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Beijing makes passport process easier for all

Date: 2012-08-30

Non-Beijing residents will soon be able to apply for passports without the necessity of going back to their hometowns, announced the municipal exit-entry administration Tuesday.

However, some Beijing residents have complained they still do not meet the requirements, and will be forced to return to their hometowns to apply for their travel documents.

According to a press release from the Exit-Entry Administration Department under the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, starting from September 1, Beijing residents without a local hukou (household registration) can apply for a passport in Beijing as long as they work in the city and have paid social insurance contributions for at least one year.

The new policy, which aims to make life easier for people living in Beijing, still triggered complaints because many found it hard to meet the requirements.

Social insurance payments are comprised of five types of contributions, including maternity insurance; however non-Beijing hukou holders have only been able to apply for maternity benefit since the beginning of 2012, the Beijing News reported Wednesday.

Both males and females pay for this benefit.

Pei Ping, 33, from Jiangxi Province, said that her company started paying maternity contributions for her in January, and so she only has a payment record of seven months.

"At the very start, I trusted the sincerity of the administration in helping me get a passport without returning to my hometown. But now it seems I can only apply for a passport in Beijing next year," she said.

"Why don't the authorities make a favorable policy like this available to us immediately?"

Lin Song, media officer with the exit-entry administration told the Global Times that when they made the rules, they did not intend to bring obstacles to a certain group of people.

"We did not think of the fact that the maternity insurance has only covered all residents since this year," he said, adding that at present there is no intention to change the regulation.

Liang Chao, from HR company China International Intellenctech Corporation, said that previously, only highly-skilled workers needed by the city, who did not have a Beijing hukou, were covered by maternity insurance, but in small numbers.

Liang suggested that non-hukou holders could show pension payments as proof instead.

"It would be the same as residents without a Beijing hukou who want to buy a property or a car here. Proof of pension contributions is the main aspect in social insurance they need to supply during the application," he said.(Global Times)