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Passport scheme for the talented

By Li Mao (Global Times)

08:50, January 10, 2012

High-flyers in Shanghai who hold a special residence permit for talented people can now obtain passports without making a trip back to their hometowns, the Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration announced Monday.

The move aims to meet the increasing travel needs of this group, who are mostly professionals or cutting edge technicians. Before this, all residents without a Shanghai hukou, or household registration, had to apply for passports where their hukou was registered.

Under the new program, it will take at least 10 days to obtain passports locally, with Shanghai authorities taking five working days to make preliminary checks on the applicant's information and another five working days to issue the passport once they have received feedback from the authorities in applicants' hometowns, the administration said.

"But you don't know how long it will take to get the feedback from other regions," said Li Feng, a publicity officer with the Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration bureau.

He advised applicants to apply early if they have plans to go abroad since no deadline has been set for hometown authorities to make checks.

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