Mainland China Residence Permit: Applicability for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau Residents

Posted by Written by Fuki Fu Reading Time: 3 minutes

Residents of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau (THKM) will be able to enjoy relaxed residence permit privileges in mainland China from September 1, 2018 onwards.

This follows China’s State Council’s recent announcement of Management Rules for Residents of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau who Apply for a New Mainland Residence Permit.

The new rules make it easier for THKM residents to work, study, live, and travel in mainland China.

In this article, we look at the benefits of the new mainland residence permit for THKM residents and how to apply for one.

Who can apply?

Not every THKM resident can apply for the new mainland residence permit – only those who have been legally working, living, or studying in mainland China for at least half a year can apply.

For THKM residents who are under 16 years old, their guardians can apply for the mainland China residence permit on their behalf.

What are the benefits?

THKM residents who obtain a mainland residence permit can legally work in the city in which they are registered without having to acquire a work permit.

Further, holders of the mainland residence permit can pay social insurance and housing fund contributions in the resident city and enjoy their benefits.

Public services that THKM residents with mainland residence permits can enjoy include:

  • Compulsory education;
  • Basic public employment service;
  • Basic public health service;
  • Public cultural sports service;
  • Legal aid and other legal services; and
  • Other basic public services stipulated in the state and residence city.

In addition to the public services, THKM residents with a mainland residence permit can enjoy the same conveniences as mainland China residents for the following:

  • Transportation by domestic flights, trains, etc.;
  • Hotel lodging;
  • Banking, insurance, securities and futures, and other financial services;
  • Shopping, buying tickets for parks and various sports venues, consuming cultural entertainment, business travel, and other activities;
  • Registering motor vehicle application in resident city;
  • Applying for motor vehicle driving license in resident city;
  • Participating in vocational qualification examination and application of professional qualification;
  • Registering for family planning services in resident city; and
  • Other conveniences stipulated in the state and resident city.

THKM residents undertaking activities in mainland China who need to prove their identity can also use their mainland residence permit as proof.

Previously, THKM residents had to prepare several documents to be able to use public services and participate in business activities, such as the travel permit to mainland China, work permit, residence permit, labor contract, etc.

How to apply?

THKM residents who would like to apply for the mainland residence permit should prepare and submit relevant application materials to the local public security bureau or the household registration office designated by the local public security bureau.

The application materials need to include:

  • Application form;
  • Entry-exit documents, such as Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macau Residents, and Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents (Five-year Validity Period);
  • Proof material for residential address, such as property lease contract, property rights proof document, property purchase contract, or proof of accommodation issued by the lessor of the property, the employer or the school, etc.;
  • Proof of employment (if applicable), such as business license, labor contract, proof of employment relationship issued by the employer, or other materials which can prove legitimate and stable employment, etc.; and
  • Proof of study (if applicable), such as student pass, proof of ongoing pursuit of study issued by the school, etc.

The initial application is free of charge. Upon acceptance of the application, the bureau in charge will make the decision, and if accepted, will issue the residence permit within 20 working days from the date of application.

In cases where transportation is inconvenient, the processing period could be extended by up to 10 working days.

The mainland residence permit is valid for five years. Upon expiry, it can be renewed at the bureau in charge.

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2 thoughts on “Mainland China Residence Permit: Applicability for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau Residents

    James D says:

    EDIT: @China Briefing, Hi, I have a question. I currently legally work in Shanghai using my taiwanese entry/exit permit along with a work permit for Taiwan HK Macau residents. Since i’m in Shanghai, I’m not required to make social insurance payments. With the news of Taiwan HK Macau residents no longer requiring a work permit, will I now be compelled to pay social security payments (which isn’t cheap) if I choose to apply for a newly available “mainland residents permit”? Or, will I still have the choice of using company provided private insurance, while still holding the new residents permit. Any information would be helpful in deciding whether or not to apply in th future.

    Therefore to summarize, can I apply for the new permit, and still choose not to pay social insurance?. Or is the only way to avoid the social insurance payments is to continue to work using my entry/exit permit. Just to follow up, what changes should I anticipate should I choose not to apply for the new permit, if any at all? and what changes should I expect if I do (besides the usual conveniences). Thanks!

    China Briefing says:

    Hi James,

    For the moment, it appears that THKM residents have the option of opting into the social insurance system, where applicable. Therefore you should be able to choose not to pay social insurance in Shanghai, as long as that incentive still exists.

    For more information, please contact our specialists here:

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