Foreigners can get a green card

China’s Public Security Ministry has announced an expansion of the categories of foreigners eligible for a permanent residence permit in China, Xinhua has reported, noting that those who work at certain sites and meet certain requirements can now apply to stay in China permanently.

These include national labs, key national labs, national engineering labs, national engineering research centers, State-accredited enterprise technology centers, national engineering and technological research centers, and foreign-backed R&D centers. Those with senior professional titles or higher, such as associate professors or researcher, and with 4-years of work in these facilities and who have paid taxes for no less than three years can apply through municipal public security entry and exit administration offices and follow the Regulations on the Entry and Exit of Foreigners.

A permanent residence permit is a legal document for foreigners which allows the holder to stay in China without qualifications and foreigners with a passport and permanent residence permit can come and go without further visa procedures and do not have to get an additional work permit. They have the same rights and obligations as Chinese residents in investment, housing, finance, driving license, child education, transportation and hotel check-ins.

The permanent residence policy has played an important role in attracting top foreign talent and investors and improving China's investment introduction strategies, and economic and social development. The policy is a response to the needs of overseas Chinese to return and reunite with their families.

The expansion is important in improving the permanent residence system for foreigners in China, according to Public Security officials and the ministry has asked regional offices to talk with businesses and enterprises to publicize the policy, inform the public about the necessary documents, and standardize procedures and it will ensure convenient services for applicants. Public security offices will decide within six months after receiving an application.