Foreigners in Shanghai get taste of facilitation measures
With a slew of new policies in effect, Shanghai has stepped up efforts to provide more convenience to foreigners working in the city as it seeks to become an attractive hub for high-level talent.
According to the Shanghai Service Center for Foreigners Working in China, since the Online Approval for Foreigner's Work Permit in China (Version 4.0) was launched in March 2021, a total of 111,563 applications have been handled, with 237,591 telephone calls have been made for consultations, and 36 foreign science and technology workers have been exempted from providing certificates of no criminal record.
The Online Approval for Foreigner's Work Permit in China (Version 4.0) has offered more convenience to foreign science and technology talent for the purpose of boosting innovation and entrepreneurship in Shanghai. For example, limits in terms of age, academic degree, and work experience have been further relaxed, a "Notice + Pledge" System for those with no criminal record has been adopted, and applications for the Confirmation Letter for Foreign High-end Talent by foreign researchers of research teams in Shanghai is supported.
Let's take a look at one example - a German technical staff in SAP (China) Co Ltd who has benefited from the new policy. His employer is included in the Shanghai sci-tech innovation occupation list, while he, a UI technology enterprise architect, is an urgently needed science and technology talent for the development of the enterprise. Therefore, he is eligible for the green channel under the "Notice + Pledge" System, which has brought great convenience to the employer and worker in applying for a work permit.
The Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (Shanghai Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs) and the Shanghai Branch of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange have worked together to pioneer the Fast Pass on Foreign Talents Remuneration Foreign Exchange, including the proposed namesake form, to offer foreign talent access to convenient and efficient financial services.
Foreign talent or their employers can download the information form and submit it to nearby talent services windows. When approved, holders of the Fast Pass can enjoy more convenient access to currency exchange services for their salaries at local banks.
Since its launch across Shanghai in March 2021, the Fast Pass on the Foreign Talent Remuneration Foreign Exchange has benefited a total of 798 foreign skilled workers and 275 employers. As many corporate HR departments and foreign talent have said, the service has saved them a lot of trouble, simplifying procedures for employers when it comes to printing statements of salary, preparing tax bills, photocopying contracts, and stamping certificates, and greatly reducing the time needed for foreign talent to handle items at the bank.
The Shanghai Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs has also worked with the Exit-Entry Administration of the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Public Security to take the lead in creating a "single window" model to handle applications for work and residence permits for foreigners. This has helped reduce the approval time for work and residence permits for high-end talent from 12 working days to seven working days. All 16 districts in Shanghai have set up a "single window", the function of which has been incorporated into Shanghai's online government service platform, combining online services and offline terminals.
It is also essential to build a strong exchange platform for foreign talent. The "Foreign Talent in Shanghai Salon" event attracted 30 high-level foreign experts in Shanghai from 14 countries in 2021, including winners of the Chinese Government Friendship Award, winners of the Shanghai Magnolia Gold Award, as well as outstanding young foreign experts in the fields of technology and finance. The event allows experts to join a larger community in Shanghai to break the barriers between disciplines and fields, giving way to more cooperation opportunities.