Shenzhen’S national program to issue work permits for foreigners has been in full swing since May 1, replacing two types of work permits, one for “foreign employees” and another for “foreign experts.”
The integration of the two different work permits into one was designed to reduce repetitive approval procedures, avoid administrative loopholes, improve efficiency, and attract high-end professionals to work and start up businesses in China.
The work permits that were issued before and are within the expiry dates are still valid.
Under the new permit system, applicants can download the forms online at https://fwp.safea.gov.cn for completion and submission, which creates a lifelong individual code storing personal information, such as work experience, service and credit.
The new work permit card is equipped with a contactless chip using RFID technology, which displays the foreigner’s name, photo, visa number, workplace, and the duration and expiry date of their permitted stay.
Holders of a valid foreign expert and foreign employee work permit whose validity is above six months can apply online for the new version starting Oct. 1.
According to Shenzhen Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, the new version is based on a credit-based talent evaluation system that classifies foreign workers as either top talent (Type A employees), professional talent (Type B) or unskilled worker (Type C).
Type A employees are those who work as senior managers at companies, scientists, and leading figures in the science and technology industry. Type B workers are professionals who hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree or higher and have two years of work experience, and Type C are foreign workers who have seasonal or temporary jobs and work in the service industry.
The program is meant to reform foreign talent management to attract top talent while limiting those who fall under the B and C categories, who are less needed.