China offers 5-year visas to foreigners of Chinese descent

China offers 5-year visas to foreigners of Chinese descent
PHOTO: The New Paper file

China has implemented a new visa policy beginning February that allows foreigners of Chinese descent to remain in China for up to five years.

As reported by, the visa allows Chinese-descent foreigners multiple entry throughout the five-year period, provided candidates meet certain criteria.

Announced by the Ministry of Public Security in January, China seeks to make it easier for applicants by not imposing restrictions on the reasons for visiting, specifically for ethnic Chinese from outside of China.

Implemented on Feb. 1, the new policy marks an improvement over the previous one-year multiple-entry visa, giving Chinese-descent foreigners a five-year residency permit for work, study or other purposes.

The policy aims to encourage more overseas ethnic Chinese people "to participate in China's economic development," Qu Yunhai, the head of the ministry's bureau of exit and entry administration, was quoted as saying by


Foreigners of Chinese origin according to China's official definition refers to former Chinese citizens who have obtained foreign citizenship and to the offspring of present or former Chinese citizens.

Applying descendants of former Chinese citizens need to prove their relationship to either a parent, grandparent or ancestor. Authorities have specified no limit on the number of generations.

The ministry noted that all applicants were required to prove their Chinese origin by submitting official documents issued either by the Chinese government or by authorities of the country they are applying from.

Documents proving Chinese origin include copies of the applicant's or their relatives' Chinese passports or identity cards.

According to the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office in Shanghai, certificates from overseas governments are also accepted after being assessed by the Chinese embassy or consulate in their country of origin.

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