China - New Work Permit System to Commence Early in Shanghai

The Shanghai Foreign Expert Bureau has announced that it will move to the new unified work permit system on March 27 2017, earlier than the planned nationwide start date of April 1st.

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Quick Summary

What happened – The Shanghai Foreign Expert Bureau has announced that it will move to the new unified work permit system on March 27 2017, earlier than the planned nationwide start date of April 1st. Employers who wish to sponsor foreign national workers in China after these dates must be registered to use the new online application system. Those who have not yet registered should do so as soon as possible explains Pearl Law Group

Details

A new integrated work authorization policy was launched on October 1 2016 with a trial in nine pilot provinces/cities (Anhui, Beijing, Guangdong, Heibei, Ningxia, Shandong, Sichuan, Shanghai and Tianjin). It consolidates the previous employment permit issued by the Labour Bureau, and the Foreign Expert Certificate issued by the Foreign Expert Bureau, into a single, unified work permit.Under the integrated system, foreign nationals working in China are categorized into one of three groups (A, B and C) that identify the holder as high-end personnel, professional personnel, or temporary and seasonal personnel in the service or non-technical sectors. Criteria such as salary, educational background, length of time services are provided, Chinese language proficiency, age and work experience are evaluated in determining the applicable group. The total "scores" will be added, with a score of below 60 for group C, 60 and over for group B and 85 and over for group A.During the trial period, the new procedure resulted in increased processing times due to extra steps and system implementation. The requirement to submit legalised educational diplomas and police clearance certificates has slowed the process further. However, an invitation letter from the Chinese authorities is no longer required in support of a consular Z Visa application (only an invitation letter from the host company in China), a change which should ease the visa application process.
Related news: Shanghai – major changes in work permit process

Action Items

Employers sponsoring foreign national workers in China, or sending employees on assignment to China, should expect significant delays to work authorization procedures in the coming months. Employers who have not yet registered with the new online system should do so as soon as possible.For related news and features, visit our Immigration section.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online Directory  Get access to our free Global Mobility Toolkit

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