Linda from Living in China has asked me about reasons why many AMXF (Asian Male, X Female) couples marry so soon into their relationships. I can’t answer for others, so Linda has created a survey to ask other couples about their experiences. Anyone in a relationship with an Asian man can take part and it’s not just about marrying, so don’t worry if you aren’t married. We’d be happy if you could help us out, it’s a very short survey that can be done in two minutes’ time. Click here to go to the survey.
When my husband and I got married after being together for less than half a year, many of our friends thought it was because of visa issues or because I was pregnant (I wasn’t). But being married doesn’t make visa issues go away, so for us, this wasn’t the reason. Instead, we married out of love. Time didn’t really matter. You can also read this past article here about our very informal engagement.
Btw., I’ve been asked this various times by friends: By marrying a Chinese national you do not automatically become a Chinese citizen. For one, China doesn’t allow dual citizenship. For another, marrying and citizenship are not connected. A Chinese citizenship can be applied for after having lived in China for more than ten years. But it’s not easy to get and you’d have to give up Austrian citizenship. I have yet to meet a foreigner who has given up his/her native citizenship for the Chinese one (and who has attained Chinese citizenship in the first place). I don’t even know of anyone who has gotten a permanent residence permit (this one can theoretically be applied for if you have been living in China for the last five years, and not on and off).
Being married to a Chinese national means that you are allowed to apply for a residence permit valid for one year (or for two if we applied for it in his hometown; a residence permit is quite similar to a visa) or for a spousal visa. But, in contrast to Austria, you are not allowed to work with this kind of residence permit/visa (correct me if I’m wrong, I still have to get acquainted with issues facing Chinese nationals in Austria).