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Green cards granted to 1,000 foreigners in Shanghai

2014-06-05 09:20 Shanghai Daily Web Editor: Si Huan

More than 1,000 foreigners in Shanghai have been granted "green cards," or permanent residency, since the scheme was introduced 10 years ago.

Half are foreign family members of Chinese nationals who have partners and/or children in China, according to the Shanghai Entry-Exit Administration.

Some 20 percent of those granted permanent residency are foreigners who have worked for more than four years as elite talent or managers in high-tech and other leading industries in the city.

In China as a whole, around 5,000 foreigners from 91 countries and regions have been granted green cards since the scheme was launched in 2004.

The highest numbers of green card applicants have come from countries including the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia and Germany.

China's authorities are deliberating revising regulations on permanent residence for foreigners, with more flexible and pragmatic application standards under consideration.

Benefits of holding a green card include that cardholders can enter and leave China without visa procedures.

They can also establish foreign-invested enterprises and use legally obtained yuan in direct foreign investment in China.

Cardholders can take evaluations and exams for technical professional titles and their children can attend local schools.

They can purchase homes and have the same rights as Chinese nationals when dealing with financial services such as banking, insurance, securities and futures.

Cardholders can use the card as ID to buy air and rail tickets, check into hotels and when applying for a driving license.

Those eligible for applying include foreigners who have directly invested certain sums in China for three successive years and who have a clean tax record.

Foreigners who have held high-level positions — including deputy general managers, deputy directors and associate professors — for four consecutive years can also apply.

Applications can also be made by staff from prominent educational institutions, organizations under some government departments, enterprises involved in government projects and high-tech enterprises and foreign-invested companies.

The spouses and children under 18 years old of the above categories can also apply.

According to Shanghai Entry-Exit Administration, there are some 100,000 expats living in Shanghai for work and study.

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