More talent to be sought as the nation eyes special policy to boost its appeal
China will speed up the exploration of immigration policies this year to attract skilled foreign workers, a senior official said on Thursday. However, no details were given when the policies will be introduced. Experts said that China may, for the first time, single out skilled workers as a special category in its general immigration polices, as the country faces a shortage of such workers.
Chinas population is aging quickly and more skilled workers are needed for Chinas economic upgrading. China needs to loosen its immigration policies, including giving citizenship to skilled foreign nationals.Such immigration policies are common in Western countries, which roll out favorable measures for the skilled foreign workers they lack.
China usually grants its version of green cards to foreigners in certain categories: Businessmen who have invested at least $500,000 in the country; technical personnel such as managers; people with skills "needed by the State" and spouses of Chinese nationals, providing their marriage has lasted at least five years and they have lived in China for at least nine months in each of those years.
Only 6,000 expatriates have received "green cards" in China since the country started to grant foreigners permanent residency in 2004.Most of these green card holders are ethnic Chinese with foreign passports, or foreign specialists invited to work in China under government-funded programs, and their spouses, he said.
Wang Baorun, head of the exit-entry administration in the capital, said, "The demand has become stronger among foreigners recently. Our major work this year is to crack down on illegal online employment agencies and illegal foreign teachers," he said, adding that punishment will include repatriation.