Work Permit Renewal Rules Updated, Visa Incentives for Top Talent Introduced – China Regulatory Brief

Published on 2018-02-09

Work permit renewal policy updated

As of 28 February, 2018, foreign companies must submit work permit renewal applications for their foreign workers at least 30 days before his or her work permit expires, according to a notice from SAFEA (State Administration for Foreign Experts Affairs). If the company misses the deadline to renew the work permit, the company will need to follow the procedures for applying for a new work permit.

Given that it takes about 15 work days to renew a work permit and seven work days to renew a residence permit, as well as another five work days if that company has not yet registered on the online system, companies are advised to begin the renewal process 60-90 days before the work permit’s expiry date. To renew a work permit, the company must provide the labor bureau with a renewal application form along with the employee’s labor contract, passport, residence permit, and current work permit.

Applying for a new work permit under China’s recently revised system is much more costly and time consuming than renewing one, requiring a notarised university degree, proof of employment, a medical test, and a criminal record check, among other documents. This process takes a minimum of three weeks to a month, but in practice can take up to three months or longer.

China relaxes visa rules in bid to attract top talent

China has relaxed rules for top foreign talents visiting the country, offering easier application procedures and greater travel benefits. The amendments, issued jointly by the SAFEA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Public Security, apply to the R-Visa, also known as the Foreign Talent visa.

With the new rules, top foreign talents can obtain multiple-entry R-Visas valid for either five or 10 years, with a maximum stay per entry of 180 days. Spouses and children of R-Visa holders will also be allowed to enter the country on an R-Visa. R-Visa applicants also benefit from expedited processing times and are free of charge.

To obtain an R-Visa, the applicant must first obtain a Certificate for Foreign High-end Talent from the SAFEA. “High-end talent” refers to top experts in a given field, or Tier A talents, such as Nobel Prize winners, chief or deputy editors in Chinese state media, foreign coaches and athletes, postdoctoral students from world-class universities, and foreigners earning at least six times China’s average annual wage, according to government guidelines.

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This article was first published on China Briefing.

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