Guide to Foreign Talents (Category A and Category B)

for Application for the Work Permit for Foreigners in China (working in China above 90 (excluding) days) (For foreigners who apply for the Work Permit for Foreigners due to the change of employer/position)

I. Applicable Objects

Basic Requirements for Employers

1. Employers shall be established by law with actual business premises, pay taxes and social insurances according to law, without serious illegal and dishonest acts; the employment of foreigners shall be for special needs and the appropriate candidates are in short supply domestically in China; the salary or remuneration for those foreigners shall not be lower than the local minimum wage.

2. For pre-approval by the industry competent authority by law, it shall be approved.

Basic Requirements for Applicants

1. Capable applicants with qualified professional skills or knowledge shall have a certain clearly- defined employer in China and shall be at least 18 years old in good health and without a criminal record.

2. Those applicants must engage in urgently needed jobs in China and can make contributions to China’s economic and social development.

3. The laws and regulations which have special provisions, if any, for the employment of foreigners in China shall prevail.

4. Foreign High-end Talents (Category A) refer to those scientists, science and technology leading talents, international entrepreneurs, special talents who meet the orientation of  “high-levels, elites, top leaderships, and urgently-needed people” and market demands and can contribute to China’ s economic and social development, and those who conform to the score-based system (scored above 85 according to the Points-based Assignment Table) , with no limits of age, academic qualification or working experience.

Foreign Professionals (Category B) refer to those professionals who are in line with the “Foreigners Employed in China Guide Catalog” and the corresponding urgent demands of the economic and social development of China, and have a bachelor degree or above and 2 years and above related work experience, 60 years old or less. The limits in terms of age, academic degree or work experience may be relaxed for those who are specially needed, regarded as innovative entrepreneurial talents, professional and technical talents, and conform to the scoring system (scored above 60 according to the Score- based Assignment Sheet), and the executors of intergovernmental protocols or agreements.

Please see the details in the Classification Criteria for Foreigners Working in China (Trial) (at the website of Shanghai Municipal Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs http://shafea.sh.gov.cn and the website of Shanghai R&D Public Service Platform http://www.sgst.cn).

5. The applicant has entered China with any other visa or has had a valid residence certificate in China.

II. Legal Bases

1. Administrative License Law of the People’s Republic of China.

2. Article 41 under the Exit and Entry Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China: Foreigners who work in China shall obtain work permits and work-type residence permits in accordance with relevant regulations. No entities or individuals shall employ foreigners who have no work permits or work-type residence permits.

3. Article 7 under The Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Administration of the Entry and Exit of Foreigners: To apply for the R visa, the applicant shall meet the qualifications and requirements set by the competent authorities of the Chinese government for inviting persons of high talent or urgently needed specialists and the applicant shall, in accordance relevant provisions submit the relevant certification documents; To apply for the Z visa, the applicant shall, in accordance with relevant provisions, submit the work permit and other certification documents.

Article 16: To apply for a work-type residence permit, the applicant shall submit such certification documents as a work permit; in the case of a person of high talent who is needed or, a specialist who urgently needed, by the State, the applicant shall submit relevant certification documents in accordance with relevant provisions.

4. Letter of Opinions on the Integration of Work Permit for Foreigners by the Office for Administrative Examination and Approval System Reform under State Council (SGBH< 2015> No.95).

 

III. Requirements for Documents Provided

1. All paper versions of original documents and the translated versions must be electronically uploaded to the Service System for Foreigners Working in China.

2. Non-Chinese credentials shall be translated into Chinese and with the official seal of the employer (except for passports and international travel certificates.)

3. The applicant shall submit the originals of all the documents uploaded at the reception window for verification. In particular, Foreign High-end Talents (Category A) who are (I) selected in domestic programs for talents introduction, in accordance with the Classification Criteria for Foreigners Working in China (Trial), have no need to submit the paper documents for verification.

IV. Documents Required

1. Application Form for Foreigner’s Work Permit: Fill in the online application – print it out – send to the applicant for signing (send copy or fax if needed) – stamp it with the employer’s seal – upload it to the system.

