Beijing will allow some skilled workers from home and abroad to obtain permanent residence by accumulating points based on skills, employment history and education credentials.
Foreign workers at startups or who are hired by companies in Zhongguancun Technology Park in Beijing could be granted a Chinese green card if they meet the bar set by a merit-based point system.
Nonlocal Chinese citizens, on the other hand, may be able to obtain permanent residence in Beijing, according to a document released on June 27 by the Beijing government.
Beijing will give priority to what it calls “innovative and entrepreneurial talent”, which includes startups with a certain level of investment, investors and investment companies, high-tech companies and market leaders in the cultural industry.
Previously, Beijing residency for nonlocal citizens could only be obtained through a limited number of employers, mainly government or related agencies and State-owned enterprises, or other channels supported by policy.
Permanent residency has long been a headache for many outsiders who want to migrate and live in Beijing.
For foreigners, the country’s permanent residency permits have been considered one of the most difficult in the world to obtain.
For nonlocal Chinese citizens, the situation is the same. Among all the cities and provinces, getting registered in Beijing is the most difficult.
Wang Yukai, a professor of public administration at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said that in the past skilled workers could only move from place to place if they met certain requirements, making it difficult for people to work where they are needed most.
Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization, has called for years for removing the residency barrier for skilled workers.
“With China developing quickly, we should not only focus on high-end talent but also on leading, innovative talent that has potential to change the game in the future,” Wang said.