Acquiring a Permanent Residence Permit for Foreigners in China

Updated: Nov 7, 2017 Print

Permanent Residence Permit (PRP)

Permanent Residence Permits, or green cards, are valid ID certificates for foreigners who have obtained permanent residence status in China and may be used independently. They are classified according to the following categories: investment, employment, seeking family reunion with parents, dependants, and outstanding aliens.

The validity of a Permanent Residence Permit for Foreigners is five or ten years: foreigners under 18 years old being granted permanent residence should be issued with a five-year certificate, and foreigners over 18 should be issued with a 10-year certificate.

Certificates and documents required for Permanent Residence Permit

1) Complete the application form for permanent residence in China;

2) Valid passport or alternate approved travel document;

3) Health certificate issued by a medical institution designated by the Chinese government or issued by foreign medical institutions certified by a Chinese embassy or consulate;

4) Document offering proof that the applicant does not have a criminal record, issued by a Chinese embassy or consulate;

5) Four recent full-face color photos (2 by 2 inches, bareheaded) of the applicant;

6) Other relevant documents stipulated in Regulations on Examination and Approval of Permanent Residence of Foreigners in China.

Basic procedures for foreigners to acquire Permanent Residence Permit

To apply for the Permanent Residence Permit, an alien individual, or their parents or a principal if the applicant is less than 18 years old and unmarried, needs to submit the application to the county-level branch of the Public Security Bureau.

The public security unit will investigate and verify the applicant in accordance with the specified prerequisites, and will then submit the application to the Public Security Bureau for further examination and approval.

Once an application under “The Regulations on Examination and Approval of Permanent Residence of Alien in China” is submitted to the Public Security Bureau, a response will be given within 6 months from the day the foreign applicant submits the application for a Permanent Residence Permit.

Foreigners who are granted permanent residency in China will receive an "Alien Permanent Permit" signed by the Public Security Bureau. Applicants filing from abroad will receive a "Form of Confirmation of Alien Permanent Permit"; they must then present themselves at the relevant Chinese embassy or consulate in their country of residence for a D visa, then obtain their Alien Permanent Permit from the public security unit within 30 days after entering China.

For those foreigners who have already acquired permanent residence status in China before the implementation of green card system, there is no need to undergo the application and approval procedures. They need to go to the public security organ to apply for the renewal of Permanent Residence Permit for Foreigners, which costs 300 yuan per certificate.


The total charge is 1,800 yuan.

Application fee: 1,500 yuan ($234.8) per person

Certification fee: 300 yuan per certificate

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