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Getting a green card in China was once described as one of the most difficult procedures in the world. Expats who had been working and living in the country for 20 or more years were still struggling to obtain one despite being considered a resident of the country by their Chinese friends and family.
In 2017 China loosened their rules around work permits as a bid to attract more foreign talent into the country. However, this was not particularly helpful for the countless expats living in China who wanted to make their stay permanent after years of working in the country. The procedure for permanent residency is so complicated that even Wang Huiyao, head of the centre for China and Globalisation, said the process had massive flaws and he understands why it troubles immigrants. He also blamed decentralised administrative departments.
However, in early May 2018, five highly-skilled expat workers in China have been granted permanent residency green cards.
The giving of green cards to China’s top foreign professionals is a strategy being used by China to attract the most talented expats around the world. China is set to expand its hub of expat talent to solidify itself as a centre for innovation and excellence. Therefore, this year has seen Shanghai city fathers focus on helping expats in top positions of important research teams apply for and be successfully granted permanent residency.
Three of the five people to be given permanent residency include a Dutch chemist who is a guest professor at Shanghai’s East China University and two professors at the Fudan Institute of Modern Physics University.
As part of China’s talent programme, they are confident that being granted permanent residency will make life much easier.
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