The Chinese government has optimized permanent residence application procedures for foreigners by accelerating the approval of qualified applicants.
The State Immigration Administration (SIA) has approved 1,881 applications in two months, equivalent to the total number of approvals in 2017, news website chinanews.com reported on Wednesday.
Fifty-one foreigners, including scientists, entrepreneurs and senior managers received Foreign Permanent Residence ID Cards in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province on Tuesday.
Established on April 2, SIA is a new duty-specific institution which handles residence applications to make foreigners feel welcome in the country, Liang Haiming, chairman and chief economist of the China Silk Road iValley Research Institute, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
A Hangzhou resident from Russia, who has lived in China for 12 years, received the permit as a foreign talent spouse on Tuesday, chinanews.com reported.
"I can use my Chinese name to live more conveniently in China and enjoy my retirement pension and endowment insurance," she said.
SIA simplified the procedure to significantly shorten the approval period, Liang said, adding that it has also reduced restrictions for talent with high-level academic achievements, like Nobel Laureates, and those working in China.
However, an anonymous Spaniard working in Beijing told the Global Times that the application for such certificates remains a headache.
"Married to a Chinese woman for 14 years, my friend has worked for big state media for years in Beijing, but he failed to meet the requirements for a green card," he said.
Liang suggested that authorities further ease permanent residency requirements so that foreigners married to Chinese who, in fact, have roots in China - working and living for dozens of years - could really feel "at home."