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Simplified system introduced to apply for special resident card


Health certificates, employers’ business licenses and certificates of residence ownership or registration forms of temporary accommodation are no longer compulsory for high-level foreign professionals with permanent residence permits to apply for the Shanghai Residence Card B.

The card enables foreigners to enjoy certain benefits that applies to local people. Card A is for Chinese citizens.

Local authorities said permanent residence permit holders, who are working or starting up private businesses were eligible to qualify for Card B providing they held bachelor or higher educational degrees.

They now only had to submit application forms, passports, permanent residence permits, certificates of their highest educational qualifications and employment contracts valid for at least 12 months.

Foreign investors have to submit an auditing report covering the previous fiscal year. The validity length of the Shanghai Residence Card B depends on credits the applicants can get based on their own background, such as education qualification, age, career and achievement.

Applicants with credits above 65 can get a Card B valid from one to 10 years — the higher the points, the longer the card is valid. A permanent residence permit can give an applicant 100 extra points.

Those who have applied for but have not received the permanent residence permits can also have 20 points added by presenting the receipts given by the local public security bureau after they receive the application.

The validity of their cards will not exceed the expiring dates of their passports, foreign expert certificates and employment contracts.

Benefits for expatriates with Shanghai Residence Card B will also be upgraded. Besides participation in local social securities system and education opportunities for their children, foreigners with Card B can apply for “high-end talent” certificates to enjoy simplified customs clearance service for their research, teaching and personal materials.

For example, customs officials may not open packages held by Card B foreigners unless there are special circumstances.

Card B foreigners can also participate in the local housing provident fund and use it for buying or renting a residence and paying property management fees as local residents do. If they stop working in Shanghai, they can also have their deposits transferred to the fund operating in other cities where they move to.

With Card B, returning Chinese and “special talent” from Hong Kong and Macau can apply for subsidies from a special fund for their life and work needs in the city.

Foreigners, who have a five-year Shanghai Residence Card B but no permanent residence permits, can apply for a work class residence permit for the same validity length and apply for permanent residence permits after three years providing they have been recommended by their employers.

“Special talent” from Hong Kong and Macau, who hold a three-year Card B, can also apply for local hukou, permanent residence and citizenship, if the give up their Hong Kong and Macau ID cards in the two special administrative regions.

More information is obtainable by visiting the websites of Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau ( and Shanghai Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (

By Yang Meiping, Shanghai Daily.