Must Read if You Want to Apply for a Chinese Green Card

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. Find out more from the article.

Chinese Green Card

“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. 1,202 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 proviso that the cumulative period of residence in China must not be less than one cumulative year in five years.

Public Security Bureau responses in 6 months

Once an application under “The Regulations on Examination and Approval of Permanent Residence of Alien in China” is submitted to the Public Security Bureau, a response will be given in 6 months.

To apply for the Permanent Residence permit, an alien individual, or their parents or a principal if the applicant is less than 18 years old and unmarried, needs to submit the application to the county-level branch of the Public Security Bureau.

The public security unit will investigate and verify the applicant in accordance with the specified prerequisites, and will then submit the application to the Public Security Bureau for further examination and approval. Aliens who are granted permanent resident in China will receive an “Alien Permanent Permit” signed by the Public Security Bureau. Applicants filing from abroad will receive a “Form of Confirmation of Alien Permanent Permit”; they must then present themselves at the relevant Chinese embassy or consulate in their country of residence for a D visa, then obtain their Alien Permanent Permit from the public security unit within 30 days after entering China.

A Chinese green card is a legal identification that can also be used separately to stay in China. The validity of a Certificate of Permanent Residence of Aliens is five or ten years: Aliens under 18 years old being granted permanent residence should be issued with a five-year certificate, and Aliens over 18 should be issued with a 10-year certificate.

Chinese Green Card (sample)

If the validity of Certificate of Permanent Residence of Aliens expires, or has been lost or damaged, or if there are any relevant changes in circumstances, the certificate holder should apply for modification or renewal of the certificate directly to the public security authority. If the public security authority considers that a certificate holder is still entitled to maintain permanent residence, it should change or renew the certificate with no new application needed.

A permanent residence permit will be cancelled under four circumstances:

The Certificate of Permanent Residence of Aliens will be revoked or declared invalid if:

1. You are deemed likely to cause harm to national security or interests;

2. You are ordered by the people’s court to be expelled from the country;

3. You have obtained permanent residence through falsified materials or other illegal methods;

4. Your accumulated stay in a year is less than three months, or your accumulated stay in a period of five years in China is less than one year, without permission.

The Regulations on Examination and Approval of Permanent Residence of Alien in China are not applicable to Chinese citizens who reside overseas or overseas Chinese who still hold a Chinese passport.

According to “The Exit and Entry Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China” issued in 1986, Chinese citizens residing abroad who desire to return to China must file an application in the country of their residence with the Chinese embassy, consulate, or other institution entrusted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They may also file an application to the public security authority at or above country level in their proposed place of residence in China, or via their relatives in China.

Aliens who apply under “the Regulations on Examination and Approval of Permanent Residence of Alien in China” shall pay fees for visas or certificates. The rates of fees are decided by the national development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Finance.

Benefits for Chinese green card holders:

1. With the exception of political rights and in some other areas where the law has ruled differently, an alien who holds the Chinese green card will enjoy the same rights and will have the same obligations as a Chinese citizen.

2. The PRP holder can enter and leave China freely without no visa needed.

3. The PRP holder is allowed to work freely and without restrictions in China;

4. The PRP holder is able to undertake direct investment with legally owned money;

5. The PRP holder can take part in professional qualification reviews and tests;

6. The Children of a PRP holder can receive compulsory education and enjoy the same rights as Chinese citizens.

7. The PRP holder is entitled to participate in social insurance;

8. The PRP holder is entitled to buy commercial housing for their own use or residence in China;

9. The PRP holder is entitled to the same treatment as Chinese citizens when applying for bank card, insurance, securities and futures, or other financial services;

10. The PRP holder has access to the same ticket prices for parks, entertainment, or other forms of consumption as Chinese citizens;

11. The PRP as legal identification in China is valid for use for boarding domestic flights, purchasing train fares, and hotel check-in nationwide;

12. The PRP holder is entitled to the same treatment as Chinese citizens when applying for motor vehicle registration and license.

(People’s Daily Online)

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