New Chinese Green Card Reform

The following blog entry is our translation of a recent article released concerning updates to the Chinese Permanent Residence Card policy.  These updates amount to rendering the Permanent Residence Card much more like a “green card” for foreign residence, with the exception that holders of this card still have no path to citizenship.

Additionally, embedded below is a video released by the Chinese state-owned media organization, CCTV, that we translated for the convenience of our audience.

Who is qualified of applying for the Chinese “Green Card”?

The eligible foreign applicants (see as follows) should obey the Chinese laws and regulations, with good health and no criminal records:

(1) The applicants who invested more than 2 million RMB. These applicants need to invest directly in China, continuously and steadily for 3 years, with good tax records.

(2) The applicants who work as specialists and technicians. These applicants need to work continuously in China as a deputy general manager, a factory deputy director, an associate professor, an associate research fellow, or other positions on the same level or above, for 4 years. During the 4 years these applicants need to legally reside in China accumulatively no less than 3 years with good tax records.

(3) The applicants who have made important and outstanding contributions to China, or who’s skills and expertise are considered to be needed by this country.

(4) The applicants who are aiming to have a permanent reuniting of their families, including:

  • The applicants who are a spouse of or the unmarried children under 18 years old of the above (1), (2) and (3) applicants;
  • The applicants who have been the spouse of a Chinese citizen or a foreigner with permanent residence in China, for 5 years. The applicants need to have been legally living in China continuously for 5 years, with no less than 9 months of actual annual stay in China, with steady income or other financial support and a permanent address;
  • The applicants who are the dependents of unmarried children under 18 years old;
  • The applicants who are no less than 60 years old, only having lineal kinship in China, having been legally living in China continuously for 5 years, with no less than 9 months of actual annual stay in China, , with steady income or other financial support and a permanent address.

With the Foreigner’s Permanent Residency policies having been improved, the housing purchase, children schooling, pension system, investment, transportation and hotel registration would be more convenient for the “Chinese Green Card” holders.


The reforms of the “Chinese Green Card” mainly include 4 aspects:

First, the “Foreigner’s Permanent Residence Card” will be renamed as the “Foreigner’s Permanent Residence Identity Card” in order to enhance its identity authentication functioning.

Second, an issuing management information storing chip will be embedded inside the card, in order to support the identity verification from the second generation ID card reading devices.

Third, the information systems of railway, civil aviation, and other fields will be updated for the convenience of sharing permanent resident foreigners’ information among different departments.

Fourth, targeted public relations will be carried out in order to raise the public awareness of this “Foreigner’s Permanent Residence Identity Card” and to help the card holders conduct affairs conveniently.


Q & A from the Ministry of Public Security of the PRC.

Q: When can the Permanent Residency Card holders apply for the new version?

A: For now the Ministry of Public Security of the PRC and other related departments are working on the technical supporting system and will complete this process during the second quarter of 2017. The card holders can apply for the new version at the issuing institutions at that time.


Q: Will the old version be still usable?

A: For those card holders who have not applied for the new version, the old version of the Permanent Residency Card would be still usable as long as the old version card has not expired. The Public Security institutions will supply the verification service with the help from the service platform and inner-department information sharing.

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