It is easy to blame not the West and the East?
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It is easy to blame not the West and the East?

When thinking about the Russian emigration, the reason is almost never considered as a potential new home countries of East Asia. While the standard of living and social security in many of them already become quite a Western European. In this article I will try as much as possible to expand the horizons willing to dump, showing that the requirements for new citizens in the countries of East Asia, though there are sometimes specific, but most are quite feasible. I stress – it is only on citizenship, that is, no guest worker, illegal alien or a foreign professor – a permanent resident are not considered here.       

stro beeld 11 It is easy to blame not the West and the East?



















North Korea 

It is ironic, but the most technically simple for naturalization country in East Asia – is North Korea. To get her citizenship, simply write a statement to the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK. Does not require any knowledge of the Korean language or the residence or income statement – just a statement.

In fact, of course, this means that the decision on naturalization takes personal action the North Korean government. Therefore naturalized citizens in North Korea quite a bit, mostly relatives of members of the elite of North Korea friendly countries who, for one reason or another had to leave the country.

Live “come in large numbers, the North Koreans”, by local standards, very good. They are released from the ideological classes, and their origin (sonbun) is better than all the others, except for very small “special layer”. In other words, naturalized citizens of the DPRK formally included in the top 1% of the population for career opportunities. In practice, of course, they are kept at a distance from politics.


Mainland China is hardly an attractive country for exile, even from Russia. Not too high a standard of living, poor social security system, the serious environmental problems in major cities and very bad from the point of view of international travel passport – visa is needed almost everywhere. In addition, as plain text written in the Law on Citizenship of the PRC, “China does not recognize dual citizenship.” It would seem that in this situation the few who still want to be a Chinese citizen, a passport to get relatively simple. But in practice, the citizenship of China – it is extremely difficult.

For naturalization, as a rule, you have to be a member of one of the officially recognized nationalities of China (Russian pass on this criterion) and to have a residence permit, which can be given either to investors or high quality professionals, or foreigners who are married to a citizen of the PRC. The application and related documents are submitted to the Ministry of Public Security, which may request any additional documents, and then – simply refused citizenship. It is not surprising that the 2010 census naturalized citizens of mainland China in 1448 people – and this for a population of 1.35 billion.

But here we must note that in terms of legislation on citizenship China – to a certain degree not one country, but three. In Hong Kong and Macau have their own procedures for naturalization. As China lives on the principle of “you can not, but if you are from Hong Kong or Macao, and really want it, you can”, then get a Chinese passport and there is easier and more profitable. For example, in the two cities can become a citizen of the PRC representative of any nationality and resident of Hong Kong and Macau de facto is possible to have dual citizenship. Citizenship Law of the PRC manages gracefully: If Hong Kong people or makaostsa have a passport of another country, the Chinese authorities simply do not recognize it as a foreign national. In practice, this means that such a person, like other residents of Hong Kong and Macau for travel to the mainland in a resolution of the Ministry of Public Security, and, in the territory of China proper, he can not enjoy the protection of their country.

Add to that a much higher standard of living and freedoms, as well as the possibility of visa-free entry to most of the world, it is not surprising that the “new Chinese” in Hong Kong, Macao, and an order of magnitude higher than in the rest of China – about 10,000.


South Korea 

South Korea – a country open enough for other nations, and its citizenship easier to obtain than, say, the Chinese. But “easier than it is very difficult” does not necessarily mean “easy.” Let’s look at the necessary requirements for an ordinary foreigner (non-ethnic Koreans with no relatives in the country):

  1. Five years of registered residence in the country;
  2. The legal age and lack of previous convictions and deportations;
  3. Certificate of availability on account of not less than 30 million won (about 888,000 rubles at the current rate) or rental agreement for the same amount;
  4. One or two recommendations from the “respected members of society” (suitable, for example, high-ranking officials, professors and principals);
  5. Korean language at a sufficient level for everyday life.


It is clear that each of the last three points, especially the fifth, cuts off almost all foreigners who wish to apply for citizenship. Korean language at any decent level knows almost 1% of foreigners living in Korea.However naturalized citizens in Korea are now more than a hundred thousand – that is 0.2% of the population. But more than half of them – are former Chinese Koreans. They are followed by Vietnamese, or rather “the Vietnamese woman.”


