Beijing residents originating from rural provinces are complaining that without certificates giving them official residency in the Chinese capital, they do not have the same rights as others living there.
They can only apply for lower-paid jobs and do not have access to services such as healthcare and universities in the city.
For those still in the countryside, the big complaint is that they do not have the same land rights as urbanites.
As a four-day meeting of Communist party leaders gets under way in Beijing, reform of land rights in rural areas is likely to be high on the agenda.
Al Jazeera's Andrew Thomas reports from Beijing.