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March 2015

China Interested In Skilled Immigration

Published: Monday 30 March 2015

The Chinese government is said to be exploring the possibility of introducing a new skilled immigration policy to make it easier for overseas talents to move to the country. Statistics show that between 2004 and 2014, fewer than 5,000 green cards for foreign nationals were approved by the Chinese government, in spite of the fact that thousands more foreigners arrive to work temporarily or study in the country each and every year. An annual report on China's migration status released by the Centre for China and Globalisation on Thursday said that there are 848,500 foreigners in China in 2013, although this accounts for just 0.06 per cent of the country’s total population. The figure in many Western countries exceeds 10 per cent. Speaking to the Global Times last week, Wang Yaohui, the director of the Centre for China and Globalisation, said that the country’s current migration programme simply isn’t producing the required results. “The Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Public Security Ministry jointly issued a green card policy in 2003, which is China's permanent residence policy,” he explained. “However, taking the country's current situation into account, there is no access for skilled immigrants or investment immigration. Meantime, lots of foreign students and overseas Chinese are trying to come to China. For them, we need to adopt some more open talent polices,” Yaohui added. And it seems changes are afoot. A recent state issued Opinion on improving innovation and development points out that the Chinese government is seriously considering adopting a skilled immigrant policy. Although full details of quite what this policy would entail are not yet known, one announcement in the Opinion states that ‘foreigners with permanent residency will get national [citizenship] treatment when starting technology-based enterprises or other innovation activities.’