China's green card might become more accessible
China's green card might become more accessible

China’s green card is one of the toughest permits in the world to get. The difficulties of getting permanent residency in China impacts negatively on highly skilled expatriates. Therefore, the country is going to review its foreign permit policy to attract more professional expats and global talent.

The authorities acknowledge the need to adapt residency requirements to make a difference for China’s international residents.

Recently the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms together with President Xi Jinpingon discussed the best ways to tackle the problem. The group recognised the need for further reform of permanent residency policy to facilitate foreigners living in China.

“The reform should serve the nation’s talent strategy, address concerns of the public, optimise the design of the credentials and improve the information system.”

China’s Green Card Reform

China’s green card is a form of identity card that gives its bearer permanent residence in the country. Foreigners with permanent residence enjoy the same rights as Chinese citizens in areas such as investment, housing purchases and schooling.

The requirements to obtain China’s green card are hard to meet. Consequently every year, only about 200 foreigners receive the card.

However, China is pushing hard to attract more international talent with diverse skills. The country is bidding against acknowledged ‘expat’ favourites in an attempt to increase its global competitiveness.  For this reason, further relaxing of regulations for Chinese green cards is expected to boost progress in attracting expat skills to China.

Some experts say that reducing the number of consecutive working years in China, for example, might make a great difference. The present requirement is a minimum of 4 previous years of working in the country.

In addition to that, the Ministry of Public Security is also seeking the ways to make China’s green card a more comprehensive document. Instead of being just a border entry/exit ID, it might cover all kind of day-to-day social needs.

“…the new card will be more commonly accepted in daily life. A foreign permanent resident could, for example, apply for a driver’s license using only his or her green card.”

Ministry of Public Security division chief

Read the full story in China Daily