China to launch new version of green cards in 2017

By Li Ning from People’s Daily

China is to update its permanent residence card with the aim to provide more convenient and enhance its functions for identity certificate, announced by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) following a joint study conducted by the MPS and  more than 20 ministries and departments.

The new version of green cards is scheduled to be launched this year, the MPS said.


The update is seen as an important measure to comprehensively deepen the reform of public security system, strengthen and improve entry-exit management services and better serve the development of the country, reports said.


China deliberated and approved the Opinion on Strengthening the Administration of Permanent Residency Services for Foreigners on September 15th, 2015. After that, the MPS, together with 33 ministries and central departments, worked on the coordinated mechanism for foreign permanent residence service management and drafted a regulation on management of permanent residency services of aliens.


The regulators also launched pilot programs in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong Province, Fujian Province to explore a more flexible and convenient system of permanent residence for foreign talent, which included establishing a channel for marketization of talent application, preferential policies for overseas Chinese, identity conversion and points-based household registration system.


Thanks to China’s increased efforts to reform the permanent residence policies, more foreigners have entered into China. Statistics showed that the MPS issued 1,576 green cards in 2016, an increase of 163 percent over that of 2015.


In addition to those endeavors for permanent residence, the MPS, in the past years, also streamlined services for foreign visas, entry-exit, stay permit and residence permit. For instance, it has established visa issuance offices in 87 ports, offering 72-hour visa-free transit service for passengers from certain countries in 15 cities.


In addition, foreigners from certain countries could stay as long as 144 hours visa free in Jiangsu Province, Zhejiang Provinces and Shanghai. Over the last year, there were 56.53 million entries and exits of foreign citizens, up by 8.89 percent than the previous year.


A series of influential entry-exit policies and measures to attract foreign talents to start business in China have been rolled out as well. In January 2016, the MPS introduced 20 entry-exit policies to support the innovative development of Beijing and established a service hall for foreign permanent residence in Zhongguancun science park, a technology hub in Beijing.