Shenzhen suspends applications for residency by relatives

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 August, 2005, 12:00am

Faced with a surge in applications for residency in Shenzhen from relatives of the city's permanent residents, authorities have closed the door on further applications while they cope with the backlog.

It is suspending acceptance of applications from the spouses, parents and children of hukou holders until the end of the year.

Officials with the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau said the number of this kind of applicant had been rising fast in recent years as the city's immigrant population swelled, lengthening the time it took authorities to handle the submissions.

Despite having set a quota for residency applications of 11,000 this year, by last month the authority had accepted 24,000 requests for permanent residency. Police estimate 15,000 of them will not be processed until next year.

Police officials claimed that the suspension would not affect those planning to apply for hukou, but would enable officials to concentrate on received cases.

Shenzhen's population had risen to a record 12.01 million by the end of June, of which only 1.71 million were permanent residents holding hukou. The rest were part of a floating population who stayed in the border city less than a year, an official said.

The growing population has seriously challenged the city's capacity to supply energy, water and land, giving rise to numerous social problems.

Authorities are taking a series of steps to control Shenzhen's population.

These include increasing the number of permanent residents, attracting more professionals and encouraging the development of hi-tech industries as opposed to labour-intensive sectors.