New Version of Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card to be Issued in China Starting December 1, 2023

Posted by Written by Giulia Interesse Reading Time: 5 minutes

China’s National Immigration Administration unveiled an upgraded Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card, effective from December 1, 2023, with design improvements and enhanced functionality. We explain the key changes in the new Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card and benefits for applicants.

On September 15, 2023, the National Immigration Administration (NIA) held a press conference in Beijing, announcing the official issuance of the new version of China’s Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card, set to take effect from December 1, 2023. Alongside this announcement, officials also took the opportunity to unveil the design of the highly anticipated new Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card.

It is important to note that the new version of the card will not invalidate the current one. Those already in possession of the existing version of the foreign permanent resident ID card can continue to use it within its validity period. However, individuals may also apply for the new version if they need to.

The release of China’s new Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card aims to elevate the level of informatization in foreigner management services and improve the overall efficiency of immigration management. All in all, this initiative aligns with the government’s strategy to attract and serve international talents, who come to China for work, study, and living purposes.

new card normal light frontnew card normal light back

New version of the card under normal light

new card violet light front

new card violet back

New version of the card under ultraviolet light

What is the Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card?

The Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card is a legal identity document issued to eligible foreigners who have been granted permanent residency within China. This card serves as a personal identification document and can be used independently.

Holders of this card can use it as a legal credential for various purposes, such as accommodation registration and purchasing tickets for transportation modes like cars, boats, and planes, without the need to present their foreign passports. This not only simplifies their administrative processes but also enhances their overall experience as residents in China.

What are the key changes in the new version of the Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card?

Key changes in the include the following:

  • New design: The new Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card retains the basic format of the current version but introduces a five-star element that symbolizes the nation, enhancing the overall aesthetics and layout.
  • Advanced security features: The new Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card incorporates more advanced anti-counterfeiting technologies, improving the storage of information and application management services related to the card.
  • Extended card number: The card number has been expanded from 15 digits to 18 digits, enhancing its uniqueness and security.
  • New functionality: The upgraded technology and additional features of the new Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card will allow cardholders in China to manage various personal affairs, such as transportation, daily expenses, and financial transactions, through online platforms.


Changes of the New China Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card

Source: NIA

Next steps

In the next phase, the NIA will collaborate with relevant departments to expedite the compatibility upgrades and updates of information systems and facilities across various related sectors.

This effort aims to broaden the card’s utility, improve user satisfaction, and seamlessly achieve its functional goals.

What are the benefits for foreigners with Chinese permanent residence status?

Foreigners with Chinese permanent residence status will be entitled to the following treatments:

Special Treatments for Foreigners with Permanent Residency in China

Category  Special treatments
Permanent residency
  • Staying in China without any time limit
  • Their spouses and lineal relatives may apply for foreign permanent resident ID cards under the relevant procedures
  • Entering or exiting China by presenting their valid passport and permanent residence ID card, without going through visa formalities
  • Their spouses and lineal relatives may apply for visas under the relevant procedures
Work permits and residence permits are not required
  •  Working in China with no work permit required
  • Their spouses and lineal relatives may apply for residence permits under the relevant procedures
Priorities in certificate application/professional title assessment
  • Enjoying the priorities in applying for Foreign Expert Certificate, Certificate for Expert Returning to (Visiting) China, and other talent-related certificates for employment and residence
  • Being able to apply for professional title assessment and take part in professional title exams according to the relevant regulations
Convenience in doing businesses
  • Being able to set up a foreign-invested enterprise (FIE) using intelligent property/intangible assets as a way of investment or make direct foreign investment in China with legally obtained
  •  Enjoying the simplified procedures for examination and approval by the government departments, when investing in a project or setting up an FIE in China
Children’s education
  • Being entitled to have their children receive compulsory education free of charge other than those specified by the State
Social insurance
  • Being entitled to participate in social insurance when working in China and enjoying social insurance benefits
  • Being entitled to participate in social insurance when living but not working in China if they’re eligible for the relevant policies of the locality
  • Enjoying simplified procedures when going through the formalities of transfer, continuation, or termination of the social insurance relationship
Housing provident fund
  • Being entitled to contribute to and use housing provident funds
  • Being entitled to withdraw and transfer the funds as per relevant regulations when leaving the locality
Property purchase
  • Purchasing commercial housing for personal use or lodging within the territory of China according to the relevant regulations, which is not bound by the restriction of working or studying in China for certain years
Banking, insurance, securities, futures, and other financial service
  • Enjoying the same rights, obligations, and statistical attribution as Chinese citizens with regard to banking, insurance, securities, futures, and other financial services in China by the presenting PR ID card
Foreign exchange service
  • Being entitled to have the China-sourced income exchanged into foreign currency and remitted outbound after completing the tax liability and receiving a certificate of tax payment issued by the taxation department
  • Taking flights, buying railway tickets, and checking in at hotels within China by presenting the permanent residence ID card
  • Receiving the same treatment as Chinese citizens in applying for a driver’s license
Consumer activities
  • Receiving the same treatment and paying the same price as Chinese citizens when shopping, purchasing tickets to parks and other cultural and sports venues, and conducting cultural, entertainment, and business trips
Source: Measures on the Relevant Benefits for Foreigners with Permanent Residence Permit in China (Ren She Bu Fa [2012] No.53)

To learn about Permanent Residence applications in China, refer to our specific China Briefing articles:




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