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Favorable policies for foreign professionals working in Shanghai FTZ

PUDONG New Area government today issued a batch of new policies to ease green card and work permit rules for overseas professionals.

The new measure will mainly benefit foreigners working for companies at the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ), the Pudong New Area government said.

"Pudong government aims to provide foreign talents with better services and atmosphere," Weng Zuliang, Party secretary of Pudong, told a press conference today.

The foreign talents recommended by the FTZ management committee will enjoy a fast track to apply for the Chinese green card, or foreigner's permanent residence card, said Liu Guangming, deputy director with the Pudong public security bureau.

The application process can be shortened to two months from normally six months to receive the card. Their spouse and children under 18 years old can apply for the card at the same time.

Chow Hong, general manager with Shanghai Roche Pharmaceuticals Ltd with German nationality, became the first foreign professional to receive the green card today with the recommendation of the FTZ committee.

"With the Chinese ID card, it is more convenient for me to buy train tickets and I don't have to keep applying for Chinese visas or residence permits," Chow said. "Now I decide to develop in Shanghai for longer periods," she added.

Overseas Chinese professionals can also apply for the green cards themselves if they have a doctor degree, or have been working in the Shanghai FTZ for over 4 years and stay in the mainland for over 6 months every year, according to the new policy.

Foreign students at local universities are encouraged to set up startup companies within the Shanghai FTZ.

Furthermore, foreign graduate with a bachelor's degree can apply for a work permit and work in the FTZ, according to the newly released policy. Previously, foreign graduate must have at least a master's degree to gain the work permit.

Tyler Rhorick, a US graduate from the New York University Shanghai, today became the first foreign graduate with a bachelor's degree to gain a Chinese work permit in China. He will work in the student affair department at the university.

"I feel lucky to gain the work permit because I love Shanghai, otherwise I would have to return to US to find a job," Rhorick told Shanghai Daily.

The Pudong government also set up an Administration of Overseas Talents, the first of this kind in the nation to serve and attract foreign professionals.

There are about 100,000 overseas people working, studying or living in Pudong. Some 260 multinational companies have set up their headquarters in Pudong, accounting for half of the city's total number, said Xu Wen, director with the human resources and social security bureau of Pudong.


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