Foreigners of Chinese descent will be able to apply for a hassle-free 5-year visa with multiple entries into China starting Thursday, Feb. 1, the country’s Ministry of Public Security announced.
People who would like to apply for a Chinese visa can currently only opt in for a 1-year permit, according to Shanghaiist.
The new policy aims to attract more Chinese foreigners living overseas to visit their families or live in the country, encouraging them to “participate in China’s economic development,” said Qu Yunhai, the head of Ministry of Public Security.
The ministry announced that residence permits will also be affected by the new policy, bumping up its duration from three years to five. It is also plans to improve the system for issuing a permanent residency to foreigners.
Chinese officials explained that applicants only need one of their parents or ancestors to be a current or former citizen in order to be eligible for a new 5-year visa, South China Morning Post reported.
There are no limits on the number of generations, but applicants must prove their Chinese origin by presenting official documents issued by either the Chinese government or the country where they apply. This includes documents of the applicant’s relatives such as Chinese passports or identity cards.
Overseas Chinese Affairs Office in Shanghai said that certificates issued by the overseas government may also be accepted once the Chinese embassy or consulate has assessed the papers in their country of origin.
The new policy will greatly help people living overseas to visit China and stay longer for work, study or leisure.