Global Alerts

CHINA – Guidelines for Highly-Skilled Foreign Workers in Shanghai Announced

Shanghai has published its new immigration guidelines which affect several permits including the Work (Z) visa, Expert permit, Resident permit, Talent (R) visa and Shanghai B card. Shanghai’s objective is to attract highly-skilled foreign workers and become a center of technology and innovation by making it simpler for foreign nationals to live and work in Shanghai.

Those expected to benefit from these regulations include foreign workers, foreign students graduating with a master’s degree or higher, scholars and entrepreneurs concentrating in science and technology. Due to the new rules, visa processing procedures have been streamlined and visa duration periods have been extended in order to decrease the frequency of renewal applications.

Key Points

Talent (R) visa holders were previously only granted a permit with a validity period of one year. Now, aside from the existing one-year period, qualified foreign nationals under this visa category will be eligible for a permit with a five-year validity period. Talent (R) visa holders will also be allowed to hire foreign housekeeping workers and apply for a Permanent Residence Permit after working in Shanghai for three years. Talent (R) visa holders are defined as highly-skilled foreign nationals who meet no less than one of the following qualifications:

  • Famous experts;
  • Senior executives;
  • Distinguished talent as recognized by a renowned award;
  • Research and development experts employed by companies accepted by the Reform Commission and the Science and Technology Commission; and
  • Notable foreign nationals who meet an urgent need in a local market.

Prior to the new guidelines, foreign students were not qualified for employment in Shanghai after graduating because they lacked the minimum work experience of two years. Now, foreign students graduating with a master’s degree or higher from a university in Shanghai will be eligible to apply for a Work Permit and Work-Type Residence Permit upon graduation if they agree to work in the “Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone” or the “Shanghai Zhang Jiang High-Tech Zone”.

Foreign entrepreneurs in the fields of technology, innovation and science may apply for a Shanghai overseas Talent Residence Card (B Card) which are valid for 10 years.

Foreign nationals who have worked in Shanghai continuously for two years and have already renewed their residence permits twice, maybe apply for a five-year residence permit on the third renewal.

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