China relaxes rules for expat permanent residents

China relaxes rules for expat permanent residents

China relaxes rules for expat permanent residents

The Chinese government is relaxing registration and investment procedures for expat residents as well as making it easier to purchase property, get health insurance and educate their children in local schools.

The surprise move is thought to be the result of new Chinese governmental awareness that global talent needs to be attracted to maintain the country’s strong economic growth. Legislation passed recently will increase the number of green cards available to expats wishing to live and work in the country.

Permanent residents are able to work in China without the hassle of obtaining a work permit, and are exempted from a law which bans foreigners from purchasing property. Other benefits will include simplified registration and investment rules, changes in qualifications for health insurance and the right to send children to local schools.

However, in the past China has been less than generous with its green card allocations, with less than 5,000 handed out over the last eight years, as against 120,000 a year in America and 100,000 in Australia. Also, Chinese and foreign companies employing expats are divided on allowing expat workers to contribute to social insurance schemes as employers must also contribute at a level of between 45 and 50 per cent of the salary paid to each individual worker.

Several companies feel that the Chinese government is using social insurance liability as an indirect tax on foreign companies and using the levy to fund insurance for Chinese workers. At present, the country’s insurance funds are calculated to stand at around £300 billion.

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