Health certificate steps reduced for foreigners

Updated: 2016-08-05 07:41

By ZHANG YI(China Daily)

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Beijing police have set up an interdepartmental health information system for foreigners, a move to make it easier to apply for long-term residence in the capital.

Under the new system, foreigners applying for the first time to live in Beijing for more than one year will need to submit just one health check certificate, instead of the multiple certificates required previously, the Beijing Public Security Bureau said on Thursday.

Three departments in the city-the Public Security Bureau, the Human Resources and Social Security Bureau and the Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau-will now share information on the health status of foreigners in Beijing.

The new policy took effect on Thursday.

Previously, foreigners first applying for longtime residence in Beijing had to submit a health check certificate to several government agencies. They were not required to submit such a certificate when they renewed their residence permit.

"The multiple submission of the certificate caused unnecessary financial expenditure and inconvenience for applicants," said Lin Song, an official with the Entry and Exit Department of the Beijing police.

For example, foreigners can apply for long-term residence in Beijing after getting a work permit from the city's Human Resources and Social Security Bureau. Previously, those who did not realize that they also had to submit the certificate to the police would have had to return to the Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau to get another certificate, Lin said.

Efforts to cut red tape for foreigners living in China have been stepped up in other government departments as well.

Gao Xiang, a senior official with the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, said a national government department for issuing and organizing work permits for foreigners may be designated next year.

Overlapping functions of government departments in issuing work permits is seen as a pressing problem.

"A pilot program will start soon to standardize the qualifications and process for issuing a work permit for foreigners, and the national unified applications procedures are expected to be carried out," he said.

Currently, a foreign expert certificate is issued by SAFEA for those working at cultural, education, healthcare and research institutions, most of which are run by the government. An alien employment certificate is issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security for those working in commercial sectors.