Editor’s Note: China is overhauling its work permit system for foreigners starting in Shanghai. The new system places foreign workers in three categories: A, B and C. It may be much more difficult in the future for those without work experience or advanced certifications to obtain a work permit in China.
The new work permit system for foreigners in China has begun its pilot program in Shanghai. Work permits in Shanghai are now divided into three categories: A, B, and C. Residence permits and work permits have been integrated in the new work permit program. The State Bureau of Foreign Experts is responsible for implementing the new regulations.
The pilot program for work permits in Shanghai will run from October 216 to March 2017. On April 1, 2017 the new work permit system will be implemented nationwide.
What is “High End” Talent?
In the new system foreigners working in China are sorted into three categories. The work permit system is an effort by the Chinese government to “encourage high end talent, control the general population, and restrict the low end population.” The classifications are based on ability, performance and contribution. Market need is also taken into account as well as peer evaluation. Category A are expert foreign professionals and foreign investors, Category B are qualified workers like certified and experienced teachers, and Category C are ordinary workers.
China is in urgent need of experts in science and technology, international entrepreneurs and other specialized “high end” foreign talent. Foreign talent must meet a few conditions before receiving a Category A work permit. They must have internationally recognized professional achievements in their field. Their work must be in line with China’s market needs. In all, they must score about 85 points on China’s new scoring system for foreign talent.
Category A workers will be able to go through China’s “green channel.” There are no age and work experience restrictions. They will receive expedited processing for work permits. It will take half the time for them to receive a work permit.
The new work permit require that Category A applicants submit much less material than in the past. Foreign applicants do not need to submit a letter from their work unit and a resume. They must submit an application form, a work qualification certificate, a copy of their diploma certified by an Embassy or Consulate, a certificate proving they have no criminal record, a medical certificate, an employment contract or certificate in China and proof that they meet the conditions of Category A high end talent.
B and C Workers
Category B workers are foreign professionals whose skills are in accordance with China’s urgent economic and social needs. Applicants must hold a BA or higher and have two or more years of relevant work experience. Those who did not study at a top 100 university or college in their home country must hold an MA or above. Foreign teachers should teach in their native language, hold a BA or above from a university in their native language and have at least two years of experience working in language education. They must score at least 60 points on the new scoring system for foreign professionals.
Category C workers are seasonal workers, non-technical workers or service workers. There will be quotas for these kind of workers in order to prioritize the domestic labor market. They can include foreigners who have been employed in China because of an accordance between China and a foreign government, foreigners who have come to China for regular internships or internships under inter-governmental agreements, housekeepers who move to China with foreign high end talent, foreigners working in special, areas like ocean fishing, seasonal laborers in border areas, and more.
An Easier Process?
The new system will allow foreigners to only hold one work permit instead of a separate foreign expert certificate and alien employment card. The work permit will also be available to view online.
On October 8, 2016, the Shanghai bureau will begin training its employees on the new system and set up online registration. The pilot program will begin on November 1. Currently held work and residence permits and foreign expert certificates will still be valid under the new system.
In the new system it will take 20 working days for foreigners to receive a work permit once their application has been accepted. The 20 days will begin only once the application has been accepted- the time it takes for an individual application to be accepted may vary.
Source: The Paper
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Keywords: new work permit system Shanghai China new foreign work permits
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