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Household registration curbs in urban cities with less than 3 million population to be scrapped: MPS

Global Times| Updated: August 10, 2023 L M S


People visit West Lake in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province. Photo: IC

China's Ministry of Public Security (MPS) announced on Thursday new measures for the further relaxation of household registration, or hukou, including the scrapping of restrictions in cities with a relatively smaller population, a move that experts said will further activate regional economic development.

The announcement to relax hukou requirements was made at an MPS meeting, during which the ministry said it will improve the household registration system, further relax requirements for settling down and lower the threshold for hukou registration, as well as encourage rural migrants who are able to work and live steadily in cities to settle down there with their families.

The household registration restrictions for cities with a permanent urban population of less than 3 million will be completely lifted, while for cities with a permanent urban population of 3 million to 5 million, the registration policy will be "significantly relaxed," said Yuan Xiguo, an official from the ministry's Public Security Management Bureau. 

The points-based household registration system for mega cities with a permanent urban population of over 5 million will be optimized, which encourages local governments to lift restrictions on annual quotas for local household registration, Yuan noted.  

This policy will promote the  interprovincial movement of people and play an important role in regional economic development, said Li Daokui, director of Tsinghua University's Academic Center for Chinese Economic Practice and Thinking.

Encouraging rural migrants to settle in cities is a key part of promoting a new type of people-oriented urbanization, according to Yuan.

Officials from the MPS said it will refine optimization measures and strive to deploy all implementation by the end of August.

Besides this, the MPS also said it will introduce pilot programs so rural college students, scientific and technological talents, and veterans may enjoy flexible household registration policies for the purpose of "urban-rural integration and development."

The MPS announcement came only after East China's Zhejiang Province announced the lifting of hukou requirements in the province. For the city of Hangzhou, it will further improve the points-based household registration policy. The annual quota for household registration will gradually be eliminated. 

Additionally, the MPS at the meeting also made the application of port visas for foreign business personnel and multiple entry visas easier. It said foreigners who come to China for business purposes, if they had no time to apply for a visa abroad, can apply for a port visa by presenting an invitation letter from an enterprise and the proper supporting materials. Due to the need for multiple round-trip businesses, a valid trade visa for multiple entries within three years can be issued upon entry.

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