China is revamping its household registration system, known as hukou, to allow 100 million people without residence permits to settle in towns and cities by 2020, the State Council said Wednesday.
The central government will lift restrictions in towns and small cities, gradually ease them in mid-sized cities and set reasonable conditions for settling in big cities.
At the same time, it will strictly control the population in mega cities, China’s cabinet said in a statement.
Migrants who moved to county-level towns will now be allowed to apply for residence permits together with their families.
In medium-sized cities with 500,000 to one million people, long-term residents who have stable employment and housing can apply for residence permits, along with their families, if they have contributed to the local social insurance system for a certain period.
And cities that have difficulty absorbing migrants can set their own employment criteria. However, they are not permitted to impose financial thresholds and other requirements such as minimum living space.
These cities are also not allowed to set the minimum social insurance payment period at more than three years.
In cities with one million to three million people, applicants must have been employed for a certain period and have legal and stable domicile.
But for cities with three million to five million residents, the central government will “appropriately control the scale and speed” of residence rights issuances, the statement said.
Cities will set stricter rules for assessing qualifications, including a points-based application system, if necessary. The minimum social insurance payment period should be no more than five years, it said.
Mega cities with five million people or more are subject to stricter population controls.
These cities are encouraged to improve their household registration system and set up a fair and transparent points system that will favor college graduates, skilled workers and those who have studied abroad.
The government will expand social welfare the coverage for migrant workers moving into cities and ensure equal access to education for their children as those from local families, the cabinet said.
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