A new municipal rule that takes effect in October on a pilot basis will make it easier for Chinese people from outside the city to apply for a Shanghai Residence Card.
Starting from October 8, non-natives living in four areas, including a zone around the Jing'an Temple, Daning Road, Sitang area and Luojing Town, will be allowed to apply for the card. The rule is expected to be adopted citywide by the year's end.
"We expect the new regulation to improve our management of the city's floating population and to offer them better service," Zhu Zhaosong, deputy director of the Shanghai Development and Reform Commission, said at a news briefing yesterday.
Currently, the cards are only available for highly skilled workers, such as engineers.
According to the new rule, non-native residents who have signed a work contract for more than six months and a lease for at least half a year can apply for the card at their community service center. There are no specific academic requirements.
The card will give holders the same treatment offered to locals when they try to get their kids into a school to receive education or join the social insurance program.
The cards will be valid for one, three or five years depending on the applicants. Afterwards, holders have to renew their cards.
By the end of 2003, the city's permanent non-native population reached 3.83 million, officials said.
(eastday.com September 29, 2004)