Foreigners who want to live in China for a long time must have valid and legal stay visas. To enter China, one needs to apply for a visa at a Chinese embassy or consulate abroad. However, to stay in China legally for a long term, one needs to apply for a lawful long term residence permit at the entry and exit of China. Adult applicants often have to consider that they want to work legally in China in the future, which requires reasonable planning in advance.
After marriage with a Chinese spouse, the legal status planning for an alien is as follows:
1. Apply for a residence permit for reunion
Chinese citizens and foreign family members of foreigners with permanent residence status in China apply for residence in China for family reunion purposes.
2. Apply for a work permit or residence certificate
Foreigners working in China must meet the following requirements:
(1) At least 18 years of age and in good health;
(2) having the professional skills and relevant work experience necessary for the job;
(3) No criminal record;
(4) there is a confirmed employing unit;
(5) Holders of valid passports or other international travel documents that can substitute passports (hereinafter referred to as documents substituted for passports).
To meet the above conditions，also needs to make a detailed assessment of the type of work visa the foreign spouse applies for. First of all, it is necessary to evaluate whether the conditions meet the requirements of the application, and then to evaluate what kind of talent the applicant belongs to.
3. Apply for permanent residence
Aliens who apply for permanent residence in China shall abide by Chinese laws, be in good health, have no criminal record and meet the following requirements:
(1) marriage with a Chinese citizen;
(2) having been married for five years;
(3) Have resided in China for a continuous period of not less than 5 years, and have resided in China for not less than 9 months each year;
(4) having a stable living guarantee and a domicile.
In the long run, of course, it is in the interests of foreigners to apply for permanent residence. For foreigners who live and work in China for a long time, the best way is to apply for a Chinese permanent residence card, which is permanently visa-free, and their stay in China is not restricted; Employment in China can be exempted from foreign work permits in China; Freedom to drive, easy access to financial accounts, medical benefits and housing provident fund.