China has a rich history and boasts of a balance between western conveniences and eastern traditions. This country is the third biggest in terms of area and largest in terms of population which is not entirely homogenous. The Chinese population can be categorized into a number of smaller ethnic groups including 55 ethnic minorities. China immigration is not very easy but it is possible. So read on if you’re planning to immigrate to China and settle in this beautiful country.
Short-Term Visits to China
Anyone wanting to visit the Chinese mainland needs a visa. In most cases, to apply for permanent residency or citizenship also, the applicant should have already spent a few years in China on a visa. Chinese visa regulations are very strict and conditions for eligibility depend on the applicant’s nationality.
Visa applications must be applied for in person by the applicant or by anyone else on the applicant’s behalf. Applications sent by mail are not accepted. There are many different types of visas that one may apply for. They include:
- Tourist Visa: The tourist visa or L visa allows a tourist to travel freely to most parts of China. This visa is valid for up to 2 years.
- Business Visa: There are two types of business visas; the M type visa is given to applicants for trade or business activities and the F type visa awarded to applicants visiting China for cultural or scientific exchanges, study tours, an investigation, to give a lecture etc. This visa is usually valid for 3 months.
- Student Visa: Students visiting China for studies that last shorter than 6 months can apply for an X2 visa. Students who will be in China for longer than 6 months can apply for an X1 visa.
- Work Visa: A work visa or Z visa must be sponsored by the company employing the applicant. This visa is valid for 30 days after the applicant arrives in China. After this, the applicant must get a Temporary Residence Permit for the duration of his or her contract.
- Transit Visa: This visa is issued to applicants who are transiting through China on their way to their final destination. This is also known as the G visa.
China Immigration – Eligibility Criteria for Permanent Residency
While anyone can visit China for a short duration of time, not everyone can get permanent residency in China. This is a must if you are considering Chines Immigration. To be eligible the applicant must meet at least one of the below conditions.
- He or she should have been married to a Chinese citizen or an immigrant with permanent residency for at least 5 years. He or she should also have lived in China for at least 9 months of each of these 5 years.
- He or she should have made a direct investment in certain sectors of the Chinese economy for a minimum of 3 consecutive years
- He or she should have a full-time job at the level of an associate professor, assistant general manager, assistant researcher, and factory director or higher.
- He or she should have made an outstanding contribution to China
- He or she should be an unmarried child below the age of 18 years with parents who are Chinese citizens or immigrants with permanent residency
- He or she should be above the age of 60 years with relatives only in China. He or she should also have been spending at least 9 months of a year in China.
In addition, the applicant should have no criminal record and should obey the Chinese laws. He or she should be financially stable and have a secured place to live in China. The applicant must also have good health.
China Immigration – How to Apply for Permanent Residency
If the applicant meets any of the above conditions, he or she can apply for permanent residency. First, the applicant must complete and submit the application form. This must be submitted to the county level or city level office of the public security bureau of a municipality that comes directly under the central government.
This can be submitted in person by the applicant or by a third party. In case of the latter, the person submitting the application should have been given power of attorney. This application must be accompanied by:
- The applicant’s valid passport
- Health guarantee certificate by a medical organization authenticated by the Chinese embassy and consulate or the Chinese health quarantine department.
- A certificate authenticated by the consulate/embassy proving the applicant’s clean criminal record.
- 4 recent passport sized photographs
- Other documents that prove the applicant’s eligibility
An application fee of 1,500RMB per applicant and a Foreigner’s Permanent Residence Permit fee of 300 RMB is also payable.
Time Taken to Process the Application
It can take up to 6 months from the day a China immigration application was submitted for it to be processed. During this time, all the applicant’s documents will be investigated and verified. The application will then be sent to the Ministry of Public Security for approval. If approved, the applicant will be given a Foreigner Permanent Residence Permit.
If the applicant has filed for permanent residency while he or she is outside China, he will have to enter China with a D visa and then collect the Foreigner Permanent Residence Permit within 30 days of entering China.
The validity of a Foreigner Permanent Residence Permit
To maintain a Foreigner Permanent Residence Permit, the applicant should spend at least three months each year in China. In 5 years, the permit holder should have spent at least one-year in China. A Foreigner Permanent Residence Permit awarded to an adult immigrant is valid for 10 years. In the case of minors, it is valid for 5 years. The immigrant may apply for renewal of the certificate 1 month prior to its expiry.