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Permits needed for longer stays in HK and Macao
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Mainland residents with special permits can stay in Hong Kong and Macao for up to 90 days to watch Olympic events held in the two regions, the Beijing Morning Post reported today.

Starting from next month, domestic residents in Shandong, Guangdong, Hebei and Liaoning provinces, as well as the municipalities of Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin can apply for permits to stay in Hong Kong and Macao, the report said.

The report didn't specify when the application period will end.

To obtain the permits, residents should show exit-entry administrations their household registration documents, identification cards and Olympic identity and accreditation cards, the report said.

The permits expire on September 23. Visitors will be denied entry after that date, the report said.

Residents outside their native provinces will be required to submit application forms to local exit-entry administrations under the Public Security Bureau, the report said.

Hong Kong will hold Olympic equestrian events.

Foreign journalists covering the Games will be exempt from visa application procedures if they have Olympic identity and accreditation cards, the report said.

Staff workers for the Olympics can freely enter and leave China for job reasons less than a month before or following the Olympics. Other personnel involved in the Games will be allowed to live and work in China for one year, the report said.

The Olympic identity and accreditation card is a personalized card granted by the IOC, through the Olympic Organization Committee, which confers on its holder the right to attend the Olympic Games and other privileges, the report said, quoting Olympic Charter Rules.

During the Games, the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee is expected to handle about 510,000 applications, the report said.

(Shanghai Daily May 5, 2008)

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