Keywords: China, permanent resident permit, green card

Twenty-five central governmental departments have recently jointly issued the Administrative Measures for Entitlements of Foreigners with Permanent Residency in China, specifying that foreigners who hold a China permanent residence permit (i.e., Chinese "Green Card") are entitled to the same rights and obligations as Chinese citizens. These rights do not include the political rights and other special rights and obligations excluded by laws and regulations.

Specifically, a foreigner in China who obtains permanent residency under the "Green Card" system will have the same rights in respect of (among other things) pension, employment, visa and residence, custom declaration, technical title, house purchase, financial services, theme park tickets, travelling, and driving license as would a Chinese citizen, under new regulations already announced. They can participate in all aspects of social insurance and housing provident fund, and avail themselves of benefits, including endowment, medical, unemployment, work-related injury and maternity.

They can also work in China without having to apply for a work permit. Their children, of a compulsory education age, can attend a school that is near their place of residence, and they will not be charged any fees except for the statutory sum. They can also enjoy simplified investment and registration procedures if they want to invest in or set up a business. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said the Green Card system has become an important mechanism to attract international expertise. China has been working hard to improve rights that Green Card holders can enjoy so as to get more overseas experts and professionals that are urgently needed.

Originally published on 17 December 2012.

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