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Temporary residents get a break

SHANGHAI'S temporary residency permit holders can apply to become permanent residents if they join the city's social security program for seven years.

This is part of a regulation the Shanghai government announced today aimed at allowing experienced and highly qualified professionals to convert their temporary permits, or Shanghai residency cards, to permanent Shanghai residency, or hukou.

Shanghai introduced the temporary residency system in June 2002 to attract high-level professionals. These card holders enjoy the same privileges of education, employment and social services as local residents.

The new policy is aimed at making the city more attractive for talents from home and abroad.

The seven-year period is not the only requirement for hukou, however. Other requirements include professional skills and technical qualifications, clean credit histories and no police convictions.

Teachers and medical staff who have worked for five years in the city's suburbs will have their time requirement cut to five years.

Senior professionals with national qualifications will be allowed to submit applications regardless of the seven-year requirement.

The regulation also opens the permanent residency transfer to business owners. These applicants must have a business that has contributed more than 1 million yuan (US$146,295) in tax each year on average in the past consecutive three years. Or, it must employ more than 100 staff.

Hukou applicants should submit their applications to their employers and the employers can then help forward the applications to the local social security authorities. No agents are allowed to be involved in the application procedure.

The local social security authority will give a primary assessment for applications within 15 days and pass it on to the city-level authority, which will give its decision 30 days later.


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