China will ease the permanent resident application process for foreigners, according to a circular issued by the general offices of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council.
According to the circular publicized Thursday, qualifications for permanent residence should be flexible and pragmatic.
Permanent resident applications for foreign professionals under key government talent introduction programs, including the "Thousand Talents" recruitment program for global experts launched in 2008, will be given priority.
Evaluation of applicants' qualifications should serve the country's development strategies, reflect market demand and be quantifiable, according to the circular.
The country will explore grading applicants' qualifications based on their salaries, taxes and social credit.
For foreigners working in fields with strong government support,conversion of work permits to permanent residence permits should be eased. Outstanding overseas students should be subject to fewer limits if they want to work in China, the circular said.
The circular demanded "proactive" investment-based immigration policies to attract foreigners willing to invest in China.
Red tape will be cut in examining and approving applications for permanent residence. For high-level professionals and foreigners who have made outstanding contributions, application requirements should be simplified and waiting time for approval shortened, according to the circular.
The circular also clarified that permanent residence is an identity document for foreigners. Foreigners with permanent residence will enjoy equal treatment with Chinese citizens in purchasing property, children's schooling, obtaining a driver's license, and other areas of life.
There is no limit on the duration of permanent residents' stay in China.