care?  One of my lovely personal angels moved from Dongguan to HK.  Thanks to meeting her in a hotel and handing her large piles of money, I finally have an industrial strength western-style set of insurance policies (and the very sad confirmation that signing up for insurance does not come with a happy ending even if the insurance agent is a very close friend ananananan).  DG itself has pretty good hospitals and the dentists have even been informed of anesthetics, so many of the nightmare scenarios people have trotted out are not going to be an issue for me.  Plus, I can elect to have any really complex surgery done anywhere outside of the USA.  Yeah, America has some of the world's best hospitals, but none of my US plans would let me run off and check myself in at a hospital in London, Tokyo, or Hong Kong if I didn't like the nearby options.

Just don't tell my lovely wife that my life insurance makes me worth a lot more dead than alive. ahahahahah

3.  Does your wife really want to move to the US?  I'm sure there are plenty of lovely ladies in China who would have been happy to marry me for my long and thick . . . citizenship (almost as many as for my big, hard wallet).  Those aren't the kind of girls I hang out with.  If every girl you meet thinks that way, you need to rethink were you are meeting girls.

I'm sure if I really wanted to move back, I could probably talk my wife into it, but not until after our lovely daughter gets married.  Since I don't want to move back, I look forward to someday sitting around watching my grandchildren drive my daughter crazy.

4.  Wouldn't moving to the US would make it easier to get my daughter into a US University?  Maybe, bit her other father isn't letting me drag her off to another country until she's graduated high school, and first we have to get her into a decent high school next year. ananananan  Besides, I already have the US Uni admissions policy covered.  If she really wants to go to an American university and can't get in as a freshman, I know which community colleges in Florida are well rated.  She's already reached the point where I think she could get an adequate score on the TOEFL, and with that little obstacle removed, those are open enrollment.  2 years later, she's guaranteed admission at any of the state uni's in Florida and may yet become the 4th generation of Lunatics to attend my alma matter. ababababab  If she doesn't want Florida, I'll have to find out what other states have the same rules.

5.  Why not settle for a green card?  I could also ask the same question of why people with a US greencard don't just stick with the greencard, but decide to apply for US citizenship.  I'll wager most of them aren't doing it just to vote for the least scary presidential candidate every 4 years and to have an easier time getting travel visas.

For me, the green card is both my fallback option as well as the first step.  Only a handful of non-Chinese related foreigners have ever become citizens, so I don't expect to fill out a one page form, hand it across the desk to the immigration guy and get told "come back and pick up your Chinese ID in a week."  Getting approved may take some time.

First step?  Yep!  Finding facts on this project of mine has been challenging.  I finally managed to get a few questions answered directly by someone reasonably high up the food chain at the local entry/exit bureau of foreigner herding.  According to him, it seems the part of the nationality law that says "settling down in China" as a valid reason has been interpreted as "has held a permanent residence permit for at least 1 year".  So, I NEED that green card as the first step.  I've just heard that there is a proposal to make it 3 years after getting a green card, but with more fixed qualifications (such as a citizenship test).

But, back to the question - why not settle for a greencard?  Simple.  I plan to be here forever.  "Permanent" residency actually is on a 10 year renewal.  If policies change, it's possible that retirees could be pushed out.  It's possible that some of the common (and horrible) diseases associated with aging could be added to a list of reasons to not renew it.  It's possible that my pathological need to jaywalk could eventually move me to a list of troublemakers and result in my deportation - unless I'm a citizen.

6.  But how can you leave the #1 most perfect country in the universe?  (Yeah, I tried to dismiss this earlier, but I know some of you are still stuck on that idea, so couldn't resist taking another shot at it.)  Look at the social trends.  Look at the financial statistics.  Think long term.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Rome didn't fall in a day, but fall it did.  If I wasn't in love with China, I'd be checking out other countries and looking for the softest landing possible.  As it is, soft or hard landing, this is where I want to be.  What if I'm wrong and bqbqbqbqbq and fan collide here worse than the US?  I consider this unlikely, but social and financial analysis are both very inexact sciences, so feel free to predict your own personal doomsday however you like.  If this did happen, I wouldn't consider leaving my wife and daughter behind and run to the consulate waving my passport while screaming "Save me, for I am one of the chosen ones!"  My personal "End Of Civilization As We Know It" plan is to gather up my friends, "borrow" anything that floats, run up the Jolly Roger, and say "Yo Ho Ho!" a lot.  Personally, I think I'd enjoy that a lot more than the typical US plan of hiding in a bunker and shooting at gangs of cannibals.

