China Clarifies Visa and Residence Permit Formalities for Foreign High-End Talent
Aug. 29 – China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Public Security, and three other departments jointly released the “Notice on Issues Concerning the Procedures on Handling Visa and Residence Permit Formalities for Foreign High-End Talents (renshetinghan  No.341, hereinafter referred to as the ‘Notice’)” on August 21, which clarifies the visa and residence permit procedures for foreign high-end talents. Detailed information can be found below.
According to the Notice, the introduction plans of returned overseas students shall be submitted to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security for review, while the introduction plans of high-end foreign experts shall be submitted to the General Office of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs for review.
Documents to be submitted for review include the following:
- Application letter and schedule of the talent introduction plan;
- Implementing documents and supporting policies for the talent introduction plan; and
- Implementation stage of the talent introduction plan.
Where the talent introduction plans have been approved by the relevant authorities, the visa and residence permit formalities for foreign talents shall be handled according to the “Circular on Issues of Facilitating Visas and Residence Permits for Highly-Qualified Foreigners’ Entry into China (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Circular’).”
According to the Circular, all high-end foreign talents (as well as their foreign spouses and foreign children under 18 years old) who qualify under the following talent introduction plans are qualified for easier visa and residence permit formalities:
- The central government’s plan for the introduction of overseas high-end talents (Thousand Talents Plan);
- Introduction plans of overseas high-end talents carried out by various ministries, directly subordinated institutions of the central government, or central enterprises, which have been reported to the relevant authorities for record and approval;
- Introduction plans of overseas high-end talents carried out by various provinces, autonomous regions, centrally-administered municipalities, or sub-provincial cities, which have been reported to the relevant authorities for record and approval; and
- Highly-influential introduction plans of high-end talents carried out by cities below the provincial level, which have been reviewed by the relevant authorities.
Moreover, foreign spouses and foreign children under 18 years old of returning high-end Chinese talents can also enjoy easier visa and residence permit formalities.
Easier Visa and Resident Permit Formalities
Visa and resident permit formalities offered to qualified high-end foreign talents include the following:
- High-end foreigners who need multiple temporary entries are eligible to apply for five-year long-term multiple entry visas that allow entry into China unlimited times on the condition that each stay is less than 180 days.
- High-end foreigners who need to work or stay longer in China are eligible to apply for a work visa or a residence permit for foreigners, which would be effective for two to five years.
- High-end foreigners under the existing exit and entry laws and regulations can be granted permanent residence.
- Visiting residential expert certificates and foreign expert certificates will be granted to qualified applicants.
With regard to the high-end talents introduced under the above-mentioned first and second types of introduction plans, the visa and residence permit formalities shall be handled according to the following procedures:
- For returned overseas students, the relevant authorities shall complete the Registration Form for High-End Returned Overseas Students and the Name List of High-End Returned Overseas Students, and submit these forms together with the relevant supporting documents to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.
- For high-end foreign experts, the relevant authorities shall complete the Registration Form for High-End Foreign Experts and the Name List of High-End Foreign Experts, and submit these forms together with the relevant supporting documents to the Office of the State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs.
Qualified applicants will be issued a multiple-entry visa, work visa or a foreign resident permit which lasts for two to five years.
With regard to the high-end talents introduced under the above-mentioned third and fourth types of introduction plans, their employers shall complete the registration form and the name list, and submit these forms together with relevant supporting documents to the human resources and social security departments or the administration authorities of foreign expert affairs of the provincial people’s governments.
The qualified applicants will be issued a multiple-entry visa, work visa or a foreign resident permit which lasts for two to five years.
Moreover, for high-end talents who meet the requirements of relevant key talent introduction plans and are willing to apply for foreign expert permanent residence permits or foreign expert certificates, their applications shall be handled in an expedited way.
Dezan Shira & Associates is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in emerging Asia.
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