China certainly doesn't encourage its foreign residents to settle down.
On the other hand, there's no shortage of foreigners resident in China who just don't want to settle down, who'd much rather isolate themselves in an expat ghetto.
And in between is, I suspect, most of us who find our own limits of how settled we can get. Friends have told me they always thought of me as a lifer, and now I'm on my way out. Well, it was having a child that showed me where my limit is.
But I guess my point is no matter how China welcomes its foreign guests, there aren't that many foreigners here who stop thinking of their home country as Capital H Home.
Oh, and the legendary permanent residence (hahaha!) is possible to get. I know one guy who managed it. It was not easy, as I'm sure you can imagine.
ETA: Needles? Should only be necessary for those coming in on a new visa. At least here in Beijing the medical is not required for those renewing a residence permit. Still, I did have to do it when I escaped Tianjin, but I suspect that had more to do with the incompetence of the school than any requirement.
And a trip out every 60 days wouldn't be so bad for those in the Pearl Delta who could just pop over to HK or Macao for a weekend, but in the rest of the country, wow, that'd get really expensive really quickly...
You're right, and that's the position I was in yesterday - just watching with morbid fascination wondering when, exactly, somebody was going to call 'time' on this. But that comment of his bugged me. Back to exercising self-control. Sorry.
Insisting on dragging words back to definitions that have not been in use for a very long time is a form of redfining language. Please stop.
You personally find secular oaths repugnant. That's your problem. Everybody else sees nothing hypocritical in swearing an oath that does not reference a deity. Why? Because society has moved on, and as society has developed, so has the language.
Do you think they should?
If they're citizens, yes, they should have that right. Would they? That's the real question. We all have rights we don't exercise. People who don't feel invested in a country generally don't tend to suddenly decide they're going to exercise their right to vote.
I think Ireland provides a good example of why NZ citizenship by descent is a "2nd class citizenship" - the fact that children of a citizen by descent born outside NZ can't claim citizenship prevents an Irish-style situation from developing. Which is probably a good thing - imagine if all those entitled to Irish citizenship all decided to move to Ireland. That one rather small island would be swamped. And it is my experience that those born and raised in Ireland don't consider diaspora Irish to be really Irish. Well, Europeans generally: "So what if you're great great great great grandparents left Norway/Ireland/Scotland wherever decades ago? You're not one of us, you're American/Canadian/Australian/New Zealand/Argentine/whatever". So perhaps Ireland needs to fix its citizenship law.
If anyone can present evidence
Considering accurate stats don't seem to exist and people are mostly just guessing at the number of expat Kiwis, that would seem to be a pretty difficult task. What I can tell you is that I've been in China 15 years, more or less, and will be moving back to NZ in early March. Others on this thread have mentioned having lived overseas for periods ranging from 4 up to 20 years and have returned. My experience - limited to China, which is probably not very comparable to Anglo countries - is that expats never really have 'Home' far from their minds, and that although home is where they're living now, capital H Home is their home countries, in which they're still well invested, at least emotionally and, ummmm...., identificationally (if that's a word that makes sense). And those who break off their ties to the country of their birth aren't particularly interested in voting in elections there.
And yes, as I'm pretty sure has already been pointed out, the outcome of NZ elections does affect us.
So, I'm cool with being denied an electorate vote because I don't live in any NZ electorate (yet), but I don't see why I should be denied a party vote.
But it’s hard to see how it could be otherwise without giving automatic citizenship to people three or four generations removed from a connection to NZ.
Well, no. What Danielle said is an example of how that wouldn't happen. Internal Affairs already has records of who's coming and going when, shouldn't be too hard for them to figure out that so-and-so who is a citizen by descent most likely lives in NZ, judging by the amount of time they've spent in the country, and so can click over to full citizenship.
I was really annoyed at the amount of paperwork I had to provide to get my daughter's citizenship. Passports, citizenship, births, deaths and marriages, these are all part of Internal Affairs. They have a website. Surely they have computers? Databases? Networked? Surely a copy of my passport, certified by the embassy here in Beijing, should be enough for them to see that I'm a citizen by birth and therefore my daughter is entitled to citizenship by descent?
So on day I'm going to have to get my daughter full citizenship - she's 3, so we have time - but with closed offices and a website with broken links....
Well, since my daughter is also a citizen by descent, and there are probably others out there with similar questions, here's Internal Affairs' page on the matter. Note:
If your child is living in New Zealand and intends to keep living here they might be able to change their citizenship from descent to grant. There are requirements that need to be met for this. They will not need to attend a citizenship ceremony.
If your child is not living in New Zealand at the moment they probably will not be able to get citizenship by grant.
Then there's more info divided into age bands - under 14, 14 - 15, and 16 and over.
ETA: Somebody already mentioned this, I'm sure, but I'm also getting a "Error 404
HTTP Web Server: Lotus Notes Exception - Entry not found in index" if I ask for more info.
Stewart can correct me if I'm wrong, but here's my interpretation: Could you sit down and share a beer with the guy, or does he show real leadership skills? The two are not mutually exclusive, but they're certainly not the same thing.
If that’s the extent of the time someone’s spent here in the last 3 years, they don’t live here, so why should they be allowed to vote here?
What Ian said. Just because we don't live in NZ, doesn't mean we have no interest in what goes on there. Family, investments, debts, the possibility of moving back.... You may well do a better job of persuading us to come back if we were allowed to take our part in NZ's political life. For me, education is the main impetus to move back, and the rate things are going, if it's left up to you lot who didn't leave, the differences between the education my wee one could receive in NZ and that she'd be subject to here are going to continue shrinking rapidly. Environment, same again. And besides, we're the international "face" of NZ.
Plus: I'm quite ok with not having an electorate vote, and not letting expats vote would make sense if we still had FPP or some other electorate-based system, but so long as we have MMP or something similar with a party vote, I don't see why expats should not be allowed a party vote.