The number of foreigners who became permanent Chinese residents in 2016 jumped 163 percent from the previous year to 1,576, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
China has made huge progress in easing its residence and entry policies for foreigners since September 2015, which has helped attract more talent from overseas as well as boost international exchanges and the economy, the ministry said in a statement.
Foreigners with permanent residence will enjoy the same rights as Chinese citizens in areas such as investment, housing purchases and schooling.
One year after the new measures were implemented, Shanghai saw an annual increase of six times the number of green card applications from foreigners and their families.
The number of such applications in Beijing last year soared 426 percent from that of 2015.
Foreigners made over 56.5 million trips to China last year, up 8.9 percent from 2015.
At present, 15 Chinese cities allow a 72-hour visa-free entry for nationals of certain countries. Shanghai as well as Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces offer 144-hour visa-free stay for transit passengers from certain countries.