How to apply for a green card in China

(People's Daily Online)

Updated: 2013-11-19

How to apply for a green card in China

[Photo/icpress]

If you want to spend more time in China for family reasons, business, or any other purpose, and you have to get visa each time you travel through customs, or if you want to save time and expense on visas, a Chinese green card will be your green light to access China.

"The Regulations on Examination and Approval of Permanent Residence of Alien in China" were issued on Aug 15, 2013, under which China created a permanent residence card, commonly known as the "green card" system, to grant qualified foreigners the right to live in China.

Foreigners who hold valid passports and a Chinese green card are not restricted in the duration of their stay in China, and they can also enter and exit China without a visa.

On December 12, 2012, 25 ministerial-level departments amended and improved the relevant regulations, allowing China’s green card holders to enjoy equal rights and shoulder the same duties as Chinese nationals, with the only exception being political rights and duties.

As of the end of last year, 633,000 foreigners were living in China. 1202 foreigners had received permanent resident cards, an increase of 80% over the previous year.

Types of Permanent Residence Permit (PRP):

Green cards are classified according to the following categories: investment, employment, seeking family reunion with parents, dependants, and outstanding aliens.

To apply for a permanent resident visa, a foreigner must meet at least one of the following four criteria:

1. be a high-level foreign expert holding a post which promotes China’s economy, scientific and technological development or social progress;

2. Have made a large direct investment in China;

3. Have made an outstanding contribution of special importance to China;

4. Come to China to be with family, such as spouse, dependent minor, or senior citizen.

The Regulation also clearly defines that aliens who seek approval to reside permanently in China must stay for at least three cumulative months every year. If an alien is not able to stay for such minimum period for any reason, he/she must apply for approval from the department or bureaus of public security at the level of province, autonomous region or municipality directly in the place of his/her long-term residence, under the provison that the cumulative period of residence in China must not be less than one cumulative year in five years.

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