More Accessible to China Foreigners Permanent Residence – “Controversial” Draft

As one of the most populous countries with a population of 1.4 billion, China has gradually improved its economic and political advancement in the world. Therefore, China must be open and inclusive when it comes to the question of receiving permanent technological talents.

So, what are you waiting for! Welcome to China as long as you satisfy this following “conditions.” This article highlights the cause and effect, specific contents of this draft. We hope the contents in this passage will be useful to you.

Historical Connection between Permanent Residence Permit and China and Other Countries

Historically, government will introduce and implement regulations and rules on foreigners’ permanent residence, known as “green card”, which is a common practice for many countries to attract talents and foreign capital to participate in their national construction, address issues on foreigners’ family renunciation, and to promote economic and social development by granting foreigners permanent residence qualifications.

Mention green card, and what might spring to our mind is America, Canada and France, etc.

By the statistics, America, the largest immigrant country and greatest fortune, talents absorption nation, a total of 138,000 people in the United States issued occupational permanent residence permits in 2018. French immigrants make up 10% of the population. Canada’s population, with the exception of native Inuit and Indians, comes from immigrants. And since 2017, Germany, Britain, France, Belgium and other Western countries and Japan have introduced a series of policies to attract special foreign talents, especially high-tech talents and students.

In 2004, China has also introduced the draft which has some conditions and requirements a foreigner has to meet to apply for permanent residence. With the passage of time, more and more people like China and are willing to live here permanently. Owing to this, China published a revised draft in 2020 which added new specific contents.

Draft after “Repeated Calls”

On Feb 27 2020, China Ministry of Justice published draft rules on foreigners’ permanent residence in order to solicit public opinion.

The amended draft is a reply to the foreigner’s affection of China and protect the legal rights of aliens who have obtained permanent residence. It emphasizes the need to strictly examine the right of permanent residence of foreigners, and calls for the protection of their legitimate rights and interests to ensure the administrative work is based on law.

Using the experience and achievements of the previous foreigners’ administration system, the new regulation, China’s first systematic immigration management regulation in the new era, will strengthen the laws and regulations on the management of foreigners’ permanent residence system, emphasize the balance between the rights and obligations of foreigners with permanent residence permits and protect the rights and responsibilities of foreign residents in China.

Aspects of the New Draft

Given that the draft involved a number of subjects, a range of description that cover its different aspects was concluded. In this article we cover only some practical contents and divided them into 4 sections – Investment, Talents, Social Insurance, and Marriage.


  • The draft regulations stipulate that foreigners whose investment in China is at least 10 million yuan ($1.42 million) or who set up high-tech enterprises, innovative enterprises in China with significant benefits and were recommended by relevant national departments or provincial-level governments, are eligible to apply.
  • It is true of those who invest in an area under the country’s encouragement measures with the amount of investment, tax payments and the number of Chinese citizens employed meeting prescribed standards, are also eligible to apply, according to the draft.

Replacing the previous draft in 2004, this new draft lowered the standard of aggregate investment from 2 million dollars to 1.42 million dollars and increased some feasible standards for high-tech and innovative enterprises.

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  • Foreigners with internationally acknowledged achievements in the fields of economics, science and technology, education, culture, health and sports, etc will be able to apply for permanent residence, according to the draft rules.
  • Foreigners who have made outstanding contributions to China’s economic and social development, including engaging in public welfare activities and promoting exchanges between China and other countries, can apply upon the recommendations of relevant national departments or provincial-level governments.
  • Assistant professors, researchers and above academic researchers introduced and recommended by national key or other universities and scientific research institutions as well as senior management personnel, senior professional and technical personnel introduced and recommended by high-tech enterprises, innovative enterprises and domestic well-known enterprises have access to apply.
  • Talented foreigners in urgent demand in some industries or regions of the country who are recommended by relevant authorities-including university professors and senior managers in high-end enterprises-may apply for permanent residence.
  • The draft rules added a new section regarding conditions under which foreign employees in China can apply for permanent residence, including foreigners with doctoral degrees or diplomas from an internationally renowned university who have worked in China for at least three years and have resided in China for at least a year.
  • The draft rules require permanent foreign residents to live in China for at least three months each year.

Compared to the former one, it set forth the exact requirement of talents the relevant universities and institution needed.

Social Insurance:

  • Departments under the State Council and government at all levels should provide convenience for permanent foreign residents when they need banking, education, medical and transportation services, according to the draft rules.
  • Aliens with permanent residence working in China are accessible to social insurance in accordance with laws and regulations. As for others who live in China but do not work here can participate in basic medical and endowment insurance of rural and urban residents in accordance with local relevant rules.


  • After marriage, aliens who lived with his spouse for at least five years in China and have resided in China no less than nine months each year with stable living security and residence have quality to apply.
  • Permanent foreign residents or their children who move with them can receive compulsory education in China at no charge.

“Controversial” Draft

Meanwhile, this draft regulation has triggered heated discussions among Chinese. While many people believe the rules are necessary and timely, some also worry that foreigners may flood into China and take employment opportunities.

Based on different attitudes of draft, public opinions and suggestions on a draft regulation on foreigners’ permanent residence in China will be fully considered and absorbed before the regulation is officially issued.

While, the passing of the draft is just a matter of time. A majority of Chinese believed that we must be open on this matter, after all the talent is the key factor for increasing the overall national strength.



Hi, I’m Fiona Hua, CIO certificate,  Expert of Management & Human Resource. About ten years work experience in Shanghai. Familiar with business management, HR outsourcing, and tax planning. BIS provides one-stop business service for enterprises like registering companies, finding office service, Accounting and Tax, HR outsourcing, VISA & working permit, Marketing and legal services.