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Is it possible to immigrate to China?

Is it possible to immigrate to China?

While it is possible to become a resident  in China, it is very difficult 

for foreigners to gain citizenship in that country. 

Obtaining a work visa in China can be the best way to become a resident in China and a very positive experience of youth. Living and working in China also provides an opportunity for total cultural immersion especially for language and cultural anthropology students. There is no substitute for making your home in an area if you wish to improve your ability to speak the language or you wish to learn about the day-to-day customs of a people as well as visit the many locations that highlight the history of this great nation.

If you wish to spend an extended amount of time living and working in China, your first step is to find a job  and apply for a Type Z Visa. Type Z visas allow immigrants to work full time in China. 

To obtain a type Z visa excepting documents from employer’s side you will need the following:

  • An original signed passport with at least six months’ valid time on it, plus six months’ blank pages available. Also, if the photo page and data pages are separate, a photo copy of each of those pages should be provided.
    • If you have a new passport, include photocopies of any previous passport and its data pages
  • One completed visa form, with a photograph, bare-headed, full-face, where both ears can be seen.
  • Proof of current legal residence (particularly if applying from the United States.)
  • Photocopy of previous Chinese Visas or passports, if any.
  • CV in Chinese.
  • Credentials.
  • Criminal record check.
  • Health certificate.
  • If you are renewing a visa, you need to provide your previously issued permit, such as an invitation to work, a foreign employer’s permit to work in China, a permit for foreign experts, a registration permit for foreign enterprises, or an invitation to foreigners for offshore petroleum processes.

If both your parents are Chinese nationals, but you were born in another country, you will be eligible for a Chinese Travel Permit. Children born to Chinese nationals are considered to be Chinese citizens. However, if one or both of your parents have settled abroad or have obtained foreign citizenship, then you are not considered to be a Chinese citizen. You may, however, still apply for a Chinese Visa.

How it’s like to live in China

If you decide that you would like to live in China permanently, you can apply for a type D Visa. It should be noted here that a Type D Visa is more difficult to obtain. You will need a copy of all your documentation created for your type Z Visa, and your passport will need to have at least six-months valid time on it. You can also transition to a type D Visa from a student visa. In addition to the other documentation, you will need an original and a photocopy of your Confirmation of Permanent Resident Status from the Ministry of Public Security of China.

The final type of Visa is a Type R. This one is issued to workers who have skills that are needed or prized in China, or people who have exceptional talents. As you might guess, this type of visa is very rare, and is somewhat of an honor. To obtain a Type R Visa, you will need to complete all of the forms that are required for a Type Z Visa. In addition, however, you will meet with competent authorities from the Chinese government on high-level talent and special skills needed in China. The applicant might be required to submit an invitation or other proof that he or she has the skills that are required. 

Permanent residency is not often granted. A blog comment on this topic noted that while foreigners might be granted the right to establish a permanent home in China, even skilled workers are rarely granted citizenship.

However, people who wish to live and work in that area, might be able to work their way in through a Hong Kong permanent residency. In order to obtain a Hong Kong permanent residency, the applicant must live in Hong Kong for seven years, and fill out the appropriate applications. Acceptance will grant the right to vote and access to government programs. However, if you leave and are gone for three years or more, you lose your status.


Living and working in China can open up many opportunities to learn about this Land of Mysteries, its history and the culture with its long history.

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