China may revise 'green card' procedures
By Zhu Zhe (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-23 06:14
Procedures for granting permanent-resident status to foreigners akin to the
"green card" in the United States may be revised, a senior official said
"We've heard complaints that the existing requirements
for foreigners to get permanent residence in China are too stringent, and we're
studying possible changes," Cui Zhikun, director of the Bureau of Exit-Entry
Administration of the Ministry of Public Security, said in Beijing.
display their green cards at a ceremony in Beijing November 22, 2005.
He declined to reveal details, only noting that any change would not take
place in the next few months.
According to stipulations implemented since last August, foreigners eligible
for permanent residence are those who:
hold senior posts in China
make large direct investment in China
made outstanding contributions or are of special importance to China
live in China with their families for more than five years.
Holders of permanent-residence cards are allowed to live in the country for
any length of time and travel in and out without visas.
Bureau figures show that only 687 foreigners of the 1,835 who applied were
granted permanent residence.
There are about 260,000 foreigners holding stable jobs, according to the
State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.
"I intended to apply for the card last year, but I failed to meet the high
standard," said 29-year-old Algerian Omran Abdelkader, who has lived in China
for five years and is a researcher at the Central Academy of Drama.
"I married a Chinese woman three years ago and want to make the country my
second home," he said in fluent Chinese. "Many of my friends share my opinion
that the standards for permanent residence in China should be lower."
French citizen Irene Thalamy, who went to the Entry-Exit Administrative
Division of the Beijing Public Security Bureau yesterday to get permanent
residence cards for her 10-year-old and 6-year-old daughters, said she hopes the
application procedure is simplified.
"We've been waiting for approval for almost a year, and so many documents are
needed for the application," she said. "Though I've lived in the country for 12
years and married a Chinese, my application has not been approved so far."
Director Cui said the bureau pays heed to all the views but "to perfect a
regulation needs time."
"And China is not a country targeting immigration," he said. "The regulation
is mainly to attract high-level foreign personnel."
Officials also said the number of cities and counties open to foreigners
reached 2,650, accounting for 92 per cent of the country's total.
(China Daily 11/23/2005 page1)