China eyes global talent, eases rights norms

China
In a bid to attract talented workforce from across the globe, China has decided to grant various key rights including employment and property to the foreigners at par with its nationals.

Except political rights, foreigners will enjoy all other rights granted to the Chinese citizens, official media reported.

Those obtaining permanent residency will enjoy same pension, employment and property rights like Chinese citizens, under new regulations, state-run China Daily reported.

Access to schools for their children will also be at par with Chinese citizens, it said, adding that the "green card" holders will, however, won't enjoy political rights.

Foreigners with permanent residency can participate in social insurance and avail benefits like endowment, medical, unemployment, work-related injury and maternity insurance.

Green card holders have also been exempted from the restriction disallowing foreigners who have worked or studied less than a year in China to buy property.

Furthermore, they can also work in China without a work permit, and their children who have attained compulsory education age can attend a school near to their homes.

They will not be charged any fees except a statutory sum.

Foreigners who have permanent residency can enjoy simplified investment and registration procedures if they want to invest in or set up a business, it said.

Spouses and immediate family members can apply for visas, residence permits and a green card, under the regulation.

Nearly 5,000 people, mostly high-level experts, have received permanent residency permits since its issuing was started in 2004, it said.

"The green card system has become an important mechanism to attract international expertise," the Human Resources and Social Security Ministry, which helped draft the regulation, said in an explanation of the new rules yesterday.

China move is on the lines of decisions by US and EU granting green cards to attract global talents.

The US annually grants 1,40,000 green cards for immigrants with expertise.

The Law on the Exit and Entry Administration, which will cover exit and entry of Chinese citizens and foreigners after coming into effect in July 2013, allows for an increase in the number of green cards.

Liu Guofu, an immigration law specialist at the Beijing Institute of Technology, praised the new green card regulation and said such rules should have come earlier.

"China started to grant green cards in 2004 but the first batch of green card holders have only become entitled to their due rights eight years later," he said.

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