East China's Anhui Province vows to issue permanent residence permits, or known as "green card," to foreign talents, to support the National Science Center in its capital Hefei.
High-level talents with foreign nationalities, their spouses and underage children, as well as overseas Chinese with foreign passports and PhD degrees who work in Anhui, could apply for the permanent residence directly, said Xiao Chaoying, Vice Minister of Anhui's Party Committee Organization Department during a government news conference on Monday, chinanews.com reported.
"Chinese with foreign passports who have been working in Anhui for four years and staying in China for more than six months each year could apply as well," Xiao added.
The new policy was a part of Anhui's new efforts to attract ,pre talented people for the construction of Hefei Comprehensive National Science Center."
The construction plan of the center was approved in January and is expected to finish in 2020, making it the second such center after Shanghai's.
"The project is in urgent need of elite professionals in information technology, energy, healthcare and environment areas," Xiao said, chinanews.com reported.
Anhui's new immigration policy is applied all throughout the province, while other provinces' are only limited in some free trade zones or innovation demonstration zones, said Zhao Huaiyin, deputy director of the Anhui Provincial Public Security Bureau said on Sunday.
Zhao said foreign students who graduate from Chinese universities and would like to start up in Anhui could apply for a special visa of two to five years to stay in China.
Meanwhile, Anhui government will organize one or two recruitment fairs for overseas talents annually in the future.
"The new policy of permanent residence for foreigners with PhDs bodes well for me. It will be easier for some companies to recruit Phds with this policy taking effect," Matt Christenson from the US, a PhD at the Hefei-based University of Science and Technology of China, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
"And for students who are trying to get PHDs in China, this is inspiring. There will be more PhD graduates who will stay in China," said Christenson.
China has made progress in easing its residence and entry policies for foreigners since September 2015, which helped attract more talents from overseas as well as boost international exchanges and the economy, Xinhua reported.
The country issued a total of 1,576 permanent residence certificates to foreigners in 2016, an increase of 163 percent over the previous year, according to Xinhua.