Holders of foreign green cards in Shanghai have secure hukou

Updated:2018-03-26 (chinadaily.com.cn)

Shanghai residents who have a green card from another country can still retain their Shanghai hukou, or household registration certificate, according to local police authorities.

A newly-updated regulation regarding Shanghai hukou, which will be implemented May 1, has recently drawn great attention, as its 46th clause says that Shanghaiers who settle down overseas or have a foreign nationality have to nullify their hukou registration.

If these residents do not take such action within a month after notification, or refuse to do so, their hukou will be cancelled automatically, according to the 46th clause, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Many Shanghai residents who hold a foreign green card have expressed their concern on whether they need to nullify their hukou.

A Shanghai hukou holder surnamed Zhang, who also has a green card from the United States, works in a multinational enterprise. He said he lives in Shanghai half the year and in the US for the rest, and he also bought a house in the US.

"Am I a permanent resident of the US or not? Do I have to nullify my hukou?" Zhang said.

Zhou Hao, a lawyer with W&H law firm in Beijing, believes holding a foreign green card does not mean the holder is permanently residing in that country. He said the holder has the right, but whether the holder lives in that country or not depends on their personal situation.

In response to public concern, the official Sina Weibo account of the Shanghai police published two blogs to explain the regulation on Wednesday and Sunday.

The police explained in the Wednesday blog the requirement of nullifying hukou has long been stipulated in the regulation since 2003, and the update gives details on how and when to do it.

In the Sunday announcement, Shanghai police said that as the connotation of settling down overseas is not specified in the law, the hukou of green card holders will not be nullified at present.

Shanghai police have explained that those whose hukou are nullified can regain their hukou if they return to China for permanent residency.

Losing hukou to some extent means losing an identification card, as it is the most popular form of certification in China, used for checking into hotels, boarding trains and buying property.