• Thu
  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 3:46am
NewsChina
RESIDENCY

China may ease green card rules to attract foreign workers

Mainland authorities set to revise permanent residency rules to lure talented foreign workers

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 June, 2014, 11:38pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 June, 2014, 6:04pm
 

China may make it easier for foreigners to apply for permanent residency in an attempt to attract more talented workers to the country, the authorities said yesterday.

The government is considering revising the regulations to apply for permanent residency with "more flexible and pragmatic application standards", the Organisation Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party said.

The green card system was introduced in China in 2004. Foreigners who meet a set of criteria can stay in the country for an unlimited period and enter without a visa.

The announcement to revamp the system comes after President Xi Jinping called for a more open policy to attract foreign talent. Xi said at a meeting with 50 foreign experts from 22 countries in Shanghai last month that government departments should improve the mechanism for bringing in talented foreign workers.

The government has rolled out a number of initiatives to attract overseas talent. One scheme called the "1,000 talent plan" has recruited about 4,100 overseas scientists since it was launched five years ago.

A report by China News Service, citing figures from the Ministry of Public Security, said only 4,700 foreigners were granted a green card between 2004 and the end of 2011.

Criteria for a successful application can include making an investment of at least US$500,000 and producing a good return on that investment for at least three years afterwards.

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Foreigners working in China for at least four years as assistant general manager, factory director, associate professor or assistant researcher can also apply. Those in higher positions are also eligible.

Spouses of foreigners with permanent residency can also apply for a green card, provided they have been married for more than five years and live in China for more than nine months each year.

Liu Guofu, a Beijing-based immigration law scholar, said the green card assessment gave more weight to job titles rather than applicants' abilities. The assessment standard also varied among government agencies involved in the process.

"Not all foreign experts hold management or directorate positions in their workplace," Liu said. "Such an assessment pattern has severely narrowed the scope of foreigners who are eligible for permanent residency in China, affecting the attractiveness of the green card system."

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16

This article is now closed to comments

shuike
There are nearly a million foreigners working or living in China. Why don't you ask them? Are you living & working in HK? Last I read, HK is a part of China - recognised even by your peers the British & US. What the sh-t are you doing here if you are?
newgalileo
There we go again, I have heard this several times. I have openly complained that the process is as good as impossible to complete. The rules they publish are just paper. I am one of the few to have the Green Card. I tell others "forget it" as it is a fruitless exercise to get one, till now. One overlooked category is for foreigners retiring in China, there are quite a number who want to, often for family reasons or because they made China their home (like myself).
Stephan
Why would anyone even consider living/working in China? There are more civilised countries to choose from...
stephane@quebecmall.asia
If China wants to attract foreign and talented workers, why do they give a green card to a 97-year old lady?
bead8@hotmail.com
Now China is loosening the one-child policy. And I believe that China allows more Foreigners to hold green cards is for the purpose of enhancing the quality of labor force etc instead of simply adding the number of residents.
newgalileo
Green cards are also for Old China Friends who retire in China. One important category, not clearly mentioned.
peace.onearth.90
Your hate messed up your mind. A permanent resident is STILL a foreigner.
lib_prc

that shows you how desperate we are!
nicolas
WHY SHOULD FOREIGNER APPLY FOR RESIDENCY IN CHINA WHEREIN FREEDOM OF PRESS AND SPEECH ARE SIMPLY RUBBISH ? WOULD YOU DARED TO STAY IN A COUNTRY LIKE A PRISONER ?
ssslmcs01
A permanent resident is called a "foreigner"? I guess that there is a deeply ingrained superiority complex in the Chinese administration.

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