Guangzhou has announced new measures for handling foreigner’s work permit applications. We go over the major changes and streamlined requirements in this article.
On March 15, 2022, the Guangzhou Science and Technology Bureau printed and announced Several Measures on Further Streamlining the Handling of Permits for Foreigners Seeking to Work in China (hereinafter referred to as the “New Measures”), in a move to simplify and standardize the handling of foreigner’s work permits in Guangzhou and thus improve Guangzhou’s business environment and attract more talents to work in the Greater Bay Area (GBA).
Compared to the currently effective Guidelines for Applying for Work Permits for Foreigners in Guangzhou (2020), the New Measures proposed several new policies that aim to make it easier for foreigners to apply for a work permit in Guangzhou.
What are the changes?
Below, we outline the major updates in the table and make a comparison of the old and new provisions. This will help relevant stakeholders, including expatriates who plan to work in Guangzhou and companies that plan to hire foreign talents, to better understand the key changes and updated requirements.
Applying for a Foreigner’s Work Permit in Guangzhou: What Are the Changes?
|The work permit application process can be carried out online||All talents must have their application materials checked onsite, then pick up the work permit card upon notification.||Work permits for foreigners in China can be handled online without face-to-face examination and approval. Paper application materials are not required when applying.Upon approval, Category A talent can pick up the work permit card directly without submitting any paper materials; Category B and Category C talents need to submit required documents and pick up their work permit cards after the documents are verified.|
|Mutual recognition with other GBA cities of foreigners’ qualifications for applying for the work permit||Applicants who have already obtained their work permit in Guangzhou and can find the relevant records in the system do not need to submit the highest degree (academic) certificate when applying again. If the applied position is the same as that approved by the original work permit, the work qualification certificate issued by the original company may not be submitted.||Foreigners who have obtained work permits from other mainland cities within the GBA will no longer need to provide proof of work experiences (unless the department or occupation is different) and highest education degree certificate when applying for a work permit in Guangzhou.In principle, the work permit shall be directly handled according to the original permit category.|
|Foreigners in mainland China can apply for work permits without leaving China||Only foreigners who satisfy one of the 9 circumstances can apply for foreigners’ work permit directly without leaving China.||All foreigners holding valid visa in China, after being hired by an employer, can apply for a foreigners’ work permit directly without leaving China.|
|Restrictions on the age and working experience of foreign scientific and technological talents will be relaxed||Category A talents: Free from restrictions on age and work experiences.Category B talents: Should be under the age of 60 years old, unless they belong to necessary, innovative and entrepreneurial talents, professional technical talents, outstanding foreign graduates, or talents with points meeting the conditions for foreign professional talents in the points-based system. Personnel undertaking intergovernmental agreements or accords may also be entitled to more flexible restrictions on age and work experiences, etc. For the regular applicant, they should be under the age of 60.Category C Talents: Should be under the age of 60.||For foreign scientific and technological talents hired by the main undertaking units of national, provincial, and municipal science and technology projects or foreign scientific and technological talents in urgent need for the development of key industries in various districts, the age limit shall be relaxed to 65 years upon recommendation by the employers.For the urgently needed foreign young scientific and technological talents, they can be exempted from the two years’ work experience requirement.Those who meet the conditions will be granted a work permit that is valid for two years.|
|Foreign scientific and technological talents working in Guangzhou are allowed to work part-time||Part-time not allowed||Foreign scientific and technological talents who have obtained the foreigner’s work permit can work part-time in Guangzhou with the approval of the employing unit and after filing with the Municipal Science and Technology Bureau (Guangzhou Foreign Specialized Bureau).When filing, foreign scientific and technological talents should obtain the consent of the original employer and sign a written tripartite agreement with the original employer and the part-time employer to clarify their respective rights and obligations.|
|Further expand the scope of application of the Confirmation Letter for Foreign High-End Talents||None||For foreign scientific and technological talents who participate in national, provincial, and municipal science and technology projects and have a doctorate degree in key disciplines, such as science, engineering, agriculture, and medicine, they can apply for a foreign talent visa (R-visa) with a maximum validity of 10 years after being recognized.|
|Relaxation of age restrictions for foreign highly skilled talents||None||For foreign high-skilled talents who meet the city’s urgently needed talent catalog or foreign high-skilled talents urgently needed for the development of key industries in various districts, the age restriction should be appropriately relaxed to no older than 65 years old.Those who meet the conditions will be granted a work permit that is valid for more than 2 years.|
How to understand the changes?
The above-mentioned new measures will make it more convenient for some foreign talents to apply and retain the foreigner’s work permit in Guangzhou.
Nevertheless, this does not mean the whole process is plain enough for foreigners to manage by themselves.
Each policy has a specific scope and qualification requirements on the applicants, which could be confusing for both expatriates and their Chinese employers.
We thus advise relevant parties to seek professional assistance and evaluate the applicant’s qualifications carefully when helping foreigners apply for a work permit in Guangzhou.
This article was first published by China Briefing, which is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, India, and Russia. Readers may write firstname.lastname@example.org for more support.