Title: Opinion on Strengthening the Administration of Permanent Residency Services for Foreigners Promulgating Entities:General Offices of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council Reference number: Promulgation Date: 2016-2-18 Expiration date: Source of text: http://www.gov.cn/xinwen/2016-02/18/content_5043448.htm
This unofficial translation is created by GARY CHODOROW (乔德睿) of the U.S. & China Visa Law Blog and Chodorow Law Offices. The translation may be altered through the normal use of this site, and the original translators should not be blamed for any subsequent modification. A bilingual and unaltered version of the original translation is available HERE.
Opinion on Strengthening the Administration of Permanent Residency Services for Foreigners
Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, announced on February 18 – Recently, the General Offices of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and the State Council published an “Opinion on Strengthening the Administration of Permanent Residency Services for Foreigners” and distributed notices calling for all regions and departments to conscientiously implement the Opinion.
The major elements of the Opinion on Strengthening the Administration of Permanent Residency Services for Foreigners are set forth below.
In order to serve our nation’s economic and social development situation as a whole, according to the overall requirements for deepening the reform comprehensively, the following Opinion is brought forth in connection with strengthening the Administration of Permanent Residency Services for Foreigners.
I. The Important significance, overall requirements and basic principles
1．Important Significance. At present, China has already entered the victorious phase of comprehensively building a middle class society. With our overall national strength and competitiveness of global talent becoming fiercer, it is imperative that a more proactive, open and confident, flexible and practical attitude should be taken in order to create a better opening-to-the-outside environment. The Permanent Residency for Foreigners system is an important measure to attract and serve foreigners who invest, work and live in China. Since the implementation of the system of the permanent residency for foreigners, it has played an important role in serving the national talent strategy, attracting overseas investment, and conserving overseas Chinese resources. However, there are still some problems about the system such as unreasonable application requirements, limited applicants, and inadequate implementation of benefits. Under our new situation, in order to further strengthen and improve the Administration of Permanent Residency Services for Foreigners system, it is significant to implement the strategy of Reinvigorating China with Talented People, to boost economic and social development, to enhance national attractiveness and to build a harmonious society.
2. Overall requirements. We should fully act on the spirit of the 18th CPC National Congress, and the 3rd, 4th & 5th Plenary Sessions of the 18th CPC National Congress and on the spirit of the series of important speeches delivered by Secretary General Xi Jinping with the guidance of the Important Thoughts of Three Represents and scientific outlook on development. We should firmly establish the ideas of development on innovation, coordination, green, open and sharing and adhere to the strategic objective of “Attracting and Using Talents from All Over the World”. We should implement more proactive and effective policies on Administration of Permanent Residency Services for Foreigners, further improve systems and mechanisms, upgrade policies and regulations, optimize application requirements, simplify work processes and accord eligible foreigners with full benefits. We strengthen routine administration and form a more scientific, reasonable, and open and practical work structure of the Administration of Permanent Residency Services for Foreigners.
—-Opening wider to the outside world in light of China’s conditions. With a global and forward-looking vision and a bearing of “all rivers run into the sea”, we should base ourselves on national conditions, fully draw on the experience of the beneficial approach from various countries, implement a more open and confident permanent residency policy, so as to serve and promote opening-up policies in a wider scope.
——Combine planning with market. Focus on the national talent strategy and highlight talents with extraordinary, exceptional, top-notch and shortage abilities. Establish a market- oriented talent identification mechanism on the basis of actively serving major talent-introduction programs. Reduce requirements for permanent residency applications of talented foreigners in order to attract and accumulate more talents.
—–Combine service with administration. We should speed up the improvement of relevant laws and other supporting regulations and establish a system of Administration of Permanent Residency Services for Foreigners, which features unification of rights and obligations, equal importance attached to services and administration and combination of exit and admission. We should strengthen the implementation of the system, continually improve the quality of services and effectively maintain national security.
—-Combine national demands with social demands. Adhere to demand-orientation guidance by reflecting requirements of both notional and social development, so as to facilitate the application of permanent residency by talented foreigners, investors and outstanding contributors. We should reasonably satisfy the needs of the foreigners whose applications of permanent residency are based on the purpose of family reunion and effectively implement policies regarding benefits of foreigners who has been granted permanent residency.
II, Improve institutional mechanisms for administration of permanent residency services
4. Integrate management systems. We should persist in the management under a unified planning and the integration of powers and responsibilities, adjust and improve the assignment of functions to relevant government departments. We should strengthen function integration of the Administration of Permanent Residency Services, further improve the organizational set-up and power allocation for China’s immigration services. Relevant authorities should jointly take the responsibilities of making permanent residency policies, receiving applications, examination and approval and daily service administration.
