Public service access upgrade for permit holders

Top News | Cindy Wan 17 May 2019

Hong Kong and Macau people will be able to enjoy more than 30 public services in the mainland using their home reentry permits from October.

Due to national security concerns, people in the mainland are required to verify their identity with their residence cards before applying for public services, such as buying train tickets or registering e-payment apps online.

Visitors often find it troublesome and time-consuming to undergo real-name verification procedures, which many authorities provide only to mainland residents.

To improve this, 16 departments - including immigration - met in Beijing yesterday and agreed to make it more convenient for home reentry permit holders to be verified on the country's centralized service platform for exit and entry. After mainland authorities finish integrating the information and services onto the platform, Hong Kong, Macau and overseas residents will be able to verify their names with their home reentry permits to register for public services on the internet.

These services include transport, finance, communication, education, medication, social security, taxation and accommodation.

They will be able to schedule appointments in government hospitals, buy insurance, register for public examinations, open bank accounts, verify their identity for e-payment apps and receive some other public services online.

The National Immigration Administration said home reentry permits will become an option of identity verification on different government platforms and internet services by October.

This measure will save time in submitting verification documents in person and speed up verification procedures for home reentry permit holders.

The online registration services will gradually be extended to cover holders of other travel documents.

The measure aims to serve the country's policy of opening up and supporting the establishment of the Greater Bay Area, the National Immigration Administration said.

It is also crucial in advancing the "internet + public services reform," whose objective is to attract more overseas talents to join the finance, information technology, education and culture and other innovative industries, it said.

Preparatory works have been completed, it added.

Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, People's Bank of China, China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, Civil Aviation Administration and China Railway Corporation were also at the meeting.

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