2. Identification Documents as a Foreign Talent: Provide the required credentials according to the Classification Criteria for Foreigners Working in China (Trial). The application form must be signed by the applicant and stamped with the employer’s seal. Additional investigation may be conducted by the decision-making authority if necessary.

Applicants up to Foreign High-end Talents (Category A) or Foreign Professionals (Category B) through the score-based system shall provide the corresponding highest degree (academic qualification) certificate, vocational qualifications, Chinese proficiency certificate (HSK Chinese Proficiency Test Certificate), proof of annual salary in China, work qualification documents, the scoring system sheet, etc.

In salary-related applications, both the employer and the applicant shall submit a letter of commitment (including the monthly (/ yearly) salary for foreign nationals, monthly (/ yearly) tax amount in Shanghai, place of tax payment, (signed by the applicant and stamped with the official seal of the employer), the receiving or decision-making authority may require the employer to provide the corresponding tax payment certificate in handling the next business.

3. Work Qualification Certificate: The previous employer of the applicant shall issue a work experience certificate related to his/ her current position, covering the information about the position, work duration, and the projects that have been completed. The document needs to be stamped with the official seal of the previous employer or signed by the person in charge with an effective contact number or an email address. Applicants up to the score- based system for foreign talents shall issue a work experience certificate that meets the year limit of scores. Applicants who are Foreign High-end Talents (Category A) according to the Classification Criteria for Foreigners Working in China (Trial): (I) applicants who have been selected in domestic programs for talents introduction; (II) candidates who conform to the internationally recognized identification standard for professional achievement, the commitment system shall be adopted; others who meet up to Foreign High-end Talents (Category A) still need to provide a certificate of work qualification. If the applicants have any award in the relevant professional fields, please also provide credentials of the awards.

4. The highest degree (academic qualification) certificate and certification documents: If the highest degree (qualification) is issued by a foreign university, it shall be certified by a Chinese embassy or consulate in the related country, that country’s embassy or consulate in China, or a Chinese academic certification institution; if the highest degree (qualification) is issued in Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan, it shall be certified by a Chinese academic certification institution or notarized by the local notary office; if the highest degree (qualification) is issued in mainland China, only the original degree (qualification) certificate shall be provided. For Foreign High-end Talents (Category A) up to the Classification Criteria for Foreigners Working in China (Trial) who are (I) selected in domestic programs for talents introduction; (II) conform to the internationally recognized identification criteria for professional achievement; (III) fulfill the market- oriented demand for encouraged jobs; (IV) are innovative entrepreneurial talents, the commitment system shall be adopted.

5. Relevant approval documents and professional qualification certificates: For pre-approval by the industry competent authority by law or qualified access professional qualifications, an approval document issued by the industry competent authority or a professional qualification certificate shall be submitted; for a professional qualification issued overseas, it shall be certified by a Chinese embassy or consulate in the related country, that country’s embassy or consulate in China, or a Chinese academic certification institution; for a professional qualification issued in Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan, it shall be notarized by the local notary office.

6. Certificate of no criminal record and certification documents: For Foreign High-end Talents (Category A) , the commitment system shall be adopted.

For Foreign Professionals (Category B), a certificate of no criminal record shall be issued by the police, the security department, or the court of the nationality state or the place of habitual residence of the applicant and certified by a Chinese embassy or consulate in the related country, or that country’s embassy or consulate in China (the place of habitual residence refers to the place (not on the territory of China) where the applicant lives for at least one consecutive year after the applicant left his/ her native country); a certificate of no criminal record issued in Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan shall be notarized by the local notary public office. A certificate of no criminal record issued within six months is valid.

 

Personal declarations of no criminal record, for declaration only, are not accepted. A certificate of no criminal record issued by a foreign embassy or consulate in China which is non-declaration of no criminal record can be accepted without further certification. In principle, with a valid work-type residence permit, the foreigner may be exempted from providing a of no criminal record; if the foreigner changes his/ her employer, the Bureau of Exit and Entry Administration of the Ministry of Public Security has cancelled his/ her work-type residence permit and changed into a stay permit, or if the foreigner has not left China and his/ her work- type residence permit has been cancelled within one month, he/ she may also be exempted from providing a certificate of no criminal record.