5. Establish a coordinated mechanism under a unified planning. We should establish a coordinated mechanism for the administration of Permanent Residency Services which is initiated by the approval authority of Permanent Residency and participated by other relevant departments. We should form a strengthened connecting link between the preceding and the following policies by jointly consulting solutions to major problems and coordinating the implementation of the policies. We establish an expert-consultation mechanism for policies regarding Permanent Residency and make use of various think tanks to carry out investigations and researches.
6. Promoting legalized construction. Accelerate the establishment of administrative statutes and regulatory supporting documents, including Regulations on Administration of Permanent Residency Services for Foreigners, Regulations on Administration of Foreigners Working in China. We should establish a legal system that is uniformly standardized with highlighted emphasis and interlinked elements, providing legal grounds for the Administration of Permanent Residency Services for Foreigners.
III. Set up a flexible and practical application requirements for permanent residence
7. To proactively support the Government’s work of bringing in high-level foreign talents. Implement a record filing system for key talents introduction program and steadily expand and dynamically adjust the scope of the record filing for major talent introduction programs, providing a green channel for the application of permanent residency filed by high-level foreign talents. We should form a connecting link between the visa application of talents and their permanent residency and give priority to candidates who are selected by the “Thousand Talent Program” and other programs incorporated into the record filing scope for the introduction of key talents.
8. Promote the establishment of market-oriented application requirement for permanent residence filed by talented personnel. We should give play to the functions of the market as the major body in terms of allocating foreign talents and intellectual resources by means of salaries, taxes, social credibility and other elements of market evaluation. We should explore other evaluation systems such as points-based system and establish an index evaluation system for the application, which serves the strategy of national development, reflect market demands and features simplified and quantified requirements and provide a convenient channel for talents needed by China and the market.
9. Improve the transition mechanism for foreigners changing from temporary working residency to permanent residency. According to the requirements of economic and social development, we should adjust the requirements for applying permanent residency by foreigners working in China by adding categories of eligible employers, removing restrictions on position and rank and reducing regulations on time limit of residence. We should keep a smooth transition mechanism from temporary working residency to permanent residency for foreigners who work in industries and areas that receive major support from the Government and loosen up the restrictions placed on excellent international students working in China, providing them with channels to work within Chinese territory and apply for permanent residency after graduation.
10. Adjust requirements of permanent residency application filed by foreign investors in China. Implement proactive immigrant policy based on investment and, according to periodical and regional characteristics, diversify evaluation elements and adjust application criterion such as terms, values and types of investment so as to attract more foreign investment.
11. To facilitate applications of permanent residence by foreigners who have made outstanding contributions. We should further expand the scope of outstanding contributions, add new methods for recommendations, simplify formalities and shorten the time for examination and approval. We should guide and encourage foreign friends to contribute to the development of education, science and technology, culture, medical care, sports, public ware, etc. and take the lead in strengthening the Chinese-foreign friendly ties, safeguard global peace, promote common development and carry forward the core values of China’s socialism.
12. Proactively respond to the reasonable needs of permanent residency for family-reunion purposes. We should add more types of family-based permanent residency and extend the length of residency, providing a channel of applications for those who has resided China for a long time and those who used to possess Chinese citizenship. We should, according to the capacity of social and economic development, learn to introduce quota systems in order to achieve reasonable adjustment of the number of immigrants.
IV. Further standardize and optimize procedures for accepting, reviewing and approving applications for permanent residency
13. Establish unified mechanisms for information release. The examination and approval authority of Permanent Residency Services for Foreigners is responsible for publishing policies, regulations and other relative information in respect of permanent residency of foreigners. It should promptly and accurately publish requirements and procedures regarding the application of permanent residency, making it convenient for people to find such information.
14. Optimize the flow of acceptance and approval. Further reduce procedures for examination and approval and permit issuance. In handling applications of permanent residency filed by foreign high-level talents and outstanding contributors, we should simplify application materials and shorten the time for examination and approval.
15. Improve verification measures. Relevant authorities should do well in filing records of high-level talent introduction programs and conduct effective communication in making and adjusting Catalogue for the Guidance of Foreigners Working and Investing in China. Accelerate the process for information verification and feedback.
V. Clarify and put in place permanent residence qualifications and treatment
16. Clarify the functions and uses of foreigner permanent residence permits. The Permanent Residency Permit is the identification document for foreigners residing in China, which is an effective ID by itself. With such a permit, holders may enjoy such services as finance, education, medical care, transportation, telecommunication, employment, social insurance, property registration, litigation, etc. The time of residence of a permit holder is unlimited and the holder may exit and enter China with a passport and a Permanent Residence Permit.
