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New exit-entry policies for overseas talents in Shanghai

(sh-italent.com)Updated : 2016-11-04

The Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of Shanghai’s Public Security Bureau issued new entry-exit regulations, covering foreigner’s visas, stay and permanent residency, on July 1. The city has introduced many pioneering policies in China and this time the main focus is to attract creative talents from abroad and to reach its goal of becoming a global scientific and technological innovation center.

1. Innovative ways to identify overseas talents

Foreign workers who meet one of the following three criteria can be identified as overseas talents. The first is related to their income and tax payment. They shall have an annual income of 600,000 yuan ($96,700) or above and have paid at least 120,000 yuan in individual income tax per year. 

The second refers to foreign talents and professionals from Hong Kong and Macao, who have talent certification from the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, and State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, or from related municipal-level departments. There is no age restriction for those people. 

The third refers to high-level professionals who work for companies included on a list for their technological and innovative occupations released by the Shanghai human resources authority and other departments. There is also no age restriction for those people.

2. Lower threshold for permanent residency application

The abovementioned three types of overseas talents enjoy different rules to apply for a permanent residence permit. The first type of talents need to have worked in Shanghai for four consecutive years and live in China for no less than six months each year as well as having an endorsement from their companies. The remaining two types require working in Shanghai for three consecutive years and also an endorsement from their companies. The approval period is shortened from 180 days to 90. 

3. Easier visa application

Foreigners who want to invest or start up a business in Shanghai can apply for a personal affairs visa with investment certificates or business plans, and proof of source of income. They can also apply for a private affairs residence permit at the Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration Bureau when arriving in the city. The Shanghai port is also able to grant the work visa. Foreigners who have work permits can apply to the Shanghai port authority for a work visa.

Overseas talents who hold talents certificates granted by the Shanghai human resources authority or endorsements of companies identified as technological or innovative ones are eligible to apply for R Visa at Shanghai port, if they do not have a visa in advance. If they come to the city with other types of visa, they can also apply to change the visa into Visa R. 

4. More relaxed residence permit application for foreign students

The new policy cancels the previous two-year work experience requirement, making it easier for foreign students to apply for residence permits. International students who obtain diplomas at Chinese universities and hold innovative business plans or certificates for startup companies can apply for a two-year personal affairs residence permit.

5. Lower threshold of long-term residence permit application

The new rules also lower the threshold of long-term residence permit application. Foreign workers who have applied for short-term work residence permits twice and abide by Chinese laws and regulations are eligible to apply for a five-year work residence permit on the third occasion. 

6. Simple entry-exit procedures for Shanghai’s non-natives

Non-natives in Shanghai can apply for all types of entry-exit permits, excluding that to Hong Kong or Macao, after showing their residence permits and 2nd-generation ID cards, with no extra credentials required and no more social insurance payment inspection. 

7. Hong Kong and Macao residents can settle in Shanghai

Hong Kong and Macao residents who hold Mainland Travel Permits for Hong Kong and Macao Residents and talents certificates granted by the Shanghai human resources authority, or endorsements of companies identified as technological or innovative, can apply to settle in Shanghai, including their spouses and young children.

8. Overseas talents can hire foreign housekeeping workers

Oversea talents can enjoy the privilege of applying for personal affairs residence permits for foreign housekeeping workers that they hire, when they get their permanent residence permit or work residence permit. Each family is allowed to hire one foreign housekeeping worker.