7. Certificate of physical examination: A certificate of verification on physical examination record for foreigners or a certificate of health examination issued within six months by China’s inspection and quarantine authority shall be provided. In applying for the Work Permit for Foreigners in China, foreigners with a valid work-type residence permit may be exempted from providing a certificate of physical examination (but those with a residence permit in China for less than 90 days still need to provide).

8. Employment contract or employment certificate: The submitted contract shall be in Chinese, signed by the applicant and stamped by the employer. No handwritten alteration is allowed. The employment contract or employment certificate (including the dispatch letter of a multinational corporation) shall contain such essential information as work place, job responsibilities, payment, work duration in China, and position, and page of seal (signature). The employment certificate shall apply to performers of intergovernmental or international agreements, chief representatives and representatives of various representative offices in China, and overseas contract service providers. The dispatch letter shall apply to senior executives such as managers and technical professionals dispatched from their overseas headquarters or regional headquarters of multinational corporations to subsidiaries or branches in China, and shall be issued by the headquarters or regional headquarters of multinational corporations. In case any essential content is missing in the employment certificate (including the dispatch letter), a separate certificate shall be provided. In case the dispatch of senior executives and technical professionals dispatched from their headquarters of multinational corporations in China to subsidiaries or branches in China, the dispatch letter and the employment contract signed with the regional headquarters of multinational corporations in China shall be provided.

9. Passport or international travel certificate: Information page of the passport or of the international travel certificate. The valid period of the passport shall be no less than six months.

10. Applicant’s valid visa or residence permit: Visa page, latest entry signature page, or the information page of the residence permit of the passport (or of the international travel certificate).

11. Applicant’s bareheaded and full-face photo taken no more than six months ago: The full-faced bareheaded electronic photo shall be frameless with a white background carrying the facial features clearly shown, and clean without any spots, flaws or ink defects. Hats or other head coverings are only allowed if worn for religious reasons without obscuring any facial features.

12. Cancellation letter or leaving certificate: If the applicant changes his / her employer or position, the existing work permit shall be cancelled within the valid period of the Work Permit for Foreigners. In applying for the Work Permit for Foreigners, the foreigner who normally terminates the contract and changes his / her employer in China within one year, the leaving certificate of the previous employer shall be submitted.

13. Other documents: Documents provided as required by the reception authority or the decision- making authority.

V. Notes

1. The reception authority or the decision- making authority may request the employer to submit corrected version if there is any discrepancy between the Chinese translation and the original.

2. For provisions on consular legalization of documents, please refer to the website of China Consular Affairs (at http://cs.mfa.gov.cn/) or contact the Embassy / Consulate of China.

3. Policy Release

For policies, guides, and some sample forms and commitments for foreigner’s work permit in China, please refer to the website of Shanghai Municipal Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs at http://shafea.sh.gov.cn and the website of Shanghai R&D Public Service Platform at http://www.sgst.cn 

4. The applicant who has applied for the Work Permit for Foreigners in the Service System for Foreigners Working in China and has uploaded his / her highest degree (academic qualification) certificate and work qualification certificate may not submit his / her highest degree (academic qualification) in reapplication. If the applied position is the same as the one approved on the previous work permit, the certificate of work qualification may not be submitted; if not, the certificate of work qualification shall be submitted.

5. Internal staff transfer within the headquarters of multinational companies in China and within the enterprise groups refers to the transfer of senior executives such as managers and technical professionals employed by the headquarters of multinational companies in China or the enterprise groups to the regional headquarters and its wholly – owned or partially-owned branches or subsidiaries (including the transfer between parent company and branches or subsidiaries, and that between branches or subsidiaries) in the same positions (including new title or promotion from a professional position to an administrative position). The foreigner shall apply for a new work permit within 30 days from the date of cancellation of the existing work permit, and shall meet the basic conditions for application for working in China; if the position is not changed, the relevant certificate of work qualification may not be submitted.

6. Those not qualified for handling the Work Permit for Foreigners but have entered China shall handle it as a new applicant according to the Notification Letter of Foreigner’s Work Permit in China.

