Work permit in China: important changes
From our office IC&Partners Asia
State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs announced an important new regulation about visas for foreign workers in China, already implemented, on a trial basis, from October in some areas of China (Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanghai, Anhui, Shandong, Guangdong, Sichuan, Ningxia), but that will be extended to the entire national territory, starting from April 2017.
This reform provides for the integration of the two alternatives, provided by the previous legislation, for foreigners applying to work in China: on the one hand, the Alien Employment Permit issued by Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security for the majority of foreign workers; on the other hand, the Foreign Expert Certificate issued by State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs for top talent.
The new regulation provides, however, a single procedure for the approval of the work permit (faster and easier than in the past) and a single type of work permit for all foreign workers, who will be assigned an identification code and a personal work permit card, which will be used as an identity card in China (also to access some services).
Another important change is that the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, when assessing the requests for the new working permit, will assign a score to foreigners making the application, on the basis of their professional skills and experience.
Shortly, Chinese authorities will publish more details about this new system that provides for the classification of foreign workers into three categories according their professional profile: Category A for the top talent, the Category B concerns the professional talent, Category C reserved for unskilled workers or employees in the service industry.
It is likely that in the future the Chinese authorities will favor granting work permit for top talent and will introduce limitations on the number of visas issued for the other two categories of workers.