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New Chinese green card plan gets green light

Monday,Mar 06, 2017

From: The Star Online

Beijing: To attract more global talent and investments, China plans to introduce a new green card that will be more widely recognised to make life easier for permanent residents (PR), whose numbers are still very small in the country.

But some PRs said that the new card, to be introduced by the end of this year, is not vastly more attractive and may not help the world’s second largest economy turn into a magnet for foreign professionals and funds.

A meeting of the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms chaired by President Xi Jinping earlier this month called for further reforms in China’s immigration policy.

“The reforms should serve the country’s talent development strategy, address public concerns, optimise the design of the card and improve the information system,” according to a statement released by Xinhua news agency.

“This simply means the card will be made more useful,” said Dr Wang Huiyao, president of the Centre for China and Globalization (CCG) .

“Currently, the card is not included in China’s identification card system. So it is not possible for green card holders to use their cards like how Chinese citizens use their identification cards,” he said.

In theory, foreigners holding the green card have the same rights as Chinese citizens, except for political ones.

The card, renewable every five or 10 years, allows PRs to live in China without a visa, buy property and enrol their children in public schools.

Card holders are also covered by social insurance, and those who are unemployed can receive pensions and health insurance.

But, in reality, PRs in China say the document is not well recognised in the country, and they could not use it in most situations.

And most PRs do not try to claim the social benefits as their expatriate packages usually cover housing, education and insurance for themselves and their dependants.

Introduced in 2004, the Chinese green card is thought to be one of the hardest to get worldwide, because of its complicated application process and high threshold for qualification.

By 2013, only 7,356 foreigners had become Chinese PRs, out of the more than 600,000 foreigners living in China.


From The Star Online,2017-2-28


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