More convenient immigration policies will be adopted nationwide starting Aug 1 that make it easier for foreign talent to come to China, the National Immigration Administration said on July 17.
The 12 new policies are aimed to attract foreign talent, outstanding youths and overseas Chinese to innovate, start businesses, study and work in China to help promote economic and social development.
The policies have been gradually implemented in some free trade zones in 16 provinces and municipalities, including Shanghai, Beijing and Fujian province, since 2015, said the Ministry of Public Security.
Their extension will allow a wider range of people across the country to apply for permanent residency, long-term visas and residence permits, said Chen Bin, head of the immigration authority’s department of foreigner administration.
The new policies add three types of people to those eligible for permanent residency.
The first category covers high-level foreign talent, including people who have made significant contributions and those in special demand.
The second applies to foreigners working in China. They need to have worked in the country for at least four consecutive years, and to have lived in the country for no less than six months a year. Their annual income should be at least six times the average for local urban employees, and their annual personal income tax should be no less than 20 percent of their salary.
The third category refers to overseas Chinese who have a doctoral degree or who have worked in national key development areas in China for at least four consecutive years and who have lived in China for at least six months a year.
The new policies also widen the scope of long-term visa and resident’s permits for foreigners working or studying in China.
Foreign talent and their working teams invited by key domestic universities, scientific research institutes and well-known enterprises engaged in key fields will be issued visas or resident’s permits valid for two to five years.
China will also provide convenient visa and resident’s permit services to outstanding foreign students who have graduated from key domestic universities or internationally renowned universities and want to start businesses or participate in innovation in China.
Immigration authorities have issued 133,000 visas and resident’s permits to foreign entrepreneurs, investors and technical specialists since 2015, according to the ministry.
“We will also explore ways to establish immigration service centers in areas where there are large concentrations of foreigners, and provide services including policy consultation, residence and travel consultation and legal assistance,” Chen said.