Residence Permit for Foreigners in China 2022

Table of Contents

In this article, we provide a summary of the residence permit for foreigners in China.

Residence Permit for Foreigners in China

Chinese Residence permit

A residence permit refers to a person’s visa status. It signifies the duration for which the person is allowed to reside within a country of which he or she is not a citizen. The residence permit in China looks just like a visa and is pasted into your passport very similarly and it permits multiple exits and entry during its validity. It gives you the legal right to live in China. Therefore, getting a reliable visa consultant is vital for expatriates who are planning to work in China.

Types of Chinese residence permits

Three types of residence permits can give you the legal right to live in China. They are as follows:

  • Permanent residence permits i.e ‘Green Cards’ that accompany the D visas and are renewable every 10 years.
  • Temporary residence permits are for those staying for more than six months but less than one year, such as visiting scholars or those coming for job training. 
  • The Foreigner Residence Permit, typically good for one year and renewable annually, is a standard issue for the majority of foreigners working in China, though some (such as company executives, legal representatives, or investors) qualify for a permit that is good for two years.

New policies related to resident permits

In 2015, new policies related to resident permits were implemented by the Ministry of Public Security in Shanghai, which is much more convenient. The new policies consist of five modifications highlighted in the sections below.

Expert residence permit and green card

The Shanghai Science and Technology Commission has created a list of 3,500 ‘Innovative’ firms whose foreign employees qualify as ‘experts‘. If your employer is one of these 3,500 companies, you can now apply for a new five-year work permit. Once you have worked for 3+ years, you can directly apply for permanent residency (China green card [D Visa]).

Benefit for high earners

Irrespective of your position or employer, you can get a permanent residence permit if you earn over 600,000 RMB per year, paid your timely income taxes (120,000 RMB+ per year), and have worked in Shanghai for more than four consecutive years with no criminal record in your home country. 

Long-term five-year residence permit

Expatriates who have continuously worked a minimum of two years in Shanghai with a working visa, and have not broken any China immigration laws and regulations, can apply five years long term working residence permit the next time. Excellent news for those who are weary of the annual residence permit renewal process.

Personal employment permit

Expatriates with (China green card/D Visa) permanent residence permits can hire personnel, who can be issued residence permits. If you have a green card or a five-year work permit, you may choose to employ a foreign nanny or an Ayi.

Residence permits for foreign China university graduates

Shanghai aims to support its top graduates by allowing them to apply for a two-year residence permit following their graduation. This policy applies to foreigners who have graduated from top Chinese universities. This will be helpful for their internships, short-term assignments, or entrepreneurship ventures.

For more details in terms of the expatriates’ visa application in China, you can read our article about working visas in China.

How HROne can be beneficial to your business

HROne’s service can handle the complete employee benefits for your company in compliance with the local policies and also can take care of the visa for your company’s expatriate employees. We can directly hire employees for a company not having a legal entity in China by our specialized Employee Leasing/Talent dispatching services.

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