China to issue new Foreign Permanent Resident ID-cards

China to issue new Foreign Permanent Resident ID-cards

A new version of the Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card will be officially launched and issued on December 1, incorporating new technology for better personal information protection and wider application, the National Immigration Administration (NIA) said. Enabling the new version of the card is a practical measure to ensure China’s high-level openness to the world and enhance the digitalization of foreigners’ management and services. The new card is expected to improve immigration management and better serve overseas talent working, studying and living in the country. The card is issued to those foreigners who are approved to reside permanently in China. The card will also be known as the “Five-star card”.

After the launch, current versions that are still valid can still be used, and holders of the current version can apply for the new version at local exit-entry administration agencies as needed, said the NIA. Mao Xu, Director of the NIA’s Department of Foreigners Management, said that the card can be used as a personal identity document in China. Cardholders can use it for various purposes, such as accommodation registration and purchasing tickets, without the need to present their passport. The NIA has comprehensively upgraded the card’s machine-readable and visual-readable fields, improved technical specifications, optimized the layout and enhanced anti-counterfeiting features, he said. Holders of the new ID-card will be able to use them in more ways than the old ones.

Card numbers have been increased from 15 to 18 digits, incorporating the foreigner's identification, nationality and location codes. Each individual is assigned a unique number that remains unchanged throughout their lifetime. The design of the new card has also been optimized. Chen Yongli, Director of the NIA’s Department of Information Technology, said that more advanced anti-counterfeiting technology has been adopted in the new card. The on-card chip is compatible with widely used identity card-reading machines in various sectors and departments.

Jia Tongbin, Deputy Director of the NIA’s Department of Foreigners Management, explained that the card allows its holder to enter and exit the Chinese border multiple times, without the need for additional visa procedures, when presented along with a valid passport. It enables the cardholder to purchase tickets for airplanes, trains and ships and to check in at hotels in China. When conducting financial transactions like banking, insurance and securities, and handling services including telecom, taxation and property registration, the card serves as a valid identification document. Major internet, public and government applications in China, such as the National Government Service Platform, 12306 Railway, 12123 Traffic Management, and the Tax Bureau, accept the card as a form of identification, the China Daily and OneTubeDaily report.

China's National Immigration Administration (NIA) will also launch new services, such as online appointments and inquiries for foreigners' visas and other relevant documents, on its service platform starting from October 9.