The number of foreigners currently residing in China either as permanent residents or as green card holders has been on the rise in the past few years. In 2011, the Chinese government issued 564 immigrants permanent visas and 656 permanent visas in 2012.
While the increase in the number of immigrants may seem insignificant compared to the United States, which issued over 1,000,000 green cards in 2012, this influx of people into China represents a significant change from years past. There is a marked difference between these immigrants and immigrants to other countries: over half are Chinese-immigrants or adult children of Chinese-immigrants who lived elsewhere before returning or immigrating to China. The majority of the people immigrating previously lived in the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, and Japan.
The hope is that this increasing rate of growth will draw talented foreigners to China “to promote economic and social development and enhance international communications.”