What's the qualification and categories of Chinese Work Permit?

2022-06-09 16:42
Few years ago, China has implemented a more active, open and effective foreign talent policy. It has simplified the application process, allowing for the majority to be done online. For those employers intending to hire foreigners in China, it is important to comply with the local laws and regulations regarding expatriates. For instance, employers must be legally established and must have the necessary certifications from the appropriate industry administration.

Foreigners applying for a work visa in China should also match the basic requirements. The applicant must:
  •Be over 18 and in good health condition;
  •Have the professional skills and corresponding work experience to fill the position that’s being offered;
  •Have no criminal record;
  •Have a specific employer;
  •Hold a valid passport and/or any other required international travel certificates.

In the last few years, the Chinese government has simplified the process for applying for a work permit, by putting everything under the umbrella of one agency, SAFEA (The State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs). SAFEA is also the government agency responsible for work visas, both Z and R visa classifications. Z visas are the normal visas for foreign employees, while R visas are reserved for top-level executives and persons that the Chinese government deems extremely valuable to specific industries that China is lacking in.

Once the required documents have been submitted through SAFEA’s system, a unique method for assessing the qualifications of foreigners and processing work permit applications is used.

Because the Chinese government wishes to attract top talent and limit the less-skilled types of foreign employees, it has created a three-tiered, points-based system, categorizing foreign employees as follows:
  •Class A – Elite foreign talent;
  •Class B – Professional foreign talent;
  •Class C – Miscellaneous foreigners.
China does not restrict the number of work visas offered to foreigners in Class A. However, there are restrictions on the number of class B and class C visas issued.

How employees are classified
There are two methods for employees to be classified:
  1.Be directly qualified by fulfilling various requirements;
  2.Reaching enough points on a points table.

Direct Qualification:
A – Grade Foreign Workers
A foreign employee is considered for classification A if any of the following conditions are met:
  •They are a recipient of an international award;
  •Selected by China’s talent important plan;
  •Demonstrated entrepreneurial talents;
  •Will take a government-encouraged scarce job; or
  •Selected under the Youth Talent project.
Classification A employees comprise around 16 percent of foreign workers in China. Because they are more desirable to the Chinese government, they enjoy benefits not given to the rest of the classifications. Their application will get fast tracked to have a quicker approval, and they also can make use of paperless verification during the application process. In addition, they are not subject to the usual requirements of age, education degree, or work experience. Generally, Classification A employees can enjoy a more convenient process, before, during, and after the application process.

B – Grade Foreigners Workers
Foreigners will receive a B classification if they meet any of the following conditions:
  •Hold a bachelor’s degree and have at least two years of work experience;
  •Has a master’s degree from a university in mainland China with graduation that is under a year;
  •Holds a master’s degree from a top 100 institution worldwide as ranked by Jiao Tong University;
  •For foreign language teachers, has a bachelor’s degree or higher, no less than two years’ experience of teaching the language, and the language being instructed is the applicant’s native language.
Employees in this classification make up around 61 percent of expats in China. 
C – Grade Foreign Workers
Finally, class C employees are considered so if:
  •They are domestic helpers hired by classification A employees (but not all areas are approving this type of visas. so be sure to check with the local SAFEA;
  •They enter China for an internship under a government agreement;
  •They are in China for seasonal employment.
C-Employees in this section make up around 22 percent of expats. This is the category company representatives placed abroad for a few months usually fall in, as well as those entering China under Chinese government young talent initiatives. They are subject to the needs of the labor market, and permits issued under this classification are usually valid for shorter periods of time. It also takes longer for them to get processed.

In addition, if you do not meet any of the classification, but the job that you will be hired to do is deemed essential to the local economy, the SAFEA can also approves for a work permit under Classification. For example: a company owner who has acquired enough experience to be an entraprenuer but does not have a degree, with compelling supporting documents, the company owner should have a fair chance at getting an approval of a work visa.

Points-Based Qualification
Another way for foreign employees to be classified is by using the table provided. Each of the classes has a corresponding number of points: above 85 points for Class A, 60 to 85 points for Class B, and below 60 points for class C.
SAFEA oversees scoring foreign employee candidates based on ten factors.

As you can tell, there’s a lot that goes into the process of obtaining a Work Visa for your foreign employees in China. Although the regulations are implemented nation wide, the actual review process by SAFEA varies vastly different from region to region. Therefore, get your case evaluated before proceeding so that you can have a higher success rate. Ferrante & Partners, Ltd (“F&P”) is an officially recognized visa service provider by Foreign Expert Bureau, providing professional, customized visa solutions to foreigners who seek work permit opportunity. We provide customized strategy to help you from obtaining foreign authentications to acquring approvals of work permit bo obtaining residence. In addition to helping you with Work Visas, we are a one-stop shop service firm for all administrative employment solutions companies may require in China. We provide office space, individual personal income tax and corporate accounting advisory, and have a team of legal experts ready to deal with any issues that may arise navigating through the Chinese system.

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