Couple Acquired Foreign Residency, Still Fined for Above Quota Birth


In order to have another child without incurring Population Control fines, a couple, Mr. Yi and Ms. Gong of Changzhou acquired residency of a foreign country and give birth to their “illegal” above quota child in Hong Kong. When they returned to Mainland China, the family was still fined a quarter million renminbi in “social compensation fines”.

In April, 2007, the Yi family had a son. The newborn gave limitless joy to the couple. But after a time the couple wanted another child. Jiangsu Pronvice policies prohibited them from having a second child. The desire for one more persisted, the couple thought of the idea to give birth in Hong Kong. To be safe, in April and November of 2008, the husband and wife bought residency permits of the Niger Republic. Ms. Gong gave birth to a boy on March 25, 2009 in Hong Kong. When they returned to the mainland with their children, the couple still received notice of fines from the Population Control Bureau.

The receipt of the notice didn’t panic the Yi’s. They were prepared and requested a revision to the administrative decision from the district government. The revision process upheld the fine. The couple then sued in court to dismiss the fines. They thought they had already acquired residency permits in a foreign country and the certificate issued by the Changzhou City Overseas Chinese Affairs Office confirming their status as returning overseas Chinese. Plus, the second child was born in Hong Kong and had permanent resident status there. His “social welfare” was the obligation of the Hong Kong government and not contrary to the Chinese Population Control Law.

The court dismissed the Yi family’s claim as returning overseas Chinese. By Chinese law, “Overseas Chinese” must have been permanent residents of a foreign country for a minimum of 18 months in two years. Although the couple had acquired permanent residency of Niger, they still lived in Mainland China, and therefore not conforming to the national government’s definition of overseas Chinese.

In 2007, the National Population Commission ordered that Chinese citizens, who had acquired residency rights in a foreign country without living in that country, would be treated as Mainland residents. The decision was emphasized in 2010. If both husband and wife were Mainland residents, the children born abroad who had been living in China for over 18 months would count towards the Birth Planning quota, which means that if the parents’ residency was registered in a mainland locale, “illegal” births would entail a fine regardless of where the birth happened. The Yi family was still under the control of Jiangsu Province’s Birth Control Policy.

The Yi couple paid 250,000 yuan in “social compensation” fines.

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