S.J. Grand > News > Useful Tips > How to get a Permanent Residence Permit in China

How to get a Permanent Residence Permit in China

Posted by: Fabia Meinhold
Category: Useful Tips
How to get a Permanent Residence Permit in China

Introduced in 2004, the “Green Card” – also called “permanent residence permit” – is still considered difficult to obtain in China. Only foreigners who meet very specific requirements may apply for the permanent residence identity card.

Take a look at one of our previous articles: China Work Permit Lost? What to Do and How to Update Your Details

Who is eligible for a green card and what are the application procedures? Find out in this article!

What are the benefits of a green card?

The green card serves as identity card as well as resident permit for foreigners in China. One of the numerous advantages of holding such a card is the possibility to stay in China without any visa and without having to renew it every year. Indeed, the permanent residence permit has only to be renewed at the end of its validity period (10 years for adults and 5 years for children under 18).

On top of that, green-card holders enjoy simplified procedures when opening a bank account, buying a property, and much more. They also benefit from the same investment and education rights as Chinese citizens.

Be careful: Green cards can be denied or revoked for people who endanger national security, falsify application documents or don’t meet the requirements.

Who is eligible to get a green card? What are the procedures?

Below you will find an exhaustive list of the different categories of people who can apply for a permanent residence permit and the special documents to provide in each case. However, there are some core procedures and documents that are common to all categories.

General procedures for all applicants

The application has to be submitted at public securities authorities in China. The procedure usually takes up to 6 months from the application date, but in some cities, it may take less time. In Shanghai for example the procedure takes only 90 days.

Once granted, the green card is valid for 10 years, or 5 years for foreigners under 18. The permit is renewable, and the documents don’t have to be submitted again for the renewal if the applicant’s situation hasn’t changed.

Documents required for all applicants:

  • The application form for permanent residence in China;
  • A copy of the applicant’s valid passport or other document;
  • A health certificate;
  • A document certifying that the applicant has no criminal record in the foreign country (issued by the Chinese consulate or embassy);
  • 4 complying photos of the applicant;
  • Additional documents depending on the application category.

Applicable fees:

  • Application fees: ¥1,500 /person
  • Certification fees: ¥300 /certificate

Eligibility and additional documents required

According to the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, “foreigners applying for permanent residence in China must abide by Chinese laws, be in good health, have no criminal record and meet at least one of the following criteria.”

1. Having directly invested in China, and the investment having led to stable operations and tax payments for three consecutive years.

Investment requirements:

  1. The minimum amount of the investment is USD 500,000 if it is made in industries that are listed in the Catalogue for the Guidance of Foreign Investment Industries, or in regions with development or poverty alleviation programs.
  2. If the investment is made in Central China, the minimum amount is USD 1 million.
  3. In any other region in China, the investment has to amount at least USD 2 million.

Documents required for application:

  • The basic documents required for all applicants
  • Additional documents:
    • An approval certificate for the invested company
    • The registration certificate and annual inspection certificate
    • The capital report and personal tax payment certificate
    • If the investment is made in an industry listed in the Catalogue for the Guidance of Foreign Investment Industries, you also need a letter of confirmation.

2. Being a deputy general manager, deputy factory manager or holding a higher position; being an associate professor/research fellow/other professional senior or equivalent. The position has to be held for four consecutive years or more, with a cumulated residence period in China of at least three years within the four years, and a good record of tax payments.

The employer has to be one of the following entities:

  1. An institution under a department of the State Council or the provincial government
  2. An outstanding college or university
  3. A company or a government-supported institution leading a major engineering or scientific research project
  4. A foreign-invested company that is export-oriented or specialized in high-tech, encouraged fields or advanced technology

Documents required for application:

  • The basic documents required for all applicants
  • Additional documents:
    • A work certificate issued by the applicant’s employer
    • The applicant’s Foreign Expert Card or his Foreigner Employment Card
    • The employer’s registration certificate, annual inspection certificate and tax payment certificate
    • If the applicant’s employer is a foreign-invested company: certificate of approval and joint annual inspection certificate
    • If the applicant’s employer is a company or a government-supported institution leading a major engineering or scientific research project: project certificate issued by the government
    • If the applicant’s employer is specialized in high-tech: high-tech enterprise certificate
    • If the applicant’s employer is a foreign-invested company that is export-oriented or specialized in encouraged fields or advanced technology: relevant certificate

3. Having made a “great and outstanding contribution to China”.

Documents required for application:

  • The basic documents required for all applicants
  • Additional document: a recommendation letter and relevant certificates issued by Chinese governmental authorities

4. Being the spouse or unmarried child (<18 years old) of a person from one of the three categories above.

Documents required for application:

  • The basic documents required for all applicants
  • Additional documents:
    • The marriage certificate if the applicant is a spouse as above mentioned
    • If the applicant is an unmarried child: his birth certificate or proof of parenthood in case of adoption

5. Being the spouse of a Chinese citizen or a foreigner holding a green card in China, for five years or more, and having resided in China for five consecutive years or more and for at least nine months each year. The applicant should also have a stable source of income and housing.

Documents required for application:

  • The basic documents required for all applicants
  • Additional documents:
    • The permanent residence certificate of the applicant’s spouse if the spouse is Chinese, or the green card of the applicant’s foreign spouse
    • The marriage certificate
    • A notarized certificate of the applicant’s source of income
    • The certificate of housing lease or the property title

6. Being an unmarried minor (< 18 years old) who comes with his/her parents to live in China.

Documents required for application:

  • The basic documents required for all applicants
  • Additional documents:
    • The household registration certificate of the applicant’s parents if they are Chinese, or their green card if they are foreigners
    • The applicant’s birth certificate or proof of parenthood in case of adoption

7. Being 60 years old or more, without any direct relatives abroad but with sponsoring relatives in China, and having resided in China for five consecutive years or more and for at least nine months each year. The applicant should also have a stable source of income and housing.

Documents required for application:

  • The basic documents required for all applicants
  • Additional documents:
    • The household registration certificate of the applicant’s sponsoring relatives if they are Chinese, or their green card if they are foreigners
    • A notarized certificate of the applicant’s kinship
    • A document certifying that there are no direct relatives abroad
    • A notarized certificate of the applicant’s source of income or a notarized certificate of the sponsors’ financial guarantee
    • The notarized certificate of housing lease or the property title of the applicant or his sponsor relatives

Note: China has recently introduced new measures to expand the pool of foreign talents eligible for permanent residence. To learn more about these new preferential policies, read this article: China Announces Preferential Visa Policies for Foreigners.

Do you want more useful tip for your life in China? Get in touch with our team for a consultation and follow us on social media to receive the latest news.

Our experienced team has the necessary expertise and the know-how to support you with your business – have a look at the services we offer.

Follow us on social media to receive the latest updates:

sj grand wecaht mini program

See how much salary you receive after tax and check your company value without leaving WeChat!
Also, our Mini Program can estimate the salary in your industry, for your experience level and position. A huge help for salary negotiations!
Scan the QR code now to use our free calculators!

Author: Fabia Meinhold

Leave a Reply