Global Alerts

CHINA – Immigration Rules and Procedures Relaxed for Foreign Workers in Shanghai

Beginning July 1, 2015, highly-skilled foreign nationals will be able to obtain Permanent Residence status and Residence Permits in an easier manner due to new immigration policies. The Ministry of Public Security also announced that these new policies should facilitate several application procedures for investors and those opening businesses in Shanghai. There are also plans to administer more lenient eligibility and application procedures for foreign nationals and their dependents to obtain Residence Permits in Shanghai from Hong Kong and Macao.

Eligibility Criteria for Permanent Residence and Residence Permits

Foreign nationals who may apply for Permanent Residence status must meet the following criteria: foreign nationals who have worked in Shanghai continuously for four years, have resided in China at least six cumulative months per year, and meet annual income and income tax thresholds.

Furthermore, highly-skilled foreign nationals will be able to transfer their Work-Type Residence status to Permanent Residence status after three years of work. Foreign nationals, who have never been charged with violations of Chinese laws and who have applied for a Work-Type Residence Permit twice successively while working in Shanghai, will now be eligible for a Work-Type Residence Permit valid for five years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria under New Immigration Policies

Highly-skilled foreign nationals will be able to obtain an R (Talent) Visa upon arrival or while in China. They may also convert their entry visa to an R Visa upon arrival and may also apply for a Work-Type Residence Permit while in the country.

Foreign students will be able to apply for a two-year Residence Permit upon graduation from a Chinese education institution under the Private Affairs category in order to perform internships or start businesses in Shanghai.

Foreign investors who are planning to invest in Shanghai but do not obtain work permits abroad prior to arriving can obtain a Private Affairs visa upon arrival and can then apply for a Residence Permit while in the country.

Finally, the visa-free policy will be extended from 72 hour-stays to 144 hour-stays and is expected to be expanded to sea and river ports along the Yangtze River Delta and Shanghai, which will include cruise-ship passengers.

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