Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan residents begin applying for mainland residence permits

Lee Cheng-hung, director of the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises in Shanghai, became the first Taiwan resident to submit application for a mainland residence permit.
Lai Xinlin / Shangguan

Lee Cheng-hung, director of the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises in Shanghai, gets his return note after submitting his application for a mainland residence permit on Saturday morning when a new regulation came into effect.

Lee Cheng-hung, director of the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises in Shanghai, became the first Taiwan resident to submit application for a local residence permit on Saturday morning when a new regulation came into effect.

The regulation, allowing residents of Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan to apply for residence permits in the Chinese mainland, was announced by the State Council Information Office about two weeks ago.

The new residence permits will enable them to enjoy public services and other conveniences that are basically the same with those of mainland residents.

Residents from the three regions can apply for the permits on a voluntary basis when they have legally and stably worked, lived or studied in the mainland for more than half a year.

Across the city, 25 sites have been designated to process the applications.

Lee, who have worked and lived in Shanghai for more than 20 years, drove about 30 minutes on Saturday to arrive at the Xiayang Police Station in Qingpu District, the only application site in the district where he lives.

Lee took a photo in a room first and returned to the reception hall to submit the required materials at one service window, where the fingerprints of his two thumbs were scanned. After a police officer examined all the materials and accepted his application, he got a return note informing him that he could get the permit with a unique 18-digit number on September 29. The whole process took less than 10 minutes and was free of charge.

“I feel so lucky to be the first Taiwan resident to submit the application today because the residence permits are very helpful to alleviate inconveniences I and other Taiwan residents have encountered in the mainland,” Lee said.

Chen Hung-hsin, a Taiwan associate professor at East China Normal University Business School, also brought his two children to apply for the new permits on Saturday, looking forward to enrolling his children into local schools.

“My son and daughter, 6 and 4 respectively, are now studying at a school exclusive for children of Taiwan people,” he said. “But as we have decided to settle down here, I hope they can go to local schools to make friends with local children and integrate better into the local society.”

Victor Wu, a Hong Kong resident who is studying at Fudan University, and his mother surnamed Zhou were the No. 71 in the waiting line at the Shanghai Minhang District License Transact Center.

According to a local official, there are about 20,000 residents of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan living in Minhang, about one-sixth of the citywide number.

The mother and son said the residence permits would make hospital service more convenient.

“Many hospitals have developed online systems where people can make reservations conveniently, but you can only register with the 18-digit ID number,” said Wu. “I’m glad that it will no longer be a problem for me with the residence permit.”

Yang Meiping / SHINE

Several Taiwan residents have their application materials checked at the application site in Minhang District.


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