China – Shanghai Introduces Initiatives to Attract Foreign Talents (UPDATE)

What has changed

Further to our eAlert on June 30, 2015, the Public Security Bureau in Shanghai has made several announcements surrounding initiatives to attract foreign talents which include making longer Residence Permits available, as well as easing requirements for permanent residence. These initiatives took effect July 1, 2015.

Who is affected?
What to expect

  • Foreign nationals working and residing in Shanghai

The initiatives bring potential for greater convenience for many foreign personnel, particularly in relation to long-term and permanent Residence Permits, but it can be expected there will be a period of uncertainty around eligibility in the short-term.

These initiatives include:

  • Five (5) year Residence Permits becoming available for foreign experts recognized as high-level professionals OR for foreigners hired for five (5) year assignments by a company on the “Science and Technology Innovation List”.
  • Foreign nationals in Shanghai who have successfully applied twice previously and consecutively for residence permits that are each valid for at least one (1) year may apply for five (5) year residence permits when applying for the third time. However, it is not known at this time if Alien Employment Permits would be available for five (5) years also. The authority which issues Alien Employment Permits has made no announcement in this regard.
  • Foreign graduates of Chinese universities who are seeking to establish innovative enterprises in Shanghai may seek a two (2) year personal affairs residence permit, without the need to also acquire a Work Permit. They may also seek to obtain work authorization under sponsorship, including for purposes of an internship.
  • It has been announced that foreign nationals in possession of an Alien Employment License or Foreign Expert License may be able to apply directly for an Employment “Z” Visa or Residence Permit at the port of entry. Also, foreigners who plan to establish a business in China and who do not have sufficient time to apply for an Alien Employment License may be able to apply for a personal affairs visa at the port of arrival. However, Emigra Worldwide strongly recommends that no attempt be made to enter without the appropriate entry visa until fully determined procedures and supporting items are clearly defined by authorities.¬†
  • Foreign high-level professionals or entrepreneurs, including those with permanent residence permits, may seek a Residence Permit for foreign household domestic staff.
  • Shanghai will extend visa-free entry for transit from seventy-two (72) to 144 hours, including for cruise passengers, for travelers who hold passports of qualifying countries.
  • The Talent “R” visa and associated Residence Permit will be available to foreigners and Hong Kong and Macau applicants aged over sixty (60). Recognition of being a “Foreign Talent” is to be determined by Governmental agencies or industry experts as follows –
    • The Organizing Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
    • Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of People’s Republic of China
    • State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs P. R. China
    • Shanghai Municipal Human Resource and Social Security Bureau
    • Shanghai Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs office

Changing Requirements for Permanent Residence

  • Holders of “Talent” Residence Permits who have worked in Shanghai for three (3) years for one of the 3500 technology firms registered with the Shanghai Science & Technology Commission may apply for Permanent Residence with recommendation from their employer.
  • Also, foreigners who have worked in China for more than four (4) years consecutively and who have resided in China for no less than six (6) months per year may apply for Permanent Residence Permit with their employer’s recommendation
    • Criteria:
      • Annual Salaried income over RMB 600,000 in Shanghai and
      • Annual Income tax contribution of over RMB 120,000 in Shanghai
      • Be able to show proof of income
      • Have no criminal record
  • Foreign nationals employed by certain science and technology companies for four (4) successive years may also apply for permanent residence.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Given there is a lack of public information on precise requirements and there are still issues to be resolved between different agencies, applicants can expect a period of uncertainty on eligibility in the coming weeks.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.

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