On 4 December 2014, the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council released Draft Measures for the Administration of Residence Permits ("Draft Measures") for public comments. According to the Draft Measures, migrant citizens (i.e. Chinese citizens who have resided in cities other than their permanent residence) may apply for residence permits that will enable them to enjoy the same basic rights and benefits as permanent residents.
To be eligible to apply for a residence permit, migrant citizens must have resided in the city to which they wish their rights and benefits to apply for over six months. They must also have a stable job, or a stable home or be in continuous education in that city.
Before the Draft Measures, migrant citizens could only apply for temporary residence permits, which do not offer many of the rights or benefits enjoyed by permanent residents. In Beijing, for example, holders of temporary residence permits are generally not entitled to receive free compulsory education or take the college entrance exam in Beijing. Under the Draft Measures however, holders of residence permits will be able to enjoy these rights, and will gradually be entitled to further benefits, including the right to receive vocational training, employment assistance, housing support, social welfare, social assistance, and the right for children of residence permit holders to participate in local high school and college entrance exams.
Furthermore, subject to meeting the requirements of the local government, the Draft Measures will allow holders of residence permits to apply for permanent residency (hukou) for themselves, their spouse, minor children and parents.