China, as the world’s second-largest economy, offers international high net worth investors substantial opportunities, particularly in sectors like technology, manufacturing, and real estate. Urban centers like Shanghai and Beijing boast vibrant property markets and cosmopolitan lifestyles. Despite its promising economic potential, investors face challenges like regulatory complexity and a unique business culture. However, China’s rich historical heritage, diverse landscapes, and rapid infrastructure development make it an intriguing destination for those seeking a second home and aiming to tap into its vast market and resource pool.

China Golden Visa

China does not currently offer a golden visa or citizenship by investment programme similar to those offered by some other countries. Such golden visa programmes often allow individuals to obtain citizenship or residency rights through substantial investment, typically in real estate, national development funds, or local businesses.

Residency and Citizenship in China

China’s immigration policies primarily focus on temporary residence and long-term residency options for foreign nationals, such as work visas, study visas, and family reunion visas. However, China does offer a “Permanent Residence Permit” or “Chinese Green Card” to foreigners who meet certain criteria and wish to reside in the country for an extended period. This Permanent Residence Permit does not provide citizenship but allows foreign nationals to live and work in China on a more permanent basis.

To obtain a Permanent Residence Permit in China, foreign individuals typically need to meet one of the following criteria:


Investors must have made a significant investment in China, such as starting a business or making substantial capital contributions to an existing business.


Applicant is a highly-skilled foreign worker employed by a Chinese company.

Family Reunification

Applicant must have close family members (spouse or children) who are Chinese citizens or permanent residents.

Special Contribution

Applicant has made significant contributions to China in various fields, such as science, technology, culture, or sports.

China Passport Strength and Ranking

If China were to offer a Citizenship by Investment programme, one of the concerns for applicants would be the weakness of its passport. The Chinese passport offers visa-free access to around 86 countries worldwide. It is one of the weaker passports worldwide and is a factor in why so many Chinese nationals seek out alternative citizenship through investment in countries such as Dominica, Grenada and St Kitts. Chinese investors have also been the biggest contributors to the Portuguese Golden Visa since its launch in 2012. In terms of access for business people, it offers visa-free access to 27.6% of the world’s wealth (as measured by GDP) and 27.2% of the global travel popularity. It ranks 110th overall in La Vida’s comprehensive Global Passport Ranking.


Citizenship and Residency by Investment Programmes

See below a selection of countries offering residency and citizenship investment programmes.