Officials will explore additional ways for talented people from outside the capital to acquire the city's hukou (permanent residency permit), as long as the applicants accumulate enough grading points, according to a proposal passed on Monday by the city's political advisers.
The grading system may be based on criteria such as the applicant's contributions in scientific or technological research, professional skills and how long he or she has lived in Beijing, according to the proposal by the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
Applicants will be given the hukou if they reach the standards.
"This system will be more objective, measurable, transparent and open for talented people to gain hukou," said Lu Jiehua, a sociology professor at Peking University, who is also a member of the CPPCC Beijing committee.
"It may take one year or more for talented people to accumulate enough points," said Lu. "And people with desirable talents will be taken into account, including skilled manual workers."
The proposal came as Beijing begins to impose strict limits on population growth and cuts the number of hukou granted to non-locals.
In China, a hukou is closely tied to a raft of benefits such as access to affordable housing and children's schooling.
The Beijing hukou is one of the most coveted in China for both workers and college graduates, but it is harder to get compared to those in other cities. In the capital, a person without a hukou can’t buy a house or register a car until he or she pays income tax in the city for five consecutive years.
Some college graduates said they might think about changing their original plans and shifting their workplace to Beijing if the proposal is adopted.
Qiao Xiaochun, a population expert at Peking University, said the political advisers' suggestion mainly aims to help the city to attract more qualified technology workers.
"But whether the move would benefit ordinary white-collar workers depends on the details of the policy. But it's a good start," he said.
In June 2010, Guangdong province launched the country's first grading system for issuing hukou to non-locals, by which migrant workers from other provinces would be able to settle down with a local hukou. More than 100,000 migrant workers have acquired hukou through this system in Guangdong's urban areas.
（中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.