PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 February, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 February, 2003, 12:00am

The local government in Beijing has issued the first 'green cards' to 46 foreigners, granting them between three and five years' residency on the mainland, the People's Daily reported. In the past, foreigners had to renew their residency permits every year. Those eligible for the new visas include senior professionals invited by the government, senior management staff of foreign-invested companies and foreign citizens who have invested more than US$3 million (HK$23.4 million) in Beijing. The Ministry of Public Security said it would promote the new system nationwide by the end of this year.