New rules for Shanghai residence card applicants next year

Any person from out of town who legally works, resides or is attending school in Shanghai can apply for the residence card after six months of living in the city.

Applicants seeking a residence card in Shanghai are getting an easier ride.

From January 1, they no longer have to produce evidence of a legal work contract and a legal place to reside at the same time.

This is according to a new regulation from the government to be issued to the public today.

Any person from out of town who legally works, resides or is attending school in Shanghai can apply after six months of living in the city for a residence card that gives them entitlement to various public services, according to the new rules.

Currently, applicants are required to prove that they have both a legal residence and job in Shanghai when applying for the residence card.

Also, the government will replace the current “temporary residence card” with a residence registration next year in accordance with the national regulation on residence cards.

Residence registration, issued to people who have just arrived in Shanghai, is the same thing as the “temporary residence card,” the government said.

People from out of town who come to live in Shanghai are advised to register themselves with their community public service center. The registration will serve as evidence of living in Shanghai when applicants apply for the residence card. 

The government said it will be accepting applications of the “temporary residence card” till the end of this year and guarantees all “temporary residence cards” will be considered as legal until their date of expiry.

The credit system for residence card holders and the corresponding public services they are entitled to, including employment, social insurance, health, education, passport and driving license application, will remain unchanged.

A residence card is required to apply for a Shanghai hukou (household registration) at a later stage when the applicant has 120 points of credit on his card, holds the card for seven years and fulfils some other requirements in terms of social insurance and tax paying records. 

Also, the government said it will facilitate and accelerate the application process of the residence card.

Shanghai started to issue residence cards in 2004 and it has issued over 3.8 million cards since then.

By the end of 2015, the city had a resident population of over 24 million, including 3.8 million residence cardholders, according to the city’s statistics bureau.

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