7.  What about dual citizenship?  Two problems.  First, the USA allows it, but doesn't recognize it.  Second, the act of becoming a Chinese citizen requires surrendering all other citizenships.  Approval isn't finalized until papers are presented confirming this has been done.  Happily, they do give a firm "IF you give up the other(s), we WILL take you" before one needs to give up tany other citizenship, so there's no chance if ending up stateless by accident.



I'm not trying to recruit others to change their citizenship.  I just feel that I want to change mine to fit my plan for the rest of my life.  Some people couldn't handle a vacation in China, much less being here for life.  Personally, the thought of a vacation in Iowa fills me with terror, but there really are people who actually move there voluntarily. mmmmmmmmmm  Getting my greencard and then acquiring Chinese citizenship is my personal quest, and I'm not planning on giving up.

BTW - I finally found out what it will say for my nationality.  I thought I'd get labelled as Kazakh, Russian, or one of the other minority nationalities that I might be able to pass for.   It turns out addition to the 56 nationalities, a few "unrecognized" nationalities that managed to get their names added to an alternates list, there are 2 other categories.  One is for unrecognized nationalities that don't have their names on the list of alternates.  The final choice translates roughly to foreigner who became Chinese.  I've already done it in my heart.  Now, I want the ID an passport to go with it.

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The Local Dialect

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Re: "Green Card" Update
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2014, 03:15:12 PM »
I honestly thought this was discussed in the marriage and family board EL, not upstairs. It was a long time ago so memory was kind of fuzzy and I didn't go back to check. If you want this all moved, it can be.

Escaped Lunatic

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Re: "Green Card" Update
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2014, 12:17:12 AM »
No problem.  It was going to come out sooner or later.  I just hope the discussion can be focused more on real issues than emotional reactions (and over-reactions) this time.
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bobrage

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Re: "Green Card" Update
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2014, 02:04:56 AM »
I haven't got any problem with people switching their citizenship around.  It's not like it's an intrinsic part of you or anything, we are a particular nationality only by the performance of that association, whatever form that performance may take (from having a bit of paper saying "You Are Brobdignagian" through to dressing in the Union Jack and pissing yourself when some posh doe eyed twit has a car crash in Paris).

I don't think you'll be able to get Chinese citizenship though.  I mean, I hope you can, but I don't think you cat's chance in hell. 


Escaped Lunatic

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Re: "Green Card" Update
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2014, 10:07:28 AM »
Despite my plan to disassociate my citizenship from the USA, there is one homegrown attitude I hope to firmly hold onto.

Impossible just means extremely difficult.

Tell enough Americans that something is impossible and one will find a way to do it just for the joy of proving you wrong.  Others may suffer terrible, even fatal injuries trying, but sooner or later, there will be some crazy guy standing over all the broken wreckage of men and machines saying "Nope, not impossible.  I just did it."

If I took "impossible" for an answer, I'd have never made it to China in the first place.

Even of they make it extremely difficult, I found out long ago that there is no rule in a bureaucracy without an exception.  All it takes if finding the correct form and getting the correct person to sign it.  There's always a way over, under, or around any regulation.  You just have to be crazy and determined enough to find it.

Hong Kong provides a backdoor way to score Chinese citizenship for those willing to take the time (and has done so for thousands of less-than-wealthy non-Chinese people from nearby countries).  If I were younger (ananananan) and could afford living in Hong Kong (ananananan), I wouldn't have to say that I'll "try" to get citizenship.  I'd be able to say "in X years, I will be a Chinese citizen."

Based on the info my lovely darling gave me while I was writing that essay I posted on the subject yesterday, it looks like the proposals are already hitting the table to turn insanely difficult all the way down towards very difficult.

I think the concept of "Chinese Citizenship for Non-Chinese is Impossible" is going to turn into Chinese Citizenship for Non-Chinese tomorrow will be about as difficult as a greencard is today."

I wonder what a Chinese citizenship test will have on it.  Damn, I'm not just going to have to learn to speak the language, I'm going to have to learn how to read and write to pass that.  That's going to be my biggest challenge. ahahahahah

So, while desperately hoping f someone invents "Instant Mandarin" pills, I need to figure out what else I can do to improve my chances of getting that green card it looks like I'll be needing.

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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: "Green Card" Update
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2014, 10:47:52 AM »
If your citizenship were put to the test in some way - say for instance, you find yourself seeking some legal right normally granted to citizens - how often will rule of law (and therefore your citizenship) trump the Chinese tendency to group themselves according to race? That is, as far as Chinese seem to be concerned, "Chinese" is a racial category and one is born into it or isn't in it at all. Will officials often still be persuaded to allow law to beat out prejudice?

(I'm not seeking to be critical with this question - just curious really about how far rule of law does apply generally in different places here.)
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bobrage

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Re: "Green Card" Update
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2014, 12:57:15 AM »
What hukou will you have?

