More foreigners were granted permanent residence permits in China last year than in 2015, suggesting an increase in overseas talent in the country.
According to the Ministry of Public Security, 1,576 foreigners became permanent residents in 2016 — 163% up from the previous year.
China has eased its entry and residence policies since September 2015, according to Shanghai Daily. Following implementation of new measures, the number of “green card” applications steadily increased.
There were six times more applications in Shanghai per annum, while Beijing saw a 426% increase in 2016 from the previous year.
Foreigners granted permanent residency have the same rights as Chinese citizens. These include privileges in investment opportunities, real estate and schooling.
Shanghaiist said there are hundreds of thousands of foreigners currently residing in China, but less than 8,000 of them became permanent residents since the current system took effect in 2004. Apparently, these “elite” people are executives, investors and experts in fields that have contributed to China’s progress.
China currently has 15 cities allowing visa-free entries of certain nationalities, but only for a period of 72 hours.