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Shanghai to lower threshold for experts' permanent residency
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15:25, January 18, 2009

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The Shanghai government revealed a plan Sunday on making it easier for qualified experts to permanently reside in this de facto "economic capital" of China, with detailed regulations to be issued before the end of February.

According to the plan, high-level professionals who hold a Shanghai Residence Card and meet several other standards might be able to convert their temporary stay permit to permanent residency in 2009.

"Shanghai should become a stage on which talent from all over the world can work and freely start up their own business," Mayor Han Zheng was quoted by the Shanghai Daily as saying at a press conference at the Shanghai People's Congress's annual session.

Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng gestures during a press conference held after the conclusion of the Second Meeting of the 13th Shanghai People's Congress in Shanghai Saturday

To qualify for permanent residency, applicants should have been living in the city for a certain period of time which is yet to be worked out.

According to Han, besides a clean credit and police records, they would also have to be a local taxpayer and have joined the city's social security program by making contributions to the fund on a monthly or yearly basis.

The plan was announced only days after a guideline was issued by the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, calling on state enterprises and academic institutions to attract more leading experts from home and aboard, especially those on the cutting edge of science and technology.

Han ensured the new system would be "fair and transparent".

The strict residency system that restricts the free flow of population has been virtually abolished across China over the past decade, except in large cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.

The system retained in these major cities has been intended to guarantee social and economic resources to the locals and avoid drastic social changes.


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