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New rule eases residency limits for multinationals' staff
( 2003-09-25 00:38) (China Daily)

Foreign experts and senior managerial staff from multinational companies in Shanghai now can apply for foreign residence permits, local police announced Wednesday.

"The move is aimed at making business and education exchanges between Shanghai and foreign countries and regions more convenient," said Ma Zhendong, director of the Exit-Entry Administration of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau.

These foreigners can also obtain working visas carrying the same term as their residence permits.

The measure is one of 15 reforms introduced by local police covering such areas as travel, household registration, traffic management and fire prevention.

Foreigners who have been awarded the title of Shanghai Honorary Citizen, and those who have won the Shanghai White Magnolia Award, specially created by Shanghai Municipality to give recognition to foreigners who have made contributions to the city, can also take advantage of the policy.

Also, the foreign legal representatives, general managers and deputy managers of foreign companies in Shanghai with US$30 million or more in registered capital can also apply for residence permits valid for from two to five years. Department managers can get 3-year residence permits and ordinary foreign staff, 2-year permits.

Qualifying foreigners' spouses and their children under 18 years of age enjoy the same treatment.

Furthermore, at the end of this year, foreigners coming to Shanghai for urgent matters can apply for visas when they deplane in Shanghai.

"But companies or universities or other institutions in Shanghai that invite or hire foreigners under urgent circumstances must submit online applications to the police beforehand," Ma explained.

According to him, police will send a letter of permission via the Internet to such applicants if their applications are approved.

"The companies or institutions should then send the permit to the foreigner, who must have the letter of permission when applying for a disembarkation visa," Ma stressed.

Also, Shanghai is still planning to offer disembarkation permits to Taiwan people.

However, the exact time to implement the measure designed for people from Taiwan has not yet been decided, because, according to Ma, the plan must first be examined and approved by the Ministry of Public Security and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

"Yet, the measure will be put into effect in near future," he said. "Shanghai will be the fifth city to provide disembarkation permits to Taiwan people, following Xiamen and Fuzhou in East China's Fujian Province, and Haikou and Sanya in South China's Hainan Province.

Some other reforms make it easy for local citizens to apply online to transfer residence from one neighbourhood to another within the city. Moreover, the issuing of identity cards online was started this September.


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