Green cards decision to bear fruit for foreigners

By Cheng Yingqi ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-02-22 08:09:22

Green cards decision to bear fruit for foreigners


Permanent residents' permits, or green cards, have been notoriously difficult to obtain in China, and many people believe they are of little use.

They claim that apart from being long-term visas, green cards can hardly be used to open bank accounts or buy train tickets.

But now the Chinese authorities are introducing new policies to increase the practical use of green cards, with the goal of attracting top talent to the country.

On Thursday, the central government issued a document on managing foreigners' permanent residency.

Gao Xiang, a spokesman for the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, said, "The document aims to provide indiscriminatory treatment for green card holders. It is international practice to give permanent residents the same entitlements as local citizens.

"We already had regulations covering permanent residency, but the terms relating to treatment of foreigners were not carried out thoroughly.

"With an increasing level of openness and higher frequency of personnel exchanges, we had to introduce a more practical system to cover foreigners' rights and obligations," he said.

China began to grant permanent residency to foreigners in 2004. In 2012, 25 ministries and central government departments jointly introduced a provision on the treatment of green card holders, but the terms were not fully implemented.

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