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October 15, 2016

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More foreigners applying for ‘green cards’

MORE than 300 foreigners in Shanghai had applied for a Chinese “green card” by the end of last month and 184 had already been approved, authorities said yesterday.

New rules introduced in July last year allowed applications from foreigners who had lived in the city for four years, earned a gross salary of least 600,000 yuan (US$97,000) and paid at least 120,000 yuan in tax each year.

Previously, only business executives, scientists or academics were entitled to apply for permanent residence permits.

The Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration Bureau said it takes around six months to review an application.

The bureau said half of the current applicants were business owners, high-level executives and general managers and 30 percent were managers. The others were “high earners” such as doctors and pilots.

Just under a third of applicants are from companies with registered capital of at least US$10 million, with 15 percent from companies with registered capital over US$100 million.

Almost 80 percent are from developed countries with 65 percent Chinese with foreign nationalities.

The bureau said it was also processing requests from 218 applicants’ relatives.

Meanwhile, 22 foreign housekeepers have also been granted residence permits under the new rules for them to work for holders of five-year work permits or permanent residence permits in Shanghai.

The new policy, which aims to attract and retain more top foreign professionals to work and live in the city, has also benefited 139 foreigners who work for high-tech companies in Zhangjiang High Technology Park and the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

They were granted five-year work permits — the longest term available for this type of permit — as “top talents,” and will be eligible to apply for permanent residence after three years.

The bureau said 14 foreign professors at Shanghai universities had been granted the same permits.

Also under the new rules, 1,866 foreigners who had successfully applied for work permits in two consecutive years were given five-year work permits by the end of last month.

Among them, 29 percent work in high-tech industries and 50 percent in trade and service industries.

Exit-entry authorities also issued 164 private affairs visas at the city’s two airports to foreigners who planned to start businesses in Shanghai and six talent visas with which holders could apply for five-year work permits after entering the country.

In 2013, 1,886 out of an estimated 170,000 foreigners who were living in Shanghai were holders of green cards.


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