How to Become a Permanent Resident in China?

Welcome to another episode of Do The Right Thing: Work & Business in China—a series of videos explaining important work and business know-how related to your life in China.

In the video above we discuss the benefits, eligibility, and application process of getting a Chinese permanent residence card. It’s packed with useful information, so watch and share it with your friends who might be eligible as well.

Click the image below to watch the full video on YouTube.


Permanent residence gives you almost all the rights as a Chinese citizen. Once you get it, you would not need to worry about applying for a new visa or a work permit anymore. Its validity is 10 years for adults and 5 years for children. After you get your card, your family will become eligible as well. 

The card can be used in many situations instead of your passport. You can enter and leave China with it, take a flight, use it at the bank, and in many other scenarios.


The two main situations that may make foreigners eligible for permanent residence status are marriage to a Chinese citizen, or paying high taxes for four consecutive years. Other ways to get it are either by a large investment into the country, or by being a high talent in demand. To learn about the specific conditions, watch the video above.

Application Process

While any type of visa application may be complicated, you can expect this one to be even tougher. You would need to provide several documents as usual, with the notarized and authenticated non-criminal record being the most important one. You might also need to be interviewed by the immigration bureau, especially if you’re getting it based on your marriage. The whole process may take six months to one year.

Getting a Chinese “green card” is the holy grail for any expat living in China. Find out whether you might be eligible, and just go for it!

Click HERE to read about Social Insurance for Expats in China.

Click HERE to read about the recent tax breaks in China.