China issues 'five-star card' for foreign permanent residents

2023-12-01 14:53:22 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download
A man displays his

A man displays his "five-star card" in Beijing, Dec. 1, 2023. (Photo: Li Hao/GT)

The new version of China's foreign permanent resident ID card, known as the "five-star card" for incorporating the national emblem’s five-star element, is officially rolled out and put into use on Friday. A total of 50 foreigners from more than 20 countries including the U.S., the UK, Germany and Russia, received the first batch of the cards in Beijing. 

The 50 foreign residents have made outstanding contributions to China’s economic, educational, technological, cultural, and healthcare sectors among others. They include recipients of the Chinese Government Friendship Award, senior managerial and professional technical personnel working long-term in China, as well as professors and scholars engaged in long-term teaching and research at key universities and research institutions.

At entry and exit service windows in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong and other regions, many other foreign permanent residents also came to inquire about applying for the new “five-star card,” the Global Times learned from public security authorities. 

The new version has optimized information storage, enhanced the layout design, and adopted more advanced anti-counterfeiting technology, so as to better protect personal information, the National Immigration Administration (NIA) revealed on Friday. 

Holders of the “five-star card” will only need the card for identity checks in China on most occasions without needing their foreign passports, the Global Times has learned.

Specifically, they can take trains, planes, ships and other means of transport in China by using just the card, as well as checking in hotels, handling financial services such as banking, insurance, securities, and futures, and other social affairs such as communication, taxation, property registration, and litigation.

When exiting and entering China, holders of the “five-star card” will just have to take their passport and the card, and no longer need to apply for a Chinese visa or other types of residential permits.

“The new version of the permanent residency ID card embodies distinctive Chinese characteristics, and is more adaptable to machine-readable scenarios as well as online applications. By providing more convenience for foreign talents to work, study and live in China, this initiative serves another effective measure to attract expats and ensure the country’s high-level openness and development,” said Mao Xu, head of the foreigner management department of NIA. 

After the launch of the new card, the previous version is still valid within the expiration date. Holders can apply for a new card according to individual needs.

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