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December 3, 2019

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New system cuts red tape for foreign experts

Top foreign talent who work in Shanghai are able to apply for a work permit and a residence permit at the same time, as of yesterday.

Previously they had to apply for a work permit from the Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs and then apply for a residence permit at the Exit-Entry Administration Bureau with their approved work permit.

Whereas this process took at least 17 work days previously, the new procedure takes at most seven work days, according to exit-entry administrators.

The new service applies to only Category-A foreign talent, or “high-end foreign talent,” which include those working in science and technology, international entrepreneurs and others who are considered to be urgently needed in China.

The new “single window for foreigners’ work and residence permits” is on the third floor of Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration Bureau at 1500 Minsheng Road.

Jason Evans, a US scholar who has been hired to work for the Tsung-Dao Lee Institute at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, was the first applicant at the window yesterday.

Li Yahui, a director at the International Affairs Division of the university, said the new window is great news.

“Previously it took us at least half a month to get the two permits for an expert, and now we expect to get both in only five to seven days,” she said.

“Considering that the foreign experts usually enter China with a month-long Z visa, the reduction of time at applying for both permits could ensure that they don’t have to get a visa extension or even have to leave the Chinese mainland after the visa expires,” she added. “Also, they can start to work earlier this way.”

Huang Hong, vice director of the Shanghai Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, said similar windows will gradually be introduced to all Shanghai districts. The administration has 20 offices around Shanghai.

Wan Yi, vice director of the foreigners’ exit-entry document administration division at the Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration Bureau, said the two administrations have streamlined procedures and share information more efficiently.

The two permits will be issued at the same time and sent to successful applications via express mail.


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