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Shenzhen Relaxes Rules on Residency
Residents will find it easier to apply for permanent residency status when the city's residency regulations are relaxed on April 1.

To cope with social and economic development, the Shenzhen government is taking measures to remove obstacles which hampered the flow of labor into the city.

Permanent residency cards will be issued, under a new and simplified procedure, to college or technical school graduates, employees from all types of enterprises and newly born infants.

Graduates of Shenzhen-based colleges or technical schools who originally come from outside the city can, from April 1, choose to stay in Shenzhen after they graduate.

Current policies require all students coming from outside Shenzhen to move back to their hometowns after graduation.

For the first time, employees hired with the approval of local personnel or labor authorities will have the right to decide to register their permanent residency with their companies or at the same police station with their relatives who have already been granted permanent residency in the city.

The municipality will also lift rigid household registration controls from citizens with permanent residency status.

College graduates, those that have returned from overseas and skilled people invited to the city by the city government can register permanent residency with their Shenzhen relatives.

Employees with permanent residency can remove their residency from former companies or police stations to employment exchange centers after resigning or getting the sack.

Employees who have had their residency registered in their companies can apply to withdraw this residency and re-register it with their Shenzhen relatives if the companies fail to provide good management of their employees' residency.

The set of rules will add to Shenzhen's stability and vitality, with residents feeling that they actually belong to the city, according to Chen Qianwen, director of the social development department under the Shenzhen Development and Planning Bureau.

"About 120,000 people will get their permanent residency cards this year, nearly 40,000 more than last year," said Chen.

Of the total number, some 20,000 will be newly born babies. The remaining 100,000 will be investors, college graduates and technicians.

"The municipality will steadily increase the number of its residents with permanent residency in the following years," said Chen.

(China Daily March 31, 2003

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