Beijing eases requirements for Chinese green card

An American applies for permanent residence status in China at the Chongqing Public Security Bureau. Photo: Xinhua

The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has released new policies to facilitate foreign talents and professionals in Beijing to obtain permanent resident status, as China transforms its economy to give more play to innovation.

In order to better promote the implementation of the new policies, the MPS has set up the Permanent Residence Service Center for Foreigners in Zhongguancun as a pilot project to offer green card services to high-level foreign talents in the Zhongguancun National Demonstration Zone (ZNDZ), foreign staff hired by ZNDZ-based startups, foreign technicians employed by ZNDZ-based enterprises as well as overseas Chinese with a doctor's degree or a higher degree working for ZNDZ-based enterprises.

The new policies also cover expats working in other areas of Beijing who meet stipulated economic and vocational requirements.

A senior official from the Beijing Public Security Bureau Exit-Entry Department said that the new policies, if successful, will be "extended to the whole city and even the country."

Beijing's effort to attract foreign talents came a month after the general offices of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council, China's cabinet, jointly issued a document to ease the permanent residency application requirements for foreigners and expand the categories of foreigners qualified to gain a Chinese green card.

Below is a summary of key requirements prepared by the for foreigners in Zhongguancun and as well as other categories.

Requirements for high-level foreign talents in Zhongguancun

Foreigners who reach the standards of high-level foreign talents set by the administrative committee of the Zhongguancun Science Park (ZSP) and who are recommended by the committee are qualified to apply for a Chinese green card.

Requirements for foreign employees hired by ZNDZ-based startups and foreign technicians working for ZNDZ-based enterprises

This category of foreigners must score 70 points or more in the foreign talent evaluation test designed by the ZSP administrative committee and gain the committee's recommendation in order to apply for a Chinese green card.

Requirements for overseas Chinese hired by ZNDZ-based companies

Overseas Chinese in this category should meet either of the two requirements if they want to apply for a Chinese green card: one is that they must hold a PhD degree and a work-class residence permit; and the other is that they must have worked for ZNDZ-based enterprises for at least four years with a work-class residence permit before the green card application and have accumulatively lived on the Chinese territory for at least six months per year.

Requirements for foreigners in other parts of Beijing

Foreigners who have worked in Beijing for consecutive four years with a 6-month stay on the Chinese territory every year, have a pre-tax annual income of 500,000 yuan or more during the 4-year period, and pay personal income tax of 100,000 yuan or more per year, are qualified to apply for a Chinese green card. In addition, they have to be recommended by their companies.

Requirements for high-level foreign talents in other parts of Beijing

To be qualified under this category, an applicant must be identified as foreign talent by Beijing's talent management authorities or assured by their employers recognized by the city's technological innovation authorities. These foreigners also must have a work-class residence permit marked "talent", work in Beijing for consecutive three years and gain recommendation from their companies.

Other important facts

Spouses and minor children of the high-level foreign talents qualified to apply for a Chinese green card will be given a special access to green card processing.

The new policies reduce the time of green card processing from 6 months to 50 days.

The new policies allow companies based in the ZNDZ to hire foreign students as interns. Foreign students, who study in Beijing-based universities and colleges, are allowed to start their own businesses in the ZNDZ, according to the new policies.

Visit the Permanent Residence Service Center for Foreigners in Zhongguancun (中关村外国人永久居留服务大厅) for detailed information.

Address: 22 Shuangyushu Beili, Haidian District, Beijing. (北京市海淀区双榆树北里甲22号院)

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