Beijing’s Permanent Residence Application: Qualifications and Process

Posted by Written by Monica Li, Business Advisory Services Reading Time: 9 minutes

In this article, we explain China’s permanent residence application process for Beijing. This is a part of a series of articles on China Briefing explaining Chinese Green Card policies for first-tier cities. You are welcome to read our articles for information on the permanent residence application for Shanghai and Guangdong province.

Foreigners’ permanent residency in China has been a hot topic in recent years as relevant policies are making the application process more attractive and flexible in first-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai. China had intended to make a regulation integrating all the policies and unify their nationwide implementation rather than continue to have regional and localized polices to attract high-level talents back in early year 2020. However, so far, that endeavor has been stuck in the draft seeking for public comments stage. Hence, foreigners will still need to refer to local policies if they want to know details of the permanent residency application, such as qualifications, procedures, timeline, cost, etc.

Given this, Dezan Shira & Associates is devoted to understanding the respective permanent residency policies of first-tier cities and providing corresponding introductions to foreigners for their better self-assessment before starting the application process. Hopefully, this will save their time and cost as compared to self-researching on the fragmented “news”.

This article is going to discuss the most updated permanent residency polices of Beijing.

Who can apply for permanent residency in Beijing?

For easier illustration, we divide the applicant into two categories: principal applicant and dependent of principal applicant, the former of which are applicants who are qualified to apply permanent residency due to investment, employment, or special contributions to China.

Principal applicant

Based on the categories of permanent residency applicants listed by Beijing entry-exit bureau, we present the corresponding qualifications as shown in the table below.

Category Sub-category Detailed qualifications
Investment Personal investment of more than US$500,000 in encouraged sectors ·       The applicant has made a total amount of over US$500,000 of individual direct investment (paid-in registered capital) in encouraged industries listed in the Catalogue of Encouraged Industries for Foreign Investment;

·       The applicant has been having steady investments and good tax records upon application and for three consecutive years prior to the date of application; and

·       The applicant has founded foreign invested enterprise(s) in Beijing with his/her name indicated in the investor column of business license

Personal investment above US$2 million in other sectors ·       The applicant has made a total amount of over US$2 million of individual direct investment (paid-in registered capital);

·       The applicant has been having steady investments and good tax records upon application and for three consecutive years prior to the date of application;

·       The applicant has made the investment by setting up foreign invested enterprise(s) in Beijing or by cooperating with Chinese investors in oil exploration and development; and

·       For applicant who set up foreign invested enterprise(s) in Beijing, his/her name should be indicated in the investor column of the business license.

Senior management personnel Implementing key national projects in seven types of research institutions ·       The applicant works in any of the seven types of scientific research institutions implementing key national projects:

–      Enterprises and public institutions carrying out national key projects or major scientific research projects under departments of the State Council or subsidiary organs of a provincial people’s government;

–      National laboratories;

–      National key laboratories;

–      National engineering laboratories;

–      National engineering research centers;

–      State-recognized enterprise technology centers;

–      National engineering technology research centers; and

–      Foreign-funded research & development centers.

·       The applicant holds a position higher than deputy general manager, deputy factory director, or a title higher than deputy-senior titles such as associate professor and associate research fellow, or enjoy the equivalent treatments; and

·       The applicant, upon application and prior to the date of application, has served for four consecutive years in the qualified institutions, resided in China for no less than three years among the four consecutive years, and have had good tax records.

 

Working in four types of enterprises –      The applicant works in any of the four types of enterprises:

–      Hi-technology enterprises;

–      Foreign invested enterprises in encourage sectors;

–      Foreign invested advanced technology enterprises; and

–      Foreign invested export enterprises.

·       The applicant holds a position higher than deputy general manager, deputy factory director, or a title higher than deputy-senior titles such as associate professor and associate research fellow, or enjoy the equivalent treatments; and

·       The applicant, upon application and prior to the date of application, has served for four consecutive years in the qualified institutions, resided in China for no less than three years among the four consecutive years, and have had good tax records.

 

 

Holding positions in key universities ·       The applicant serves as professor or associate professor at key colleges or universities in Beijing or enjoy the equivalent treatment; and

·       The applicant, upon application and prior to the date of application, has served for four consecutive years in the qualified institutions, resided in China for no less than three years among the four consecutive years, and have had good tax records.

