Guidelines issued by China's Cabinet aim to expand the categories of foreigners in China eligible to obtain the Chinese equivalent of a US green card.
Procedures will also be simplified and restrictions relaxed on foreign students seeking jobs in the country. The changes come as China's economy is slowing and once-robust interest among foreign investors is falling.
More than 7,000 foreigners have obtained permanent residency since the policy was adopted in 2004, a small fraction of the roughly 600,000 living in China. Many of those received the status as a reward for meritorious service to China's economy, the arts and sciences.