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Visa for 5 years set for stamp of approval (2)

By Chen Xin (China Daily)

10:49, January 16, 2013

"The regulation should list specific fields and expertise that the country urgently needs," he said.Being employed in China should not be a prerequisite, Liu suggested.

"Talented professionals who want to work in China but don't have a job should also be granted a multiyear visa. This would help attract more global talent."

Liu said policies should also allow visa holders the chance of permanent residency after working in the country for a certain period of time.The bar is set high for "green card" applicants.

Successful applicants must meet certain criteria, including a three-year record of investment in China or hold a post equal to or above that of a deputy general manager or associate professor for four years or have made a significant contribution to the country.

High-level foreign experts recruited via a project operated by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs are also entitled to apply for permanent residency.

The project started in 2011 and aims to introduce up to 1,000 foreign professionals over 10 years to help the country spur innovation, and promote scientific research and corporate management.

There have been 94 recruitments under the project.The government is considering lowering the threshold for permanent residency.

The Ministry of Public Security is drawing up a draft regulation, which may make foreigners who work in China for 10 consecutive years eligible for a green card.

Foreigners who obtain permanent residency have the same pension, employment and property rights as Chinese nationals under a regulation released in December.

China started to grant permanent residency permits to foreigners in 2004. Since then, nearly 5,000 have received the permits.

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