Chinese Permanent Residency, called as Chinese green card, is said to be the most difficult PR to be granted in the world.  However, Mr. Benjamin from Belgium (now living in Shanghai) is one of the lucky people. The following is his story, shared with us via a Q & A form in Wechat.  

Q1: Why do you want to apply for a green card?

A1: Having a stronger legal basis in China, residence not tied to my job;

Most of my assets are in China and in CNY, those aren't easily quickly liquified and difficult to convert to foreign currency simply because the value is too high(apartment, car, etc...), the only way to convert these is through grey area channels which is not an acceptable risk, while the green card does make it easier to convert to foreign currency(same limits as Chinese nationals), the biggest advantage is that it isn't necessary to sell as I can legally retire in China;

Having a Chinese spouse, my wife is Chinese, and my son is Belgian, the green card gives a much more healthy legal balance.

 

Q2: Do you have any concern before doing so?

A2: The time commitment for getting all the necessary documents;

The initial step to apply with the PSB can be a bit intimidating(they are actually super helpful and friendly);

The financial commitment(easiest way prove funds is to lock 200k CNY in a bank account for 1 year with a certificate from the bank that the money is locked in a 1 year time investment);

The very low success rate.

 

Q3: By concern, I mean were you worried that such identity will set any restriction on your life or your freedom to move around.

A3: In that regard I didn't have much reservations. There were at the time a lot of myths(I think, cannot substantiate this) about the Chinese government going as far as interviewing every neighbour you have ever lived near to inside China. There is a certain kind of fear mongering also regarding your traceability but I found this mostly to be either nonsense, or not something that couldn't be done with the passport as well. I had at that point decided that while China may not be an open democracy, it certainly isn't repressing ideas in ways that Western media likes to describe. I actually feel that individual freedom(provided you don't engage in illegal activities) is better then in many other countries.

 

Q4: Talking about success rate, did the PSB mentioned that you are lucky, because there are quota for each category of application, or anything similar?

A4: Regarding the success rate, when I received my PR card I was congratulated and welcomed as a Shanghainese person, never heard about luck, or quota to fill(this again floats around when people discuss these things but I haven't actually seen any evidence proving that theory).

 

Q5: From which source you know about green card?

A5: I knew about the existence through my wife.

Q6: Who have helped you during the procedure?


A6: I get quite a bit of help from the PSB, I feel they get some gratification out of successful applicants and I was very pleasantly surprised by their willingness and even support for my individual case. I'm very grateful towards those people.

I get a lot of help from the Belgian consulate, without them it would have been virtually impossible, there have been times that the consul general himself had to write additional letters to clarify certain matters.

        

Q7: Whats the most difficult part in this procedure?

A7: It's actually reasonably straightforward IF, all the documents that are expected are obtainable, there is a lot of variance in how this is done by country, some things are pretty hard to obtain;

If you are from Belgium for example, some years ago they decided to abbreviate everything after the second first name on the passport, this was causing me the biggest problems, ultimately I managed to resolve them but it required interference from the department of justice in Belgium and the consulate general in Shanghai. For the Chinese government, I had essentially 5 names, for the Belgian government I only have 1, the unabbreviated one. This part could have not been advanced without direct pressure from the consulate on the DOJ, and even then it was a grey area.

        

Q8: What impress you the most?

A8:The call that I was expected to go to the PSB for the inauguration ceremony and accept my green card in two days, that was quite surreal.

Q: Haha, did your wife went there with you?

A: Yes we both went there and I was dressed up in a suit for the occasion, the newspaper was also there and took pictures and shared some excerpts from our different stories. 

 

Q9: How long did it take in total?

A9: From the application date, exactly 6 months. To prepare for the application together with the Shanghai PSB add another month or two.

 

Q10: Any tips you want to share with other applicants?

A10:There are no shortcuts, you may find yourself tired of the application procedure and want to give up, persistence is key here. If you continue to produce every piece of paper they require of you, no matter how "silly" you may think they are, I actually think you stand a reasonable chance of obtaining the PR. Also, ensure you work closely with the people from your local PSB, they can help you a lot, all applications are eventually sent to Beijing where they will not know you or your background(this may be different for expats stationed in Beijing), and make a decision based on the information they have in front of them. If any of that information is incorrect, or otherwise incomplete you can expect to be rejected.

 

Q11: Thank you Benjamin for sharing with us your story, I love it and I love your positive comment on China.

A11:I loved the experience actually. I dont like how western media tries to paint China as some third world country with people that are repressed. Its just not true, all countries have their problems but some people make really stupid comments or do half work. Thats disappointing but thats how most media works--looking for clicks and attention.


You may also feel interested in:

The Chinese Green Card, Are You Qualified?

