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on Thursday, 29 September 2016
in Business in China

Hiring foreigners in Shanghai has become easier

From November 1, foreigners will only have to apply for a unified work permit as the two types of work permits for ordinary foreign employees and foreign experts will be streamlined into one.  The pilot scheme of unified work permit for expatriates is launched in nine provinces and cities, including Shanghai. The trial ends next April.

The application process will also be simplified, which means some materials will no longer be needed, such as a personal resume.

 In order to attract more talented foreigners to work in Shanghai, the government eliminates the requirement of at least two years of work experience for foreigners to apply for work permit. Foreign students, who graduate from Shanghai universities with a master's degree or above and seek a job in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone or the Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone, can apply for work permit directly in Shanghai even without any work experience. This is delightful news for foreign students who accumulated their networks, skills and knowledge in Shanghai can be utilized directly after the graduation.

Authorities said they are also considering expanding the policy to foreign graduates of universities outside of Shanghai. Shanghai is not only trying to keep outstanding international talent at local universities, but also attract graduates from top universities abroad.

Another new policy allows regional headquarters of transnational companies, investment companies and foreign-funded research and development centers, which are registered in the two trade zones, to employ graduates from leading foreign universities, with or without work experience.

Shanghai has been reforming its talent recruitment policies in recent years. Last year, it introduced 20 regulations, including some to help foreign workers to apply and renew required certificates conveniently. This has benefited many people since the changes took effect last year.

The requirement for permanent residence applicants has been lowered down, which allows expats who have worked in the city for four consecutive years and have lived in China for at least 6 months a year to apply for the residence permit providing their salaries met required levels.

Shanghai also canceled the 60-year-old age limit to apply or get work and residence permits for high-level foreign professionals last year. If the applicants are recognized as “foreign talent” by the authorities, they could be issued permits lasting five years. And they can also apply for a permanent residence permit after working for three years if their employers back their case.

Most expats used to have to renew their residence permits once a year, but from last year, they can have their permits renewed for 5 years after two previous renewals. 

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