China Green Card: New Edition of the Foreigner’s Permanent ID Card

The National Immigration Administration has announced that as of December 1, 2023, the new version of the People’s Republic of China Foreigner’s Permanent Residence Identity Card (hereafter referred to as the “PRC” or “Green Card”) will be officially issued. Furthermore, the design style of the new Green Card has also been released. After the introduction of the new Green Card, the old version will remain valid within its period of validity, and holders may choose to replace it with a new card based on personal circumstances.

The New Foreigner’s Permanent Resident Identity Card: China Green Card

The Green Card is a legal identity document issued by the National Immigration Administration to foreigners who meet the conditions for permanent residence. This card serves as a standalone proof of identity and can be used independently when registering for accommodation, purchasing transportation tickets (including ships and airplanes), and other scenarios where identity verification is required, without the need to present a foreign passport.

While retaining the main design features of the current version, the new card incorporates the five-star element reflecting the national emblem. The layout has been optimized for aesthetic appeal and incorporates more advanced anti-counterfeiting technology. Improvements have been made to information storage and management services, hence the new edition is also dubbed the “Five-Star Card.”

What is the China Green Card?

China Green Card example

The technical upgrade and enhanced features of the new card mean that holders will be able to use it exclusively to prove their identity when engaging in financial, educational, medical, transportation, accommodation, communication, employment, tax, social insurance, property registration, litigation, and other affairs. Key aspects include:

1. Holders may enter and exit Chinese borders multiple times with their Green Card and valid passport without the need for an additional visa;

2. When taking domestic flights, trains, or ships within the country, tickets can be purchased and used with a Green Card;

3. For accommodations at hotels within the country, check-in procedures can be completed with a Green Card;

4. In banking, insurance, securities, futures, and other financial transactions, as well as communications, tax, property registration, and legal matters, the Green Card can serve as a legal identification document;

5. On top of its full offline application, major internet platform applications and public service applications such as the “National Government Services Platform,” “Railway 12306,” “Traffic Management 12123,” and “Individual Income Tax” have begun to accept the Green Card as a valid document.

It’s important to note that within China’s borders, the Foreigner’s Permanent Residence Identity Card has the same proof of identity strength as a valid foreign passport. When dealing with business at various public service industry sites and related units, all units should accept both the current and new versions of the Green Card as proof of identity.


The introduction of the new Green Card is a practical measure to serve and protect the country’s high-level opening-up policies and to improve the informatization level of foreigner management services. It helps to enhance the quality and efficiency of immigration management services, better serve overseas talents coming to China for work, study, and life, and implement the strategy of strengthening the country through talent. In the future, the exit and entry management departments of Guangdong Province will act following the unified deployment of the National Immigration Administration, actively coordinate with functional departments, and accelerate the adaptiveness upgrade and transformation of various related industry information systems, facilities, and equipment to extend usage scope, enhance user satisfaction, and smoothly accomplish the functional goals of the new Green Card fully.

Disclaimer: The regulation of the law in China is translated by GWBMA for reference only. There may be different interpretations of the Chinese version.

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