CHINA: Relaxed Requirements for Residence Permits and Applications

From 1st July 2015, The Ministry of Public Security in Shanghai is implementing new improvements to the Work Residence Permit application processes. The upcoming changes include relaxing the requirements for Permanent Residence Permit applications, in support of retaining foreign talent in Shanghai. The changes include:

Permanent Residence Permit applications:

The new regulations make it easier to apply and more accessible to obtain Permanent Residence Permits. The new rules are as follows:

1.    Migrants who have been working in Shanghai for 4 years, and/or resided in China for at least 6 months every year during that period, can apply for a Permanent Residence Permit on recommendation by their employers. The applicant will need to also meet an annual income and personal income tax threshold, however at the present moment, the specific figures have not yet been released. 

2.    Foreign experts who are under 60 years old, who have a proven talent certificate or those who work as professionals in high-tech and innovative businesses or institutes can apply for a Work Residence Permit up to maximum of 5 years. After they have worked for 3 years, they can apply for a Permanent Residence Permit with recommendation from their employer.

Proposed plans to improve Work Residence Permit and related Residence Permit application processes:

The following changes are intended to make immigration processes more streamlined in Shanghai:

1.    Migrants who are considered to fall under the “high-level talent” category can come to China without a visa and then apply for a Talent Visa at the visa-issuing authority of the port they arrive in. Thereafter, they can proceed with the Residence Permit application. If a migrant enters China with a different visa type, an application can be made to convert it to a Talent Visa post entry.

2.    Foreign students who have graduated from Chinese colleges and intend to stay in Shanghai can apply for a two-year Residence Permit. This applies to trainees working in innovative technological fields. When they are hired locally on a full time basis, they must apply for a Work Residence Permit.

3.    Foreigners who are going to work in Shanghai for less than 1 year are allowed to apply for a working type of Residence Permit directly at the visa-issuing authority of the port, upon entry, under the Z-category. Foreigners may then convert it to a Work  Residence Permit.

4.    Migrants who are planning to invest into a start-up company in Shanghai and do not have sufficient time to apply for the Alien Employment License, may apply for a “Personal Affairs” visa type at the visa-issuing authority of the port they arrive in. They must produce documentary evidence such as a start-ups plan business and their income source. Thereafter, they can apply for the relevant Residence Permit.

5.    Foreigners who hold Permanent Residence Permits or Work Residence Permits can also apply for Residence Permits for their personal servants by providing their employment contracts and a written guarantee.

 Should you need any information or advice regarding Chinese immigration, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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