“Vietnam’s wife” – is a service that is quite popular among the poor of South Korean society. Rather poor Korean bachelor marriage agency looks for a wife-flip flop. Typically, these services are the peasants, middle-aged, which is not easy to find a wife in the usual manner. Usually, girls do not speak Korean, Vietnamese knowledge of Korean farmers also do not shine, so that marriage is cohabitation of people than ever before who had not seen each other, can only be called a stretch. Rather, we are dealing with a mutually beneficial agreement: Korean au pair gets the girl, which can also sleep, and Vietnamese in two years – the coveted South Korean passport. Immigration Service of South Korea is trying to deal with this phenomenon: the recently issued a decree that for citizenship to both spouses must appear at the immigration office and briefly tell us where they met and got married. The results of this measure remains unclear.



As part of the naturalization Taiwan – probably the toughest country in the world. It is the only country that requires the delivery of citizenship first renounce their citizenship and apply now as a stateless person. It is clear that this is risky: if the Taiwan authorities refused, the applicant remains powerless stateless. In such a situation actually turned out to be, for example, many Vietnamese immigrants.

But there is a small loophole: how to specify Taiwan Nationality Act, if the renunciation of nationality before naturalization prohibited by the laws of the country of nationality of the applicant, then abandon it is not necessary. Russia – just a country, so if you want the Russian can emigrate to Taiwan and Taiwan to get a passport after five years of living on the island.

In the year to the nationality of Taiwan usually takes less than a thousand people, and all naturalized citizens on the island of about 20,000. The vast majority of them at the time the statements were married or married to a Taiwanese. More than three-quarters of the “new Taiwanese” – former citizens of Vietnam. As in South Korea, almost all of them – “Vietnamese wife.”



Japan has formed the image of a country with harsh laws of emigration, although compared to other neighbors is not very accurate. Naturalized citizens in Japan for more than two million – an absolute record for East Asia. A percentage of successful applications for Japanese citizenship is 99%. The requirements are also quite mild, almost coinciding with the South Korean, with the only difference being that on the one hand, Japan does not require a potential citizen of the recommendations, and the other – does not allow dual citizenship.

With what then connected so harsh reputation of Japan? Most naturalized Japanese – is the Koreans. Korea is known, was a Japanese colony from 1910 to 1945. When Japan lost the Second World War, the Allies decided to give the independence of Korea, the Japanese islands lived two million Koreans. Someone went to the mother country to study and work, and someone called in early 1940 as part of labor mobilization – Empire desperately lacked manpower.

After the defeat and the end of the U.S. occupation of the Japanese government announced that the amount now, dear former compatriots, you have independence, citizenship, and you also Korean. Thus almost all the Japanese Koreans (with the exceptions of Korean women married to Japanese, and Koreans adopted by Japanese parents) in an instant lost Japanese nationality. Of course, the Koreans could be naturalized in Japan, and many still do – but on a general basis.


Koreans, this situation strongly disliked, and in many decades of struggle for naturalization they rastrezvonili about it around the world. This is in many ways led to the creation of an appropriate image of Japanese immigration. However, this does not mean that Japanese citizenship is difficult to obtain. It means only that then, in 1952, the Government of Japan has a very ugly towards its former colony.


In total

It turns out that to obtain citizenship of the East Asian countries, with the knowledge of the appropriate language for the Russian is not so difficult. What is even more enjoyable, easy to obtain a passport and living in the country are inversely related: the richer the country, the easier it naturalized. Excluding the special cases of North Korea and Taiwan, the East Asian countries will line up as follows (according to the increasing complexity of the procedure): Japan – South Korea – China (Hong Kong) – China (Macao) – China (mainland).

In the richest countries in the region – Japan and South Korea – to obtain citizenship does not even need a permanent resident status, tenure there starts from the moment they cross the border. Sometimes there appears to be naturalized even easier than getting a local analog green card. Also, wishing to be naturalized in East Asia from Europe quite a bit, so almost no competition, and local authorities are to cases of particular interest.










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