You could confuse the dilly out of the "tour" providers in Shenzhen by rocking up there with your Chinese passport and being like "I need a tour to visit HK because my hukou is Bumblescum-by-Anhui-Nan".

Will you be eligible for Party membership?  If not, what about joining one of the other parties in the Popular Front?

Escaped Lunatic

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Re: "Green Card" Update
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2014, 03:46:50 AM »
If I pull this off (and I bloody well WILL pull this off!), I'm sure there will be some Chinese people who won't accept me as Chinese.  Then again, I know some Americans who seem suspicious of anyone who doesn't have the Stars and Bars displayed on their pickup truck.  How the possibility of prejudice translates into legal treatment is like everywhere else it the world - it mostly depends on the how local officials decide to deal with it.

On the other hand, my local village seems to have slowly realized that I'm not a tourist or factory boss on a 2 year assignment.  This year at Dragon Boats, they didn't even write foreigner or American next to my name on the donations board.

The impending hukou is a matter of some concern.  My lovely wife (holder of a DG hukou) decided to acquire another apartment in her hometown.  I told he to keep my name off it is, since I don't want to end up with a Jiangxi hukou by accident.  Instead, she's going to add me to an apartment she owns here in DG.  Personally, I'm REALLY hoping to get a proper peasant hukou in my village.  I'm told that this is technically impossible, but have already found one feasible legal loophole that would (admittedly with some modest difficulty) allow me to move an existing hukou here.  Personally, I'd prefer to see if I can get a village hukou from day 1.

When going to HK, I always automatically get shunted to the non-Chinese line.  I'm looking forward to the entertainment that holding a Chinese passport will cause. ahahahahah

Party membership?  I'm a little old the join the Youth League and haven't really looked into what options there may or may not be.  I'll probably limit my political ambitions to seeking an official appointment to the local branch of the Bureau of Appreciation of the Female Form.
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bobrage

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Re: "Green Card" Update
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2014, 04:10:31 AM »
Shouldn't your hukou ultimately be determined by where you want your child to sit their gaokao?  Seems to me like your aren't really Chinese if you ain't putting that first.

The Local Dialect

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Re: "Green Card" Update
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2014, 09:07:25 AM »
Why do you want a village hukou EL? I mean, I guess children aren't a concern since your daughter is a stepdaughter and your hukou would have nothing to do with her eventual gaokao or anything else (and, to be frank, if you somehow make this happen, it will surely be years from now and said daughter will be well past the age of caring about such things). But aside from a pitiful villager pension (which they probably wouldn't give you anyhow), there's no benefit to a village hukou aside from novelty.

However, I think to have any chance of making this happen you'll have to have a gagillion hong bao at the ready to pay off the myriad people who will try and stand in your way. I don't think it has a chance in hell of happening without greasing some wheels. And maybe not even then.

bobrage

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Re: "Green Card" Update
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2014, 10:10:24 AM »
If you want a Pakistani passport - legit and functional for international travel and residence - then you can get one in London for about 500GBP.  Local embassy there is bent as a two bob bit.

Granny Mae

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Re: "Green Card" Update
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2014, 11:54:52 PM »
EL, you are a very special person! agagagagag I hope it all works out for the best. bfbfbfbfbf

Escaped Lunatic

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Re: "Green Card" Update
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2014, 03:40:25 AM »
Even if I get citizenship with a village hukou tomorrow, it won't change my lovely daughter's DG hukou.  Then again, if she doesn't crack down and study for her high school admission in the remaining few days of this academic year, college won't be a worry. kkkkkkkkkk

2 reasons for a village hukou.

First, Escaped Lunatic - Certified Peasant.  bjbjbjbjbj ababababab

Second (and far more important), complete land ownership in the village requires a village hukou.  Anything less is just a rental with the possibility of losing the rights with little or no compensation.  I've already found one possible tiny crack in that brick wall, but having a hukou would be a far easier solution.

I rather like the thought of owning my own house here in the village.

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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: "Green Card" Update
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2015, 06:50:23 AM »
One more step forward on my Long March. agagagagag

Right next to my laptop are two pieces of paper.

One is white and covered in Chinese writing.  It says EXACTLY what paperwork I need to turn in with a Green Card via marriage form.

The other is green (ok, green-ish, more of an aqua color) and it titled Application for Permanent Residence in China (For Those Seeking Reunion with Spouses).  It's bilingual and only a single page printed on both sides.  It is very simple and straightforward.

Next March, I'll get an updated copy, just in case there are any changes.  I plan to turn it in on April 1st, 2016. ababababab
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AMonk

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Re: "Green Card" Update
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2015, 12:19:58 PM »
... I plan to turn it in on April 1st, 2016.

 agagagagag agagagagag A most fitting date agagagagag agagagagag
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