Applying for a Chinese Green Card as High-Income Earner

Applying for a Chinese Green Card as High-Income Earner

We will in this article cover how to apply for a Green Card based on one’s income. We have tailored this article toward those in Shanghai; however, similar requirements are true for other cities and areas in China.


– Worked in Shanghai continuously for four years with an annual salary income (before tax) exceeding RMB600,000

– Paid annual individual income tax exceeding RMB120,000

– In mainland China for no less than 6 months every year during the four years prior to application.
Please note that the annual salary income criteria for this type of Green Card varies from one city to another so please double check with the local Public Security Bureau on the amount required for the city you are in.

How to Apply 

(1) Complete Application Form for Permanent Residence in China, and provide 2 copies of two-inch recent photos and a digital version of these photos.

(2) Valid passport and employment-typed residence permits issued in Shanghai for consecutively 4 years before this application, and 2 copies of each should be submitted.

(3) Income certificate of the last 4 years issued by employer(s) and provide 1 copy of this.

(4) Individual income tax clearance certificate issued by Shanghai taxation bureau documenting the last consecutive 4 years before this application and provide 1 copy of this.

(5) Valid Working Permit (or Employment Permit, Foreign Expert Certificate) issued in Shanghai, and 2 copies of this.

(6) Letter of recommendation issued by the present employer, and provide 1 copy of this.

(7) Employer’s Business License (counterpart) or relevant registration certificate, Approval Certificate of Foreign Invested Enterprise or Foreign Invested Enterprise Filing Receipt (not required for domestic companies) and annual inspection certificate of the recent 4 years, and provide 2 copies of each.

(8) A Health check certificate which was issued by a domestic entry-exit inspection and quarantine agency (or by foreign medical institutions verified by Embassy /Consulate General of China), and provide 1 copy of this. The health certificate should be issued within the validity of the last 6 months.

(9) A Criminal Record/ Background check which shows no trace or history of any kind must be verified by the Embassy/Consulate General of China, and 1 copy should also be provided. The name on the Record Check must match that on the valid passport. In case the applicant has changed names, the former names should be noted in the Record, In case the applicant has lived in a country/region outside the passport-issuing country for successively two years or longer after he/she is 18 years old, a clear Criminal Record check from that country/region is also required. The Record(s) should be issued within the validity of the last 6 months.


The applicant can mark down “Need to print Chinese name” in “Others” column of the application form, if he/she hopes to have a Chinese name printed on Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card.

Time and Place to Apply:

The Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of Shanghai Public Security Bureau

Mon – Fri, 9:00 am ~ 11:30 am, 13:30 pm ~ 17:00 pm(except holidays and festivals)

Time for Processing: 

The application will be resolved in 180 working days after all the required documents are submitted. (Time for investigation is excluded if some items need to be investigated by the Public Security Bureau)


1. Processing fee RMB 1,500

2. Card fee: RMB 300

As with all types of Green Cards for China:

– The valid period is for ten years

– It is considered permanent residency in China, which could affect your status in your home country

– Foreign nationals are subject to worldwide tax on income and assets paid to China with no legal way around it

– The status/cards are not socially acceptable in practice in lieu of a passport and visa or an Chinese identification card in many situations

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