China Confiscates Passports of Citizens, Says Will Return Them When Pandemic is Over - Report

Following an uptick in its citizens searching for ways to seek overseas migration, Chinese authorities has asked them to handover their passport until the pandemic is over. Despite stringent measures in place China is seeing a massive surge of cases again.

Employers and family members in Hunan have been instructed by the local police to hand over their passports.


Passport Being Seized All Over China?

Radio Free Asia reported that in a public notice issued on social media, Baisha police department in the central province of Hunan asked the employers to hand over the passports of all employees and family members to police. The March 31 notice stated that the passports "to be returned after the pandemic."

Quoting an unnamed Baisha police officer, the outlet reported that the step is being taken nationwide.

"According to official requirements, [passports] must be handed over because of the pandemic. It's everywhere, not just Hunan. It's across the whole country," the officer told the outlet.

"Anyone with a passport has to hand it over, not just people who have an employer. If people don't hand them over then they have to expect to be investigated," the officer added.

Chinese Seeking Immigration Due to Strict Lockdown Measures

Citing stringent lockdown measures adopted by China as one of the causes for Chinese residents seeking immigration, the RFA reported that there has been an increase in the number of keyword searches related to "criteria for emigrating to Canada" on social media platform WeChat and search engine Baidu, in the past month.

Confirming the same, an Immigration consultant named Liu told RFA that several clients are now looking for "a green card from a big country and a passport from a small country" to supplement their Chinese passports.

""Some clients also need a favorable exchange rate [with their destination country]. We have had nearly four times as many inquiries this year as this time last year," stated Liu.

"There are many who are applying to Turkey, because [you need to] buy a house for at least U.S. $250,000, which is between one and two million yuan," Liu said. "There are rumors this will go up to U.S. $400,000 in May, so a lot of people are trying jump aboard the last bus before the price hike."