Expat permanent residents in China to get upgraded ID cards

Published:  2 Jun at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Tagged: USA, Citizenship, China
The expat community in China has welcomed the government’s plan to upgrade identity cards issued to foreigners with permanent residency.

In an announcement late last week, China’s public security authority announced new versions of machine-readable ID cards given to expats with permanent residency. The new cards will begin to circulate from June 16, and will have greater usability for their holders. Based on the second version of China’s citizen identity cards, the new version’s chips will hold information including foreigners’ names, dates of birth, gender, ID numbers and registration agencies.

The cards, designed to be machine-readable, will give access to agencies working in sectors such as transportation, the courts, education and social insurance. The present ‘green cards’ can’t be used at hotels, banks and insurance agencies, nor are they recognised by machines in the transportation, education and airline sectors, meaning foreign residents aren’t able to access the services. Expats are encouraged to apply for the new ID cards immediately, simply by visiting their original issuing authority.

All that’s needed is the old card and a filled-in form, with the new card issued within 20 days. The old-style cards can still be used until their expiration date. One expat told Global Times the new card will be a considerable improvement on the previous version., as it’s no longer necessary to carry a passport around and the card gives access to everything needed for work and life in the country.

However, several foreigners were critical, saying the threshold for permanent residence is ridiculously high, making it mission impossible for the majority of expats. In addition, the new card, they said, doesn’t provide much more than its older version and, as permanent residency doesn’t give much in the way of benefits, it’s just a convenience.

One expat from Turkey who achieved permanent residence status five years ago welcomed the new card as he now feels he will be treated almost as if he was Chinese. He’s hoping to get a further 10-year validity on his new card, but isn’t happy about his passport details being embedded in the card’s chip.

In total, around 600,000 foreigners are living and working in China, according to a report by Xinhua, with only 7,356 granted permanent residency.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive