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January 28, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

City to review residency rules

MIGRANTS renting a house in the city could be able to acquire permanent Shanghai residency this year, city officials revealed yesterday.

Zhang Xuebing, director of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, said the bureau was to review the permanent residency management system to include more non-local people and entitle them to the same social welfare benefits as locals.

"People living in a rented house should have access to a permanent residency," Zhang said at a population management discussion session yesterday.

"There's no established regulation at the moment, but we'll study it and make some exploration this year," he said.

Zhang said there were plans to have house renters' permanent residency registered with a citywide account, as opposed to the community or collective account set up by their employers.

Permanent residency, or hukou in Chinese, is connected with social welfare benefits including pensions, medical insurance and education.

Those without a Shanghai hukou are entitled to none of those. They also have to return to their home towns for passport and visa applications every time they go abroad, according to China's population registration rules.

In recent years, Shanghai had strict quotas for workers allowed to convert non-permanent residency into the city's hukou, with an annual 20,000 outsiders eligible.

About 20 percent of the 6 million migrants who work in the city without permanent residency are classified as top professionals the city needs.

Shanghai became one of the first large cities in the country to ease its previously rigid hukou system.

Temporary residence card holders who have been living in the city for seven consecutive years and passed assessments could acquire a hukou since last June.


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