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Nation takes measures to ease green card access

  • Author:Tony
  • Release on:2015-09-16
Foreigners who want to get permanent residence permits in China may soon find it easier, as the country's top leaders have pledged to ease requirements and streamline procedures for applicants.

Experts said the move can help China to recruit more overseas talent and further attract foreign investment.

"China will manage foreigners' permanent residence in a reasonable, open and pragmatic manner," said a statement on Tuesday.

It was issued after a meeting of the Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform-the country's top decision-making body in pushing forward reforms.

The meeting, chaired by President Xi Jinping, passed a guideline on the management of foreigners' permanent residence, but the details were not made public.

Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization, who has been briefed on the guideline, said some new measures are expected to be rolled out. They include a green card application threshold and allowing immigrant investors to start businesses in China.

The country's permanent residence permits have been called "one of the most difficult green cards to get in the world" due to the high requirements involved.

China issued only about 5,000 permanent residence permits between 2004, when the green card policy was introduced, and 2013, according to the Ministry of Public Security. This compared with about 600,000 foreigners living in the country.

Wang said, "China has lagged far behind other countries in terms of immigration management. The guideline is only the first step of a regular scheme to attract international talent."

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