The National Immigration Administration of China (NIA) will start issuing a new version of the Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card of the People’s Republic of China effective December 1, 2023. The NIA made the announcement on September 15 at which time it also released a sample of the new card.

The NIA explains that the Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card is a “legal identity document … for qualified foreigners whose permanent residence applications have been approved. It can be used alone as a personal identity document.” According to the NIA, the card can also be used as a legal certificate to pay for train, ship, or air fares within China, without the need to show one’s passport.

Familiar but updated style

The new Foreign Permanent Resident ID Card maintains the basic style of the current version, but with the addition of five-star elements, embodying the national logo, and an optimized layout.

Front side, shown under regular light (top) and UV light (bottom) Reverse side, shown under regular light (top) and UV light (bottom)

A streamlined border-crossing experience

The new card will allow holders to enter and exit the Chinese border multiple times, without the need for additional visa procedures, when presented with a valid passport.

Security upgrades fight counterfeiting and expand access to services

The new card design includes advanced anti-counterfeiting technology and an upgraded chip storage structure to make it compatible with identity card-reading machines in various sectors and departments. These changes will allow card holders to handle private affairs such as transportation, purchases, and financial transactions on the online service platform.

NIA authorities state that the agency “will work with relevant departments to accelerate matching with information systems and facilities in various industries, expand the application range, and enhance satisfying experience, so as to realize functional goals of the revised document.”

To date, major internet platform applications and public and government service applications in China, such as the National Government Service Platform, 12306 Railway, 12123 Traffic Management, and Personal Income Tax have recognized and included the card as an acceptable form of identification.

Previously issued Foreign Permanent Resident ID Cards will remain valid until their expiration dates. Holders can apply for a new ID card according to individual needs.


National Immigration Administration of China

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