Upgraded Chinese 'green cards' offered to foreign expats



Upgraded versions of permanent residence ID cards - the Chinese green cards – are now being made available to offer better services to foreigners living and working in the country.

The new version came into operation on June 16, in municipalities and provinces such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong and Zhejiang.

The updated cards contain micro-chips which mean they can hold information which can be read by document reading machines, similar to China's domestic second-generation ID cards.

Foreigners can use this new permanent residence ID for day-to-day matters involving finance, education, medical treatment, accommodation, taxation, social security and transportation, according to a Chinanews' report.

"The implementation of this new policy aims to offer better support in attracting high-level foreign expats to live and establish a business in the city. Among the first five foreigners entitled to the green cards in Guangzhou, were two senior academics living and working in the country under China's Recruitment Program of Global Experts," said an official with the Public Security Bureau of Guangzhou City.

Holders of the new permanent residence ID cards in Shanghai include winners of the city's Magnolia Award, special contributors recommended by the municipal government, business investors, and overseas Chinese experts involved in technological innovation.

The holders can now enjoy the same benefits as Chinese citizens.

Some airlines already allow foreigners to buy flight tickets with the new ID cards, while the railway authorities have announced they will soon upgrade ticket facilities at railway terminals to offer access to the cards, reports Shanghai Daily.