China introduces new guidelines for green cards

Beijing, Feb 19 (IANS) China has introduced a more flexible, pragmatic and market-orientated regulation on permanent residence for foreigners aiming to attract more talented people and investments from overseas.

More foreigners in different industries in China would be eligible to apply for permanent resident permits, or green cards, in a simpler way, the China Daily reported on Friday.

The General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the General Office of the State Council, China’s Cabinet, jointly issued a document on the management of foreigners’ permanent residence on Thursday.

The document provides only the guidelines, which authorities said would be followed by more regulations and further details in the months to come.

The document said that since the launch of the green card policy in 2004, it has contributed a lot to China’s development. However, it has still lagged behind practical needs due to many disadvantages, including application requirements that are too high and too narrow a scope in issuing green cards.

It said the guidelines would optimise application requirements, streamline procedures and deliver the related social services to enhance China’s attractiveness to global talent.

The country’s permanent residence permits have been called one of the most difficult to obtain in the world due to the high requirements involved.

According to the ministry of public security, more than 7,300 foreigners had obtained green cards by 2013, when the number of foreigners living in China exceeded 600,000.

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