'Green channel' serves urgent needs of travel document applicants

Shanghai residents with imminent business meetings to attend outside the Chinese mainland can now receive a travel document from authorities "as soon as possible," police said.

New measures rolled out by the city’s exit-entry administrators which entitle people with urgent needs to privileged travel document services have benefited 1,184 applicants in the first month, Shanghai police said on Thursday.

Shanghai residents with imminent business meetings to attend outside the Chinese mainland can now receive a travel document from authorities “as soon as possible,” police said.

The “green channel” now also helps students with an approaching date of registration at education institutions overseas, as well as people who find their travel documents missing right before planned travel.

Jiang Shenghua, a sales manager at a trade company in Shanghai, came to the exit-entry administration bureau on Minsheng Road, Pudong, to pick up his permit to travel to and from Hong Kong for business purposes on Thursday morning.

Jiang submitted an application on Tuesday, while the meeting in Hong Kong is scheduled for Friday.

“It usually took 10 days for me to get such a permit,” he said. “I didn’t expect the service to be this efficient and thought I would have to miss the meeting.”

Jiang said the exit-entry office accepted his copies of email exchanges between his company and the company in Hong Kong as evidence of his urgent needs.

Previously, urgent conditions under which applicants are entitled to the green channel included only the death of relatives living overseas, visits to terminally ill relatives and urgent medical needs. Other conditions were not specified and were judged case by case.

Authority to issue travel documents to such applicants has been handed over from the exit-entry administration bureau to all of its 18 branch offices around Shanghai so as to speed up the processing of applications.

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