File No. 1271
Washington, May 13, 1908.
To the diplomatic and consular officers of the United States in China.
Gentlemen: Section 2 of the act of March 2, 1907, and paragraph 144 of the Diplomatic Instructions and Consular Regulations, as amended by the Executive order of April 6, 1907, relative to expatriation and the protection of Americans abroad, are applicable to American citizens who reside in China.
Therefore, a person of Chinese birth and race who, through former acquisition of Hawaiian citizenship during Hawaiian independence, became a naturalized citizen of the United States on the annexation of Hawaii, and who returns to China and there resides for a period of two years, will be presumed to have ceased to be an American citizen; and any other naturalized citizen not being of Chinese birth and race who resides in China for five years will likewise be presumed to have ceased to be an American citizen.
The presumption may be overcome in either case by his presenting to a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States proof establishing the following facts:
- That his residence in China is solely or principally as a representative of American trade and commerce and that he intends eventually to return to the United States to reside; or
- That some unforeseen and controlling exigency beyond his power to foresee has prevented his carrying out a bona fide intention of returning to the United States within the time limited by law and that it is his intention to return to reside permanently in the United States immediately upon the removal of the preventing cause; or
- That he is regularly employed in an enterprise having for its object the development or advancement of the people and in no wise inconsistent with American interests, and that he intends eventually to return to the United States to reside; or
- That he resides in China in the employ of the Chinese Government in a capacity not inconsistent with his American citizenship, and calculated to advance legitimate American interests, commercial or otherwise, and that he intends eventually to return to the United States to reside; or
- That he resides in China as the regularly appointed missionary of a recognized American church organization.
The evidence required to overcome the presumption of expatriation must be of the specific facts and circumstances which bring the alleged citizen under one of the foregoing heads, and mere assertions, even under oath, of any of the enumerated reasons existing will not be accepted as sufficient.
Whenever evidence shall be produced to overcome the presumption of expatriation as indicated in this instruction, the depositions and other proofs must be made in duplicate, one copy thereof being sent forthwith to this department, and if the proofs have been presented to a consul he shall notify the legation at Peking of the name of the person and of the facts concerning his residence abroad.
This instruction, in so far as it relates to the presumption of expatriation from residence in China, supersedes the corresponding parts of the department’s circular instruction of April 19, 1907, entitled “Expatriation.”
I am, etc.,