Personnel with major and outstanding contributions to China or specially needed in China

 

·       World-leading talents, talents with special skills and celebrities who have made significant and prominent contributions to the economic development and social progress of China or who have great value to the country, including winners of world-renowned science awards, world-renowned scholars, entrepreneurs, athletes, and literary and artistic personages, may apply for permanent residence in Beijing.
Foreigners in Zhongguancun High-level foreign talents ·       Foreigners who meet the criteria for high-level foreign talents at Zhongguancun may apply for permanent residence upon acquiring a recommendation letter issued by the Administrative Committee of Zhongguancun.
Foreign members of Zhongguancun entrepreneurship team or foreign technical talents selected by Zhongguancun enterprises ·       Among foreign members of Zhongguancun entrepreneur teams and foreign technical personnel selected and employed by zhongguancun enterprises, those who score 70 points or above in accordance with the assessment criteria for foreign talents at Zhongguancun, upon recognition performed and by the Administrative Committee of Zhongguancun and acquiring a recommendation letter, can apply for permanent residence in Beijing.
Chinese who have acquired foreign citizenship in Zhongguancun ·       Foreign Chinese who have served at a Zhongguancun enterprise via a work-related residence permit, upon application and prior to the date of application, for four consecutive years via a work-related residence permit and resided in China for a total of no less than six months each year, can apply for permanent residence in Beijing.
High-income personnel ·       The applicant has worked in Beijing for four consecutive years and resided in China for at least six months each year;

·       Upon and prior to the date of application, the annual salary income (before taxes) of the applicant has been over RMB 500,000 for four consecutive years;

·       The applicant has been paying over RMB 100,000 of individual income tax each year; and

·       The applicant has been recommended by the current employer.

High-level foreign talents ·       The applicant is high-level foreign talent recognized by the Beijing human resources bureau in charge or senior professionals employed and guaranteed by enterprises recognized by the Beijing science and technology innovation department in charge;

·       Upon and prior to the date of application, the applicant has been working in Beijing for three years on work-related residence permit labeled as “talent”; and

·       The applicant has been recommended by the current employer.

Foreigners in Beijing’s comprehensive pilot program of further opening up of service sector High-level foreign talents ·       The applicant meets the criteria for the recognition of high-level foreign talents for the Beijing’s comprehensive pilot program of further opening up of service sector; and

·       The applicant has obtained a recommendation letter issued by the office of the leading group the Beijing’s comprehensive pilot program of further opening up of service sector.

 

Foreign innovation and entrepreneurship talents ·       The applicant is foreign innovative and entrepreneurial talent who reaches 70 points, according to the score evaluation standard for foreign talents in comprehensive pilot program for expanding the opening of the service sector; and

·       The applicant has acquired a recommendation letter  issued by the office of the leading group for Beijing’s comprehensive pilot program for expanding the opening of the service sector.

Chinese who have acquired foreign citizenship ·       The applicant is foreign Chinese who have worked continuously in Beijing comprehensive pilot enterprises for service industry opening up for four years and have actually lived in China for no less than six months each year via a work-related residence permit,  upon and before the date of application.
 

Foreign Chinese with doctoral degree

·       Foreign Chinese who has an educational history higher than doctoral candidate and work in Beijing via a work-related residence permit can apply for permanent residence.
Direct relatives of Chinese or foreigners who have obtained permanent residence in China Husband and wife reunion ·       The applicant is spouse of Chinese citizens or foreigners who have obtained permit for permanent residence in China;

·       Upon application and prior to the date of application, the spouses have been married for at least five years and resided in China for five consecutive years (no less than nine months each year);

·       The applicant enjoys stable living guarantee and residence;

·       The applicant abides by the laws of China;

·       The applicant enjoys good health; and

·       The applicant has no criminal record.

Parent and child reunion ·       The applicant is foreign unmarried children under the age of 18; and

·       The applicant applies for permanent residence for uniting with their parents or foreign parents who have obtained permanent residence status in China.

