Qianhai Rolls out Recognition Policies for Foreign Talent

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Aug. 28 – The Administration Bureau for Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industries Cooperation Zone (hereinafter referred to as ‘Qianhai Administration Bureau’) released the “Implementing Rules for Regulations on Identifying Overseas High-End Talent and Professionals in Short Supply in Qianhai (shenqianhai [2013] No.115, hereinafter referred to as the ‘Rules’)” on August 13, which put forward the standards for an individual to be accredited as an “overseas high-end talent or professional in short supply in Qianhai.” Detailed information can be found below.

For the purpose of the Rules, qualified individuals mentioned in the article refer to the following:

  • A person with foreign nationality;
  • A resident in Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan;
  • An overseas Chinese who has obtained the right of long-term residence overseas; or
  • A returned overseas student.

According to the Rules, an individual applying for recognition as an overseas high-end talent or professional in short supply in Qianhai shall have worked continuously for his or her employer for no less than one year, and shall work for at least six months in Qianhai. Besides, the individual shall satisfy the following requirements:

  • The company or institution established by the individual or where the individual works should belong to the financial, modern logistics, information service, technology service or other specialized service sectors;
  • The individual has started a business in Qianhai or works in a company or institution that is registered in Qianhai; and
  • The individual pays individual income tax in Qianhai according to relevant laws.

In addition, the individual shall fall under one of the following categories:

  • High-end foreign talent recognized by the state, provincial-level governments or Shenzhen government
  • Management and technical personnel of the below entities:
    1. Headquarter enterprises that are registered in Qianhai and have obtained recognition according to the “Interim Measures on Encouraging the Development of Headquarter Enterprise in Shenzhen”
    2. Fortune 500 companies and their branches
  • Management or technical personnel at the middle-level or above in other enterprises registered in Qianhai
  • Foreign talents who have obtained internationally-recognized professional certificates or foreign talents who can develop inventions and patents that are urgently needed in China

For foreign talents who are urgently needed in Qianhai but do not satisfy the above-mentioned requirements, their employers can apply for recognition with the relevant authorities as long as such foreign talents can prove their relevant qualifications.

Qualified foreign talents can apply for recognition as overseas high-end talents or professionals in short supply in Qianhai of the preceding year with the Qianhai Administration Bureau from January 1 to January 31 of every year and must submit the following materials:

  • Application letter issued by the employer, along with the summary sheet of the overseas high-end talents and professionals in short supply hired by the employer;
  • Copy of the applicant’s passport, salary sheet, labor contract, deduction sheet of individual income tax, and copy of the individual income tax payment certificate;
  • Review sheet of the individual income tax subsidy; and
  • Other documents that can help to identify and determine the following issues relating to the applicant:
    • Identity
    • Qualification
    • Income
    • Taxable income
    • Tax payable
    • The amount of tax paid

The accredited high-end foreign talents and professionals in Qianhai can pay individual income tax capped at 15 percent for their wages and salaries from January 1, 2013. Where the individual income tax on wages and salaries for such professionals exceeds 15 percent of the taxable income, the Shenzhen government will subsidize the exceeding portion.

The Rules came into effect on August 16, 2013, and will be implemented for two years on a trial basis.

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