Wednesday, 28 December, 2016

China’s Visa Revolution: Which Category Do You Fall Under?

In order to standardise the management of China Work Permits and attract more qualified talent, a new “work permit” policy was implemented in Shanghai in November 2016 and will be launched nationwide from April 2017. The new policy replaces the “Alien Employment Permit” and the “Foreign Experts Certificate” with a simpler version called the “Foreigner’s Work Permit” (FWP).  The new permit is similar to the ID card for expats in China, and the Chinese ID cards for local Chinese citizens, which makes day-to-day activities more convenient.   

FWP Categories

In the new policy, the working permit is divided into three categories: Class A, Class B, and Class C. The Chinese government aim to encourage expert professionals such as those in Class A, while limiting the number of expats in Class B and Class C. 

Class A (Highly skilled individual)

This category is the most favoured by the Chinese government, and it is strongly recommended that expats apply if they are in this category. Applicants are eligible for this category as long as they fit one of the criteria below:

  • Selected by National Talent Plan
  • International acknowledged professional contribution standards
  • Position applied for are deemed of high priority by the Chinese Government
  • Innovative and entrepreneurial talent
  • Personal comprehensive qualified point is above 85

Class B (Skilled individual)

Applicants can only apply under this category when there are actual positions available in companies in China. Applicants must fit one of the criteria below:

  • A holder of at least a Bachelor degree or above, with 2 years full time related work experience
  • A holder of a Masters from a university in China or any other university in the world top 100
  • Teachers of any foreign languages are required to have a Bachelor or higher degree, with two years of full time teaching experience as a native language
  • Personal comprehensive qualified point is between 60 to 85

Class C (Low skill level individual)

This category has a limited quota. Applicants must fit one of the following criteria:

  • Foreigners with approval from government agreements
  • An internship in accordance with the agreement between governments
  • Foreign maids who are employed by Class A employees
  • Certain seasonable jobs, i.e. ocean-fishing industry required  from governments
  • Personal comprehensive quality point below 60

Points Criteria

Apart from the above, applicants are also judged  by calculating their points based on the following points criteria table. This includes factors such as annual salary, education level, related working years, and Chinese language level. 

Factors

Tiers

Points

Annual salary (RMB)

>= 450,0000

20

350,000 - 450,000

17

250,000 - 350,000

14

150,000 - 250,000

11

70,000 - 150,000

8

50,000 - 70,000

5

< 50,000

0

 

 

 

Education level

PHD or equivalent

20

Master or equivalent

15

Bachelor or equivalent

10

 

 

 

Related working years

Over 2 years: 1 point for every additional year

15 Maximum

2 years

5

Less than 2 years

0

 

 

 

Annual working time (months)

Above 9 months

15

From 6 to 9 months

10

From 3 to 6 months

5

Less than 3 months

0

 

 

 

Chinese language level

Chinese language major or equivalent

10

HSK 5 level

10

HSK 4 level

8

HSK 3 level

6

HSK 2 level

4

HSK 1 level

2

 

 

 

Location of role

Western China

10

South East China

10

Middle or poverty area in China

10

 

 

 

Age

18-25

10

26-45

15

46-55

10

56-60

5

>60

0

 

 

 

Graduation

From world top 100 universities

5

Work in world top 500 companies

5

 

 

 

Prioritisation from the  Provincial Government

Shortage of workers with certain skill set

0-10

.

How to apply 

Before applying for a FWP, applicants have to apply online for an “Approval of Foreign Work Permit” through the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs website. This takes around 20 working days. Besides the application form, applicants are also required to provide the following documents:

  • Statement of work experience
  • Highest degree certified by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate
  • Applicant’s criminal record from police 
  • Health certificate
  • Employment contract
  • Other related documents if applicant is applying in Class A

Please note that this new policy has no influence on the expats who are already working in China with a sufficient working visa. However, they will need to apply to the new system when they extend their visas in the future. 

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