Green Card Reform
China has begun making a series of changes to rules regarding permanent residence for foreigners, according to a plan issued by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS).
The foreigners’ permanent residence card will be renamed the foreigners’ permanent residence identity card.
Similar to the IDs used by Chinese citizens, foreigners’ identity information will be embedded in the chips on the machine-readable cards to be shared by railways, airlines, insurance agencies, hotels and banks.
The old version cannot be recognized by machines, and foreigners often face difficulty in identity authentication, an MPS official said.
“The card will make everything easier,” said an American who has been in China for over 20 years, identifying himself only by his first name, Jonathan. Jonathan received his Chinese green card three years ago.
“What’s inconvenient is that so few foreigners have them, and people don’t know how to deal with them,” he added. “I hope that staff at both government departments and service sectors will be more familiar with its functions.”
Foreigners can apply for the new version at the original registration authorities, while the old version can be used until the expiry date.
Approved by the Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform, the reform plan serves the nation’s high-caliber personnel development strategy, which is to attract more innovative and entrepreneurial people from overseas, and responds to social concerns, the MPS official said.