China’s permanent residency (green card) is the toughest in the world. China began granting permanent residency to foreigners in 2004, and by the end of 2019, fewer than 8,000 foreigners had been granted permanent residency.
In February 2020, China’s ministry of justice began soliciting opinions on regulations governing foreigners’ permanent residence. The regulations specify the circumstances under which foreigners can apply for permanent residence in China. For example, foreigners who have achieved internationally recognized achievements in the fields of economy, science and technology, education, culture, health and sports can directly apply for permanent residence.
The draft regulation, published on the ministry of justice’s website, also says that foreigners who are permanently resident must stay in China for no less than three months a year. According to the regulations, foreigners who have been introduced to the country due to the country’s economic and social development can apply for permanent residence under one of the following circumstances: talents in urgent need introduced from key industries and regions and recommended by competent authorities; Academic researchers with the titles of assistant professors or assistant researchers or above who have been introduced and recommended by institutions of higher learning or scientific research institutions with key state construction, as well as professors or researchers who have been introduced and recommended by other institutions of higher learning or scientific research institutions; High and new technology enterprises, innovative enterprises and domestic well-known enterprises introduced and recommended senior management personnel, senior professional and technical personnel.
In addition, foreigners have made outstanding contributions to China’s science and technology, education, culture, health, sports and other undertakings, and engaged in public welfare activities in China, making outstanding contributions to the development of China’s public welfare undertakings. To make outstanding contributions to promoting friendly exchanges and cooperation between China and foreign countries, maintaining world peace and promoting common development, the applicant may apply for permanent residence upon the recommendation of the relevant competent departments of the state or the provincial and municipal governments.