For some foreigners, 'green cards' are a disappointment

Updated: 2016-01-26 07:47


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For some foreigners, 'green cards' are a disappointment

A foreigner shows his permanent residence permit in Shanghai on April 12, 2005. [Photo/IC]

Many foreign experts living in China say that obtaining a "green card" has not given them all the rights equal to Chinese residents that they thought they could expect.

"It was so appealing to me to obtain a Chinese green card, but later I felt it didn't help me as much as I had thought it would in my daily life in China," said Noyan Rona, the chief representative of the Shanghai office of Turkish Garanti Bank.

Chen Xinhua, director of the Norsk Statoil Chinese Working Office, said, "Though I got the green card (in 2004), I can't open bank accounts or buy train tickets with it".

The permanent residency permits, which China began issuing in 2004, are among the most difficult to obtain in the world due to the high requirements involved.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, more than 7,300 foreigners had obtained green cards by 2013, but more than 600,000 foreigners live in China.

In June, the Ministry of Public Security eased the requirements and streamlined procedures for foreign applicants who served in some government-affiliated institutes and scientific and research centers.

According to the ministry, foreigners who are assistant professors and researchers or higher, have worked and lived in China for at least three years and have good tax records may apply for permanent residency permits at the local entry and exit management department.

The ministry said that foreigners who are granted green cards have the same rights as Chinese people when they purchase houses, buy train tickets, invest in businesses, apply for driver's licenses or enroll their children in Chinese schools.

"But in fact, the policy hasn't been implemented effectively," Chen said. "If the Chinese government wants to attract more overseas talent, it should carry out the policy and offer us (green card holders) the same treatment as citizens and favorable policies, instead of issuing powerless papers."

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