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China relaxes visa rules for Guangdong free trade zone

Updated: Jul 19,2016 8:56 AM     Xinhua

The Ministry of Public Security has promised a series of favorable policies for skilled foreign workers in the pilot free trade zone in South China’s Guangdong province.

Among the 16 measures are simplified permanent residence application procedures and fast-track approvals for skilled foreign workers in the zone, support for foreign students’ start-ups, accelerated visas and residency application channels for overseas Chinese and lower thresholds for investors in the zone to apply for permanent residency, according to a ministry statement released on July 18.

“These new exit-entry policies and measures are based on the free trade zone’s urgent demand for high-caliber foreign talent, overseas Chinese returning to start businesses, young foreign students and investors to realize innovation-driven development of the zone,” the ministry said.

Other measures include allowing foreigners who meet salary and taxation standards to apply for permanent residency, a fast track from work permits to permanent residency for high-caliber talent, and visa exemptions for personnel from certain countries within specified times at Guangdong customs.

The measures will take effect on Aug. 1, the ministry said.