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China – Residency

China has several types of residency for foreigners. The type of residency that is available to an individual is often determined by their circumstances, such as their employment status, their investment activities in the country, or their marriage to a Chinese national. The following are the main types of residency available in China.

Temporary Residence Permit

A Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) is issued to foreigners who plan to stay in China for more than 180 days. The TRP is valid for a period of between 90 days and 5 years, depending on the applicant’s circumstances. The TRP is often issued to those who come to China for work or study, and it must be renewed before it expires.

Permanent Residence Permit

A Permanent Residence Permit (PRP) is the most coveted type of residency in China. The permit is issued to foreigners who meet certain criteria, including having lived in China for a significant period, having made a significant contribution to the country, or being married to a Chinese citizen. The PRP is valid for a period of 10 years, and it can be renewed. Holders of a PRP have the same rights as Chinese citizens, with a few exceptions.

Work Permit

A Work Permit is issued to foreigners who have been hired by a Chinese company. The permit is issued in conjunction with a residence permit, and it is tied to the individual’s employment contract. The permit is valid for the length of the contract, and it must be renewed if the individual’s contract is extended.

Business Visa

A Business Visa is issued to foreigners who come to China for business-related activities, such as attending conferences or meetings. The visa is valid for a period of up to 90 days, and it cannot be renewed.

Applying for Residency in China

The process for applying for residency in China can be lengthy and complicated. The application process is managed by the Public Security Bureau (PSB), and it can take several months to complete. The following are the general steps involved in the application process.

Step 1: Gather Required Documents

The first step in the application process is to gather all of the required documents. These documents will vary depending on the type of residency being applied for, but they may include a valid passport, a work contract, a health certificate, and a criminal background check.

Step 2: Submit Application

Once all of the required documents have been gathered, the application can be submitted to the local PSB office. The application will be reviewed by PSB officers, and an interview may be conducted.

Step 3: Await Approval

After the application has been submitted, the applicant must wait for approval from the PSB. This process can take several months, and additional documents or information may be requested during this time.

Step 4: Collect Permit

Once the application has been approved, the individual can collect their permit from the PSB office. The permit will specify the type of residency that has been granted, as well as the length of the permit.

Required Documents for Residency in China

The required documents for residency in China will vary depending on the type of residency being applied for. However, the following documents are typically required for most types of residency in China:

  • Valid passport
  • Health certificate
  • Criminal background check
  • Work contract (if applicable)
  • Proof of income (if applicable)
  • Proof of accommodation in China

Registering with Government Organizations in China

All foreign nationals must register with the local public security bureau within 24 hours of arrival in China.

  • Failure to register can result in fines and difficulty with obtaining residency permits.
  • Reliavle Information on Residence in China

    • The official website of the Ministry of Public Security provides information on residency in China. (http://www.mps.gov.cn/n16/index.html)
    • The official website of the Chinese embassy in your country of origin may also provide information on residency in China.


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