Beijing Imposes Age and Educational Requirements for Work Visas

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BEIJING, Jun. 12 – The Chinese government has issued new, stricter guidelines for the application of work permits for foreign nationals.

Foreign nationals must now provide original copies of a university degree as a minimum educational requirement and be at least 26 years old – the age requirement driven by a minimum of two years work experience following university graduation. Although there may be some regional differences, the new regulations make it harder at present for graduates or interns having been placed or geared for a China career to now obtain permission to find employment in their chosen field.

“These regulations seem somewhat ill-thought out and deter genuine job-seekers from gaining experience in their given expertise,” said Chris Devonshire-Ellis, principal of Dezan Shira & Associates. “It discriminates against young foreign graduates who need to obtain China work experience and makes no allowances for internships, Chinese language capabilities or for new graduate intakes by larger companies. The state is progressively interfering with the freedom of choice to hire and it cuts businesses off from employing new, energetic and worthy recruits from an early and vital stage in their China career. This policy needs rethinking as expatriate employees make up less than 1 percent of workers in China and it is hard to see why this discrimination exists.”