New regulation to allow SARs citizens to apply for China residence permits

new regulation will allow residents of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan to apply for residence permits in the Chinese mainland.

A document issued at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office yesterday said the regulation is to be promulgated by the State Council General Office, and will take effect from September 1.

According to Xinhua, the document said residents from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan who hold a China residence permit will enjoy more rights, basic public services and other conveniences related to study, work, business opportunities and life on the mainland.

Vice Minister of Public Security, Shi Jun, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council Huang Liuquan and deputy director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council Long Mingbiao attended a press conference yesterday to present the new regulation. According to the officials, it aims to alleviate the inconveniences people from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan may encounter on the mainland when they purchase tickets online, check-in at hotels or use financial services.

The new residence permits will enable them to enjoy essentially the same public services and conveniences as mainland residents, such as employment rights, social security, the housing provident fund, as well as the benefits of compulsory education, health and medical services, legal assistance and other legal services.

Moreover, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan residents with mainland residence permits will be allowed to register their vehicles, apply for driver’s licenses and take professional qualification exams. Xinhua reported that “their shopping and other entertainment activities will also be expedited.”

Eligible applicants need to work on the mainland for at least six months, after which they may apply for this permit on a voluntary basis, according to the officials.

The report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China pledges to formulate and improve policies and measures to make it more convenient for people from Hong Kong and Macau to develop careers on the mainland. It also said efforts will be made to ensure that over time, people from Taiwan will enjoy the same treatment as mainland residents when they pursue their studies, start businesses, seek jobs or live on the mainland.

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