China’s Upcoming Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card: What to Expect in 2023
China’s Upcoming Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card: What to Expect in 2023

China’s Upcoming Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card: What to Expect in 2023

The National Immigration Administration of China has introduced an enhanced version of the Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card, scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2023. This upgraded card boasts improved design elements and enhanced features. In this article, we will outline the significant modifications made to the new Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card and discuss the advantages it offers to applicants.

On September 15, 2023, the National Immigration Administration (NIA) held a press conference in Beijing to announce the forthcoming issuance of an updated version of China’s Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card. The new card is scheduled to become effective on December 1, 2023, and was unveiled during this event.

It’s essential to clarify that the introduction of the new version does not render the current ID card invalid. Individuals who possess the existing Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card can continue to use it within its validity period. However, those who wish to do so may apply for the new version.

The launch of this updated ID card aligns with China’s objective to enhance the level of informatization in foreigner management services and streamline immigration management processes. This move is in line with the government’s strategy to attract and serve international talents who come to China for work, study, and residential purposes.

The latest iteration of the card in regular lighting conditions.

The updated card when exposed to ultraviolet light.

What Is the Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card?

The Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card is an official identity document issued to eligible foreign nationals who have been granted permanent residency status in China. This card functions as a personal identification document and is valid as an independent form of identification.

Cardholders can utilize this ID card as a legally recognized credential for various purposes. It simplifies administrative procedures and allows for activities like accommodation registration and purchasing tickets for transportation, such as cars, boats, and planes, without the need to present their foreign passports. This streamlines processes and enhances the overall experience for foreign residents in China.

What Are the Notable Changes in the New Version of the Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card?

Significant updates in the new version of the Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card include:

Redesigned Format: The latest iteration of the Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card maintains the core structure of the existing version while introducing a five-star element symbolizing the nation, elevating the overall visual appeal and layout.

Enhanced Security Measures: The new Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card incorporates advanced anti-counterfeiting technologies, bolstering data storage and optimizing application management services associated with the card.

Extended Identification Number: The card number has been expanded from 15 digits to 18 digits, augmenting its uniqueness and fortifying security measures.

Added Functionality: The upgraded technology and supplementary features of the new Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card will enable cardholders in China to efficiently manage various personal affairs, including transportation, daily expenses, and financial transactions, via online platforms.

Changes in the Latest China Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card

Source: NIA

Upcoming Initiatives

In the forthcoming stage, the NIA will work in conjunction with pertinent departments to accelerate the enhancement and modernization of information systems and infrastructure across diverse associated domains.

This endeavor seeks to expand the card’s versatility, enhance user contentment, and effortlessly attain its operational objectives.

What Privileges Do Foreigners Holding Chinese Permanent Residence Status Enjoy?

Foreigners possessing Chinese permanent residence status are eligible for the following privileges:

Special Treatments for Foreigners with Permanent Residency in China
CategorySpecial treatments
Permanent residencyStaying in China without any time limitTheir spouses and lineal relatives may apply for foreign permanent resident ID cards under the relevant procedures
Visa-freeEntering or exiting China by presenting their valid passport and permanent residence ID card, without going through visa formalitiesTheir spouses and lineal relatives may apply for visas under the relevant procedures
Work permits and residence permits are not requiredWorking in China with no work permit requiredTheir spouses and lineal relatives may apply for residence permits under the relevant procedures
Priorities in certificate application/professional title assessmentEnjoying the priorities in applying for Foreign Expert Certificate, Certificate for Expert Returning to (Visiting) China, and other talent-related certificates for employment and residenceBeing able to apply for professional title assessment and take part in professional title exams according to the relevant regulations
Convenience in doing businessesBeing 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 educationBeing entitled to have their children receive compulsory education free of charge other than those specified by the State
Social insuranceBeing entitled to participate in social insurance when working in China and enjoying social insurance benefitsBeing entitled to participate in social insurance when living but not working in China if they’re eligible for the relevant policies of the localityEnjoying simplified procedures when going through the formalities of transfer, continuation, or termination of the social insurance relationship
Housing provident fundBeing entitled to contribute to and use housing provident fundsBeing entitled to withdraw and transfer the funds as per relevant regulations when leaving the locality
Property purchasePurchasing 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 serviceEnjoying 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 serviceBeing 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
TransportationTaking flights, buying railway tickets, and checking in at hotels within China by presenting the permanent residence ID cardReceiving the same treatment as Chinese citizens in applying for a driver’s license
Consumer activitiesReceiving 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: Provisions Regarding Benefits for Foreigners Holding Permanent Residence Permits in China (Ren She Bu Fa [2012] No.53)


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