New Visa procedures , which take place as of today, will mean that expats living in Shanghai, China, will no longer have to forfeit their passports for a week when renewing their residence permits online.
Previously, foreigners who have their applications approved online have had to leave their passport at one of the offices of the Shanghai Exit-Entry administration Bureau for seven days, meaning that they could not leave the country or travel freely during this period.
However, the amended procedure truncates the waiting time to about an hour, provided the applicant takes all of the required documents with them to the administration office.
“This is mostly aimed at foreign executives who need to travel often in China or internationally to do business,” said Li Feng, a spokesperson for the administration, which operates under the Shanghai Public Security Bureau. “We felt it was unnecessary for foreigners to have to leave their passports for so long at the bureau.”
Shanghai is only the second city in China to introduce these measures – Hubei began accepting visa registrations online in 2012.
This new visa measure is just one of several implemented in recent months to make life more convenient for those who choose to live and work in Shanghai.
In November, the administration set up an expat registration office in a residential community in the Jing’an district as a friendlier alternative to having them register at a police station. What’s more, in August, green card rules were amended for those who wish to reside long-term in China, with a major change being that holders can for the first time now enjoy the full benefits of China’s social security system.
Article published 2nd January 2014