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November 23, 2012

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Grading rules may allot residence permits

MIGRANTS who apply for a Shanghai residence permit will need to go through a grading system before they acquire legal residence, a policy change for "better management" of the expanding migrant population in Shanghai, according to a new regulation draft.

The draft was released on the Shanghai government website yesterday. Public opinion is being soliciting until December 2.

There is no specific date for the new permit regulations to be enacted, but it is expected to be in the coming year.

Currently, non-locals can apply for a residence permit on the conditions that they have a stable job in Shanghai with a bachelor's degree or above. Those with special skills can also apply if their educational background doesn't meet the standard.

Under the new rule, they will go through a grading system that decides if they will get a permit that entitles holders to benefits as locals.

Migrants who fail to meet the requirements can apply only for a temporary residence permit issued by police as a certificate to prove they live and work in the city without benefits.

The grading system will take three aspects into consideration - basic points, plus-points and minus-points. The points depend in great part on the applicant's job, educational background, professional skills, housing conditions and age.

There would be three types of residence permits for migrants.

Type A enjoys the best benefits but its applicants should meet the highest requirements of having a stable job and a stable residence.

Type C is issued to applicants who have a stable job and a stable residence but whose points don't reach the standard for Type A.

And Type T is issued to those who either move to the city to live with their relatives or study here for more than six months.

"The new policy is meant to strengthen the management of the migrant population in Shanghai," said Wang Daben, a local expert specialized in studying population.

Wang said the policy lowered the threshold to apply for a Shanghai residence permit and provided an opportunity for Type C holders to upgrade their permits if their points allow.

"The grading system allows the government to see how much of a contribution the applicants have made to the city. In return, the city would give the applicant some privileges to thank them," Wang said.

Wang said the draft also provides a benchmark for city government if migrants apply for a permanent residence permit, or hukou.

"It is a fair method when Shanghai's current social resources are inadequate to meet the need of the growing migrant population," Wang said.

The migrant population in Shanghai was 9.35 million by the end of 2011, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the city's total population.

The number is still on the rise as migrants see Shanghai as having more opportunities and higher incomes.

Gu Meiyan, a migrant worker from central China's Hunan Province, said the new draft gave her confidence to live in the city.

"The new draft is like a guideline. With it, you know where you are on the way to get a hukou," said Gu, who now holds a temporary residence permit.


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