Wednesday, 17 July 2024 21:34

China explores feasibility of skilled immigration

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Living in China is becoming easier for foreign nationals who are looking to move here. The country is actively exploring the feasibility of a new "skilled immigrant" policy as efforts to attract overseas talents continue.

Millar, who is from America, has been working in China for five years. If the opportunity arose to improve his living and working conditions, he says he would take it.

"I live and work here, if there are any benefits I can get from the government for being a Chinese citizen, I sure will consider it."

Millar is not alone among foreigners in China. However, getting a green card in China was difficult in the past. Statistics show that from 2004 to 2014, fewer than 5,000 green cards were approved by the Chinese government. That is in sharp contrast to countries like the US and Canada, where millions of new immigrants are welcomed very year.

But the situation in China is about to change. A recent state issued Opinion on improving innovation and development points out that China is about to adopt a skilled immigrant policy.

Wang Yaohui is the director of the Center for China and Globalization.

"The Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Public Security Ministry jointly issued a green card policy in 2003, which is China's permanent residence policy. However, taking the country's current situation into account, there is no access for skilled immigrants or investment immigration. Meantime, lots of foreign students and overseas Chinese are trying to come to China. For them, we need to adopt some more open talent polices."

Wang Yaohui says that foreign residents in developed countries usually account for about 10 or 11 percent of the population and China has not yet reached that level. Improving the immigration system may help China reserve its intellectual resources.

The Opinion also reads that foreigners with permanent residency will get national treatment when starting technology-based enterprises or other innovation activities.

Zhang Rizhong with China Merchants Bank says that in order to provide a sense of belonging, a sound and relevant support system is also necessary.

"Firstly, they should get most-favored national treatment, with their salary standards applying to market-driven principles. Secondly, there should be relevant welfare. For example, for those who have families out of the country, maybe there should be home leave annually; for those who are married in China, their kids should get proper education. "

So far, the time for the official policy to issue is not yet announced, but it is safe to say that in a recent future, more foreigners would be not only welcomed to china but also welcomed to become permanent residents here.


Source: China Daily

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