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English>>China Politics

Passport to a more efficient system

By Zhang Yan and Cao Yin (China Daily)

08:13, August 23, 2012

Floating population will be able to apply for travel documents in 6 cities

Residents of six major cities, with household registration elsewhere, will be able to apply for travel documents without first returning to their home area.

Currently, people wishing to apply for passports, or travel documents for Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, have to go through the exit and entry bureau in the location covered by their household registration.

From Sept 1, the floating population and university students in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen will be able to apply to the local authority, the Ministry of Public Security announced on Wednesday.

"With China's rapid economic and social development, these six cities have become the prime choice for people wanting to study or work and all have large floating populations," Zheng Baigang, director of the ministry's exit and entry administration, said.

"Workers and students want to apply for travel permits near where they live and work."

Residents in the pilot areas will be required to present their household registration certificate, ID card and temporary residence permit, while employed people will need a statement from the city's social security bureau to confirm they have paid contributions for at least a year, according to the ministry. Students will need a statement from their place of education confirming their enrollment.

According to the ministry, exit and entry bureaus in the six cities will receive applications and then send them, through police channels, to agencies in the applicant's hometown for approval.

They will get the issued certificates within 30 days of an application.

"If applicants are turned down, they have the right to an appeal or can contact the police authority covering their household registration," Zheng said, adding that authorities will severely punish applicants who use fake documents to cheat.

"This policy enables the floating population to enjoy the public services as native residents," he said.

Ma Yuqiang, 26, from Shandong province, has been working in Beijing for three years, and he welcomed the initiative.

"I really wanted to go overseas to work when I graduated in Beijing, but getting a passport was a problem," said Ma, who had an opportunity to work in South Africa three years ago, but turned it down because of complicated procedures.

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