Guangzhou has become a major destination for talents after the city launched its special green card program last year, official data suggest.
The city government said on June 12 that it had issued 1,560 such talent green cards as of the end of March, including 68 to nationals of the United States, 37 to residents from China's Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, 15 to nationals of Canada and 11 to nationals of Australia.
“The green card entitles residents from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan or abroad to the same rights and privileges the locals enjoy, such as gaining permanent residency status, being able to purchase property or cars, sending children to a public school, and enjoying the same employment and healthcare benefits.”
The capital of Guangdong province launched the green card program on June 1 last year as part of its effort to attract outside talents to reinforce the city's sustainable economic growth.
Cards were issued to 165 people from 11 countries and regions as well as 368 people from Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Shenzhen. Foreign applicants are not required to hold a permanent resident permit in the first place.
Aiming to attract more than 2,300 talented people annually from home and abroad, Guangzhou has established a number of industrial development parks and incubators for outside talents to start businesses and make technological innovations.
Liang Yucheng, a professor of social sciences and humanities at Sun Yat-sen University, predicted the green card program will help Guangzhou further expand Sino-foreign scientific cooperation and exchanges.
Companies where these people work will benefit when the talents are relieved of the burden to spend money and time on applying for visas and work permits and going through exit and entry procedures, he said.
"The talent green card will help Guangzhou further improve its competitiveness," he said.
Liang predicted the Guangzhou talent pool will grow steadily in the coming months.
Related: How to apply for the green card
Qualified applicants can apply for the green card on the official site: (http://www.hrssgz.gov.cn/vsgzhr/login_rclk2.aspx) for free. Since some intermediary organizations or agents may try to deceive applicants out of money by false advertisements, the local authorities urge applicants to sign up directly on the government's official website rather than apply via a third party.
In addition, applicants are advised to pay extra attention to the new revisions in the 2017 application guidance for the talent green card, released by the Guangzhou Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau in an effort to attract more talents from home and abroad. According to the guidance, the Guangzhou authorities further cut red tape, make more clear application qualifications and put forward higher requirements for talents, which is conducive to increasing the value of the green card.
The new revisions include but not limited to:
1. Green card applicants should be under 55 years old;
2. Applicants who have received a primary card cannot apply for a secondary card until a year later;
3. Master's degree holders or above graduating from Sino-foreign universities should have a minimum of one-year study overseas;
4. Middle-level and senior managers as well as backbone technicians under 45 years old working for the city's key projects or the certified headquarters companies should have a bachelor's degree or above.