Relatives reunion ·       The applicant is foreigner who is over 60 years old and has no immediate relatives outside China;

·       The relative whom the applicant seek to live as dependents is Chinese direct relative who have reached the age of 18 or foreign direct relatives who have obtained permanent residence in China;

·       Upon application and prior to the date of application, the applicant has resided in China for five consecutive years (no less than nine months each year);

·       Th applicant enjoys stable living guarantee and residence;

·       The applicant abides by the laws of China;

·       The applicant enjoys good health; and

·       The applicant has no criminal record.

Dependent of principal applicant

For certain principal applicants, such as high-level, special, employed, or investment personnel, the Beijing Public Security Bureau clarified that their spouse and child can apply for permanent residence along with the principal applicant.

Category Qualifications
Spouse and child of foreigners in Zhongguancun Foreign spouses and children under 18 years old of Chinese high-level talents in Zhongguancun area can enjoy the treatment of spouses and minor children of foreign high-level talents, and apply for permanent residence through the fast procedure of applying for permanent residence.
Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 18 of special or employed persons Spouses of special and employed personnel and unmarried children under 18 years old can apply for permanent residence along with special and employed personnel (foreign members of Zhongguancun entrepreneurship team and foreign technical talents selected by Zhongguancun enterprises, foreign innovative and entrepreneurial talents in Beijing’s comprehensive pilot program of further opening up of  service sector, foreign talents employed by four types of enterprises, foreign talents employed in key universities and implementation of national key projects).
Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 18 of investment and employment personnel Spouses and unmarried children under 18 years old of investment and employment personnel (foreign Chinese in Zhongguancun and Beijing’s comprehensive pilot program of further opening up of service sector, foreigner whose annual wage income and annual individual income tax in Beijing meet the prescribed standards, foreign high-level talents in Beijing, foreign Chinese with doctor degree) can apply for permanent residence along with investment and employment personnel.

How to apply for China permanent residency?

Upon self-assessment of the qualifications based on the above-mentioned categories, the applicant should prepare corresponding application documents and submit to the Beijing Public Security Bureau.

Generally, the below documents are needed for the permanent residency application:

  • Complete Application Form for Permanent Residence in China;
  • Valid passport and valid visa (or resident permit);
  • Passport photos (2 inches, white or light blue background);
  • A health certificate issued by a domestic entry-exit inspection and issued within the last six months;
  • Non-criminal record abroad of the applicant or the linear relative;
  • Complete resume of the applicant;
  • If the applicant is a foreign investor – the certificate and record-filing documents related to foreign invested enterprise, the business license, a capital verification report showing that the company’s registered capital has reached the standard, and tax records of the applicant for the last three years are also required;
  • If the applicant applies for the permanent residence card through employment – company letters, licenses, relevant qualification documents, and tax payment certificates are also required;
  • If applicant is an accompanying family member – proof of relationship (marriage certificate, birth certificate, or proof of kinship) and evidence of stable housing and income are also required; and
  • If the applicant was once of Chinese nationality – naturalization paper or household registration transcript, overseas permanent resident certificate, and previous China passport are also required.

According to the guidelines released by the Beijing Public Security Bureau, the application will be processed within 50 working days upon acceptance of the application documents (time for investigation is excluded if some items need to be investigated by the Public Security Bureau).

In practice, the whole process could be prolonged considering the time for preparing the documentation and submitting them to the bureau in charge.

Given the burdensome preparation work and the ongoing travel bans, it is advisable that applicants reach out to a local specialist to handle the application process.

Potential challenges for application

It can be observed from recent policies that China is more and more open to the application of permanent residency from foreigners. However, the actual application process imposes significant challenges to the applicants, considering all the documentation are required to be 100 percent in compliance to the officially stated requirements and respective documents may involve examination by different authorities.

For example, for applicants invested in encouraged sectors, the Confirmation Letter of Foreign Investment Projects Encouraged by the State shall be applied for with the Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau, the tax payment voucher shall be obtained from the tax bureau in charge, etc.

Therefore, it is necessary to have a professional advisor and supporter on handling the process, especially with respect to the documentation collection guidance.

Dezan Shira & Associates is happy and able to provide advisory and relevant support when needed, and we welcome foreigners who have intention to apply for permanent residency to come to us for further discussion.


About Us

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done so since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

Dezan Shira & Associates has offices in Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, United States, Germany, Italy, India, and Russia, in addition to our trade research facilities along the Belt & Road Initiative. We also have partner firms assisting foreign investors in The Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh.