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Longer-term residency permits makes life easier

WHEN Frenchman Jean-Philippe Soulard arrived in Shanghai in April, he didn't expect his one-year residence permit to be extended to three years so quickly.

Today, two weeks after Shanghai started its pilot program to grant foreigners longer-term residency, for up to five years, Soulard will receive his new residence permit from his visa agent.

"In the past you had to go every year to renew your permit. Now with this policy it's from three to five years depending on your roles, so you can renew less," said Soulard, the Asia-Pacific human resource vice president for Air Liquide (China) Holding Co Ltd. "That's convenient and easy."

Under the program, qualified foreign professionals whose employer is registered in Pudong New Area will be able to receive residence permits of up to five years if they meet certain requirements such as working as an executive in foreign-owned companies.

"I think the policy's main purpose is to encourage highly skilled people to come here," Soulard said. "It made staying in China (mainland) simple and easy, and you just need to work here and to give what you can bring."

Soulard hasn't brought his wife and children to China but said the residency permit would make that easier.

"The policy's main benefit is probably for them to get the same length of residence permit. They will automatically get three years for their residence permits," Soulard said.

"With my residence permit, I think it'll be no problem to get out of China and come back."

Applying For Residence Permit

Q: Where to go?

Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration's Zhangjiang service center: 39-2 Zhangjiang Road;

Office hours: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

Q: What to bring?

1. A two-inch photo;

2. Your residence registration certificate and a copy;

3. Your passport with current visa;

4. Your health certificate issued by the Shanghai Exit-Entry Inspection and Quarantine Bureau;

5. Two application letters from your employer and yourself;

6. Your previous residence permit and a copy;

7. Business license or registration certificate of your employer and copies;

9. Your work permit and work registration form if your post is below general manager.

10. Documentation to prove you meet one of five application requirements.

Q: What to do in the service center?

1. Fill in an application form;

2. Have your photo taken;

3. Go through a brief interview.

Q: When and how to claim the new permit?

After five working days, you can claim the permit at the Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration (1500 Minsheng Road, Pudong New Area).

Please dial 2204-7600 for inquiry. Press 2 for English service.


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