China considers relaxing 'green card' policy to attract more foreigners

By Kimberley Pratt, June 3, 2014

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Chinese authorities are considering a revision to regulations on permanent residence for foreigners in order to attract more international talent.

On Monday, the Organizational Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China considered relaxing “green card” policies by lowering application and approval thresholds.

China’s current green card system was implemented in 2004, with only foreign family members of Chinese nationals and foreign people who have worked as elite talent, made significant contributions or large investments able to apply for permanent residence.

In 2012, nearly 5000 foreigners had gained permanent residence while the number of foreigners living in China reached an estimated 600,000 people.

According to the department, last month, more than 1300 foreigners had permanent residence through the recruitment plan, “1000 talent plan”.

Contrary to its need for talent in its vast market, China is considered one of the most difficult countries to gain residency.

China introduced a new regulation in 2013 to facilitate entry and exit for foreign nationals, such as increasing visa types, but foreign workers often complain of the confusing and often-changing rules and documents required.

[Image via Daily Mail]

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