7. A foreign language teacher shall engage in his / her native language teaching of his / her native country, and obtain the university bachelor or above degree with 2 years of working experience in language education. He / She who (1) has a bachelor degree or above in Education, Language or Teaching, or (2) has obtained teacher’s qualification certificate in his / her country, or (3) has obtained any certificates of qualified international language teaching such as TEFL certificate, may be exempted submitting a certificate of working experience. 

8. In addition to submitting all the above documents overseas contract providers who apply for work permit in China shall provide a service contract obtained in China (which shall include both parties of the contract, the place of work, the contract service content, the position and job responsibilities of the applicant, work duration in China, and the signature page).

9. If the employer is not changed but the position is changed, the highest academic qualification certificate may not be provided.

10. To change the employer in China, the foreigner with a Foreigner’s Employment Permit and Foreigner’s Expert Certificate shall meet the basic requirements for working in China, provide the highest degree certificate or relevant approval document and the certification commitment letter of occupational qualification certificate, as well as provide the original certificate documents at the reception window for verification along with the copies within three months upon acquisition of the work permit. If the employer is not changed but the position is changed, the highest degree (academic qualification) certificate may not be provided.

11. The employer shall receive the Work Permit for Foreigners at the reception window with the reception order within ten days upon approval online.

12. Those professional service agencies authorized with the procedure of application extension, changing, cancellation or re-submission shall submit the Letter of Authorization of the employer, in which the authorized entity, the authorized person and his/ her ID number and telephone number, and the authorized matters shall be clearly specified. That is, the professional service agency, the authorized person and the corresponding authorized matters shall be clearly specified.

 

VI. Examination & Approval Period

1. Preliminary review period:

Five working days (Foreign High-end Talents (Category A) who (I) have been selected in domestic programs for talents introduction in accordance with the Classification Criteria for Foreigners Working in China (Trial): after the complete and qualified documents are submitted, including preliminary review and reception; Foreign Professionals (Category B) and those who conform to other criteria for foreign high-end talents: after the complete and qualified documents are submitted)

2. Review period:

Foreign High-end Talents (Category A): Five working days (Foreign High -end (Category A) who (I) have been selected in domestic programs for talents introduction in accordance with the Classification Criteria for Foreigners Working in China (Trial): after the complete and qualified documents are submitted; and those who conform to other criteria for foreign high-end talents: after the original paper documents are confirmed at the reception window).

Foreign Professionals (Category B): Ten working days (after the original paper documents are confirmed at the reception window).

In case of special circumstances requiring an extension of time limit, the reception authority or the decision-making authority shall handle the matter as appropriate.

VII. Reception way & time

1. Reception at the window

Reception Department: Shanghai R&D Public Service Platform (Shanghai Scientific and Technological Talents Development Center/Shanghai Service Center for Foreigners Working in China).

Address: 1F 77 Meiyuan Road Jing’an District, 3F 1500 Minsheng Road Pudong New Area

For other sites, please refer to the list of names and addresses of the handling authorities (at the website of Shanghai Municipal Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs http://shafea.sh.gov.cn and the website of Shanghai R&D Public Service Platform http://sgst.cn)

2. Online reception

Please directly access to the Service System for Foreigners Working in China https://fwp.safea.gov.cn; or access to it via government affairs service platform of the Ministry of Science and Technology at https://fuwu.most.gov.cn

Reception time

Window reception time:

Monday – Thursday: 9:00 – 11:30, 13:00 – 17:00
Friday: 9:00 – 11:30, 13:30 – 15:00

Number taking time:

Monday – Thursday: 8:45 – 11:15, 13:15 – 16:45
Friday: 8:45 – 11:15, 13:15, 14:45

*This Instruction is made and executed in both Chinese and English. In case of any discrepancy between the two languages, Chinese version shall prevail.
Source: Guide to Foreign Talents (Category A and Category B) for Application for the Work Permit for Foreigners in China (working in China above 90 (excluding) days) (For foreigners who apply for the Work Permit for Foreigners due to the change of employer/position), No. 3
Shanghai Public Security Bureau Exit-Entry Management Bureau (1500 Minsheng Rd, Pudong, Shanghai, China)

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