17. Improve work and living benefits. Foreigners with Permanent Residency Permit are exempt from applying for f Work Certification. Such foreigners may, in compliance with regulations, participate in the qualification examinations for technical positions and professional qualification examinations. According to the law, they are entitled to the same treatment accorded to Chinese citizens in terms of house purchase, financial services, applications of driver license, school admission of their children, transportation, traveling, housing registration, etc. Foreigners who work within Chinese territory should buy social insurance accordingly and deposit and use the Provident Fund. If a foreigner resides within Chinese territory but fail to work and meet regional requirements under the unified planning, he or she may apply for the Basic Medical Insurance for Urban Residents and the Basic Old-age Insurance for Urban and Rural Residents with reference to other domestic urban and rural residents. Such foreigners are entitled to the social insurance benefits. They should, in accordance with customs regulations, go through relevant procedures to declare their carry-on personal belongings when entering the port of customs.
18. Implement benefit policies. The relevant authorities should specify the matters falling within their own authority and related to the benefits of foreign permanent resident and publish the benefits. We should push ahead with incorporating into laws the regulations on qualified benefits granted to foreign permanent resident, in order to strengthen their legal effect. Relevant authorities across the country should incorporate qualified benefits granted to foreign permanent residents as part of their policy scope. Authorities should find supporting measures and tighten the supervision over the implementation, so as to carry out policies in practice.
VI. Strengthen the administration of routine services
19. Promote social inclusion. Local governments at all levels should incorporate the Administration of Foreign Permanent Residents into the Administration System of Resident Population Services and establish a service model for permanent foreign residents adapting themselves to China, which features governmental guidance, inter-linked departments and social participation. According to the actual situation, local governments should provide language training programs, employment services, legal services and other social services in order to help permanent foreign residents to better adapt themselves to China’s society.
20. Strengthen social services. Guide and regulate companies, social agencies and legal service organizations where foreigners are involved, so that social services such as applications of permanent residency and work permits are provided according to the law. By using the Public Service System for Foreign Talents, we should set up service windows, provide one-stop services and do well in the verification of talents introduced by the government and the implementation of benefits.
21. Improve routine administration. With the help of credit system, we should strengthen the administration of permanent foreign resident with respect to employment, study, taxation and social insurance. Guide permanent foreign residents to comply with Chinese laws and respect Chinese social custom.
22. Complete opt-out mechanisms. Better outline circumstances and procedures for the abandonment of permanent residency. For foreigners who pose a threat to China’s national security and interests, are expelled from China, seek permanent residency by practicing fraud, do not stay in China for a required time limit and was denied introduction by foreign talent introduction authority in China and foreigners who are ineligible for permanent residency, their permanent residency status should be removed according to law and their re-application of permanent residency should be restricted for a specific period.
VII. Increase the level of safeguards for administration of permanent residency services
23．Strengthen organizational leadership. Local party committees and governments at all levels should be fully aware of the significance of the Administration of Permanent Resident Services, which should be given priority on the agenda list. We should further unify our thoughts, specify our tasks and carefully organize. We should give specific advice on implementation according to actual situation, set up implementation requirements which is more likely to be met and ensure the implementation of policies in practice.
24．Strengthen the establishment of a professional corps. As the situation and tasks related to Administration of Permanent Residency Services changes, we should recruit teams that are more professionally competent in filing, examination and approval and service administration. More efforts should be taken to improve quality in order to uplift the professional level of service administration.
25. Strengthen informationization protections. Under the leadership of Ministry of Public Security, we should establish an information platform for the Administration of Permanent Residency Services for Foreigners and achieve information interconnection and sharing between departments of foreign affairs, development and reform, comprehensive administration, education, science and technology, social security, human resources, foreign experts, urban and rural housing development, finance, business, health and family planning, taxation, etc., which provide supports to the study of permanent residency policies and the service administration. Accelerate the upgrade of technology related to equipment used by railway, civil aviation, banking, insurance, hotels and other departments and units that serve as “window departments”.
26．Strengthen publicity and guidance. Do well in the policy interpretation and media guidance, keep the public well informed of permanent residency policies for foreigners and increase the international influence of such policies. Better prepare the whole society to accept and admit foreigners with permanent residency, form a social atmosphere that is more open and tolerate, so as to create an environment in favor of bringing in more foreigners who make innovations and open business in China.