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May 15, 2012

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Minhang to open 3 centers to improve expat services

THREE more service centers will be set up at expatriates-gathering areas in the city's suburban Minhang District by the end of this year to facilitate foreigners' residence, employment registration and visa applications.

After the success of a similar center in Hongqiao town, the three centers will be located in the Huacao area, where several international schools are located, in the Zizhu area, which is home to multiple international companies, and in Qibao Wanke, a housing project comprising a number of residential communities where expats dwell.

These areas gather the largest number of expats in Minhang, and one or two of the new centers should open as early as June, said Wang Kai, director of the exit-entry administration office with Shanghai Public Security Bureau's Minhang branch.

"We hope to provide more comprehensive services to foreigners based on their demands," she said.

Wang visited the Korean Chamber of Commerce in Minhang earlier and learned that a number of expats have had trouble applying for temporary accommodation registration or getting extensions to work-related residence permits. They complained that they had to visit one place to pick up the forms and another place to file them, she said. Moreover, the Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration Bureau where they must apply is far away in the Pudong New Area.

Minhang has over 42,000 expats, ranking third among all districts in the city.

The Foreigners Service Center in Hongqiao town, the first service center of its kind in the city, has received a warm welcome from expats since it went into operation in January. The center has served people from Australia, North Korea, the United States, Germany, the Philippines and Canada, but the majority of those seeking help are South Korean.

Hongqiao town is home to 23,750 expatriates, and just over half of them are South Korean, making it the largest concentration of Korean expats in Shanghai.


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