Hoping to attract even more of the right kind of foreign talent, China is in the process of reforming and updating its “green cards” for the modern world.
The Ministry of Public Security announced on Monday that as part of its reform plan permanent residence certificates for foreigners will be renamed “foreigner’s permanent residence identity cards” and embedded with machine-readable chips of information, just like the identity cards given to Chinese citizens. Hooray!
The new cards will allow foreigners more easy access to various social services in China, like purchasing train and air tickets or doing business at banks.
The update is expected to be rolled out before the end of June.
While Chinese “green cards” used to be incredibly hard to come by, it seems that they are handing them out to just about anybody nowadays, relatively speaking at least. In 2016, 1,576 foreigners became new permanent residents of China. That’s up 163% from the previous year, according to China’s Ministry of Public Security. These “green cards” have gone to investors, executives, tech experts and individuals who have made “outstanding contributions” to China.
At the same time, China has also been cracking down on less-skilled laowai, introducing a ranking system judging expats based on their “talent” and banning non-native English teachers from teaching in some regions.
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