My sister has a bank account--and a passbook as proof of that bank account, in China. She opened that bank account as a Chinese citizen with a Chinese ID, and it currently has approximately $35, 000 in it. She became a Canadian citizen, and her Chinese citizenship was revoked (permanently taken away from her involuntarily).

Her Chinese ID had expired, and when I asked the bank whether she could use the expired ID when withdrawing cash, the bank said no. When I said that the accountholder is now a citizen of a foreign country and has a foreign passport, their call center agents responded that they don't know if she would be allowed to withdraw the money. What could/should she do in order to be able to get the money? She is in Canada and it is obviously not a good idea to just go to China without assurances from the bank that the money can be taken out of the account without the assistance of lawyers.

Note: this account cannot be accessed by any electronic means including internet or telephone banking, and the cash can only be withdrawn or transferred if the accountholder goes to a branch of the bank in China (presumably with all the proper IDs).

(Having your citizenship taken away makes simple things infinitely harder to do)

  • 1
    While this is a lousy situation, this appears to be a legal question rather than one on personal finance. I am not voting to close, though, because if this sort of thing is commonplace, I think that moves this to on-topic for this site. Jun 26, 2016 at 22:29
  • But this is a simple transaction! My sister is not dead--and never married anyone anywhere. Jun 26, 2016 at 22:35
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    @ChrisInEdmonton I think its still finance as its more about regulations on withdrawals, Foreign Currency Management, etc and less of legal. There are quite a few similar question for other Jurisdictions like India, Bangladesh etc.
    – Dheer
    Jun 27, 2016 at 5:55
  • This question is resolved. My sister obtained a Chinese ID illegally by failing to disclose her Canadian citizenship, and all of the money is either withdrawn as cash and brought back to Canada, or wire transferred out (for a very high, 2% transfer fee). Jul 27, 2019 at 7:51

1 Answer 1


China follows a policy to administer withdrawal of Foreign Exchange. One would need to review the relevant rules and regulations and complete the formalities required. At a broad level there is restriction of transferring more than USD 50K per year.

More about the rules can be found on SAFE.

  • This doesn't answer the passport/nationality question.
    – Cœur
    Jan 30, 2019 at 15:17
  • @Cœur The issue is not of passport or ID. China has restrictions on FX irrespective of citizenship. There are formalities to be completed
    – Dheer
    Jan 30, 2019 at 16:33

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