China Makes Changes to Permanent Residence Visa

Issuing time:2015-07-20 10:30Author:Kimberly WrightSource:chinabriefing

Foreigners with long-term work or business interests in Shanghai will be happy to know that applying for visas and residence permits just got a lot easier. As of July 1, the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau has significantly relaxed requirements for foreign workers to apply for permanent residency, which was previously only open to senior executives at tech firms or professors at academic institutions. Other changes include foreigners no longer having to leave the country to upgrade their visa status.

The new policies for visas and residence permits will most benefit foreign experts, high earners, and exchange student graduates. However, they will only apply to foreigners working in Shanghai. In China, major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing issue their own rules on how to apply for permanent residency, even if the permanent residence permit is valid across China.

Details of the new policies are outlined below:

High Earners Can Apply For Permanent Residence Permit

Foreigners who have worked in Shanghai for more than four consecutive years (residing within China for at least 6 months out of each year), have an annual salary of over 600,000 RMB, and pay at least 120,000 RMB in income taxes are now eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit.

Specialized Professionals Can Apply for R Visa and Permanent Residence Permit

A new ‘R’ (standing for ‘rencai’ 人才, or human talent) residence permit valid for 5 years is now available for foreign employees identified as professionals with special skills by the human resources department. Foreign professionals who sign a contract to work at one of the 3,500 firms ratified by the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission (and that are listed on their official website) are also eligible to apply for the R residence permit. After working for 3 years with the company that sponsored their ‘R’ permit, foreign professionals are eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit, the processing time now taking only 90 days.

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