Shanghai issues over 500 green cards in 2 months
MORE than 500 applicants in Shanghai have received their Chinese green cards over the past two months — almost as many as those issued in a year’s time — as China strives to improve its service efficiency.
Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration Bureau issued between 400 and 500 green cards annually in the last two years.
The city’s latest number accounted for about 30 percent of all foreigners in China who have received the green cards over the past two months.
The State Immigration Administration was set up in early April, amid the country’s institutional reform and Cabinet reshuffle to make the government better-structured, more efficient and service-oriented.
Since the establishment, the new administration has streamlined green card application process.
Ning Lan, a biomedical engineering professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, received his green card yesterday.
Lan, who has been with the university since 2009, is a Chinese-born US citizen. He earned his doctoral degree in the United States.
Shanghai introduced a green card rule in December 2016 that made it possible for him to apply for the card.
“When I applied in October last year, I was told to wait for six to 12 months, so I’m happy that I have it now,” he said.
Lan expects life to become easier with the permanent residence card, a chip-embedded card, which is the size of a Chinese ID card.
“I hope I don’t have to carry my passport with me to buy train tickets or take domestic flights and check into a hotel,” he said.
Lan was one of the more than 200 Chinese-born foreign nationals with doctoral degrees who applied for a Chinese green card in Shanghai last year, the city’s exit-entry bureau said.
Dennis Scott, assistant chief designer of Commercial Aircraft Corp of China who has been in Shanghai for seven years, also got his Chinese green card yesterday.
“I feel very pleased and honored to receive the green card,” he said. “I think it’s a good sign that China is looking to make life easier for overseas experts.”
Scott, however, said the functions of the card are yet to be fully understood.
“Many people working in hotels, for example, are apparently not familiar with the card. They still ask for passports,” he said. “But I’m sure with time the card will become more visible and general services will understand the significance of it.”
In the last two months, about 270 foreign nationals have applied for Chinese green card in Shanghai.
Scientists, entrepreneurs, executives, spouses and children of green card holders were among those who got the cards.
At the end of 2016, there were 175,674 foreign nationals living in Shanghai — of them 3,027 have Chinese green cards.
Chinese green card holders are entitled to the same rights as Chinese citizens.