Benefits for Foreigners with Permanent Residence Permit in China

Click "read more" to visit our website

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A Chinese Green Card Holders Story

Chinese Permanent Residency, called as Chinese green card, is said to be the most difficult PR to be granted in the world.  However, Mr. Benjamin from Belgium (now living in Shanghai) is one of the lucky people. The following is his story, shared with us via a Q & A form in Wechat.  

Q1: Why do you want to apply for a green card?

A1: Having a stronger legal basis in China, residence not tied to my job;

Most of my assets are in China and in CNY, those aren't easily quickly liquified and difficult to convert to foreign currency simply because the value is too high(apartment, car, etc...), the only way to convert these is through grey area channels which is not an acceptable risk, while the green card does make it easier to convert to foreign currency(same limits as Chinese nationals), the biggest advantage is that it isn't necessary to sell as I can legally retire in China;

Having a Chinese spouse, my wife is Chinese, and my son is Belgian, the green card gives a much more healthy legal balance.

 

Q2: Do you have any concern before doing so?

A2: The time commitment for getting all the necessary documents;

The initial step to apply with the PSB can be a bit intimidating(they are actually super helpful and friendly);

The financial commitment(easiest way prove funds is to lock 200k CNY in a bank account for 1 year with a certificate from the bank that the money is locked in a 1 year time investment);

The very low success rate.

 

Q3: By concern, I mean were you worried that such identity will set any restriction on your life or your freedom to move around.

A3: In that regard I didn't have much reservations. There were at the time a lot of myths(I think, cannot substantiate this) about the Chinese government going as far as interviewing every neighbour you have ever lived near to inside China. There is a certain kind of fear mongering also regarding your traceability but I found this mostly to be either nonsense, or not something that couldn't be done with the passport as well. I had at that point decided that while China may not be an open democracy, it certainly isn't repressing ideas in ways that Western media likes to describe. I actually feel that individual freedom(provided you don't engage in illegal activities) is better then in many other countries.

 

Q4: Talking about success rate, did the PSB mentioned that you are lucky, because there are quota for each category of application, or anything similar?

A4: Regarding the success rate, when I received my PR card I was congratulated and welcomed as a Shanghainese person, never heard about luck, or quota to fill(this again floats around when people discuss these things but I haven't actually seen any evidence proving that theory).

 

Q5: From which source you know about green card?

A5: I knew about the existence through my wife.

Q6: Who have helped you during the procedure?


A6: I get quite a bit of help from the PSB, I feel they get some gratification out of successful applicants and I was very pleasantly surprised by their willingness and even support for my individual case. I'm very grateful towards those people.

I get a lot of help from the Belgian consulate, without them it would have been virtually impossible, there have been times that the consul general himself had to write additional letters to clarify certain matters.

        

Q7: Whats the most difficult part in this procedure?

A7: It's actually reasonably straightforward IF, all the documents that are expected are obtainable, there is a lot of variance in how this is done by country, some things are pretty hard to obtain;

If you are from Belgium for example, some years ago they decided to abbreviate everything after the second first name on the passport, this was causing me the biggest problems, ultimately I managed to resolve them but it required interference from the department of justice in Belgium and the consulate general in Shanghai. For the Chinese government, I had essentially 5 names, for the Belgian government I only have 1, the unabbreviated one. This part could have not been advanced without direct pressure from the consulate on the DOJ, and even then it was a grey area.

        

Q8: What impress you the most?

A8:The call that I was expected to go to the PSB for the inauguration ceremony and accept my green card in two days, that was quite surreal.

Q: Haha, did your wife went there with you?

A: Yes we both went there and I was dressed up in a suit for the occasion, the newspaper was also there and took pictures and shared some excerpts from our different stories. 

 

Q9: How long did it take in total?

A9: From the application date, exactly 6 months. To prepare for the application together with the Shanghai PSB add another month or two.

 

Q10: Any tips you want to share with other applicants?

A10:There are no shortcuts, you may find yourself tired of the application procedure and want to give up, persistence is key here. If you continue to produce every piece of paper they require of you, no matter how "silly" you may think they are, I actually think you stand a reasonable chance of obtaining the PR. Also, ensure you work closely with the people from your local PSB, they can help you a lot, all applications are eventually sent to Beijing where they will not know you or your background(this may be different for expats stationed in Beijing), and make a decision based on the information they have in front of them. If any of that information is incorrect, or otherwise incomplete you can expect to be rejected.

 

Q11: Thank you Benjamin for sharing with us your story, I love it and I love your positive comment on China.

A11:I loved the experience actually. I dont like how western media tries to paint China as some third world country with people that are repressed. Its just not true, all countries have their problems but some people make really stupid comments or do half work. Thats disappointing but thats how most media works--looking for clicks and attention.


You may also feel interested in:

The Chinese Green Card, Are You Qualified?

Benefits for Foreigners with Permanent Residence Permit in China

Click "read more" to visit our website

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