A new work permit system for foreigners in China will be fully launched around the country on April 1.
The current permit system for non-Chinese employees in China, which allows for normal work permits and ones for foreign experts, will be streamlined into one system under reforms initiated by the State Council and implemented by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA).
Zhang Jianguo, administrator of SAFEA, said at the launching ceremony of the new system on March 30 that integration of the two different work permits was designed to remove impediments such as inconsistent administration and policies and inefficient communication related to different and often complicated issues related to foreigners’ working in China, including their social status. The new system is anticipated to reduce repetitious checks and approvals, avoid administrative loopholes and improve efficiency by building a more active and open personnel introduction system.
Categorized into A, B and C groups, the work permits will identify the status of the holders, respectively high-end personnel, professionals, and temporary and seasonal workers in service or non-technical sectors in response to market demand.
Applicants will download online forms for completion and submission, triggering a lifetime individual code for tracking of personal information such as work experience, services and credits. All the applications are expected to be finished through one service window within five working days, half the time of the previous system.
Trials of the integrated mechanism were launched in Beijing, Hebei, Tianjin, Anhui, Shandong, Guangdong, Sichuan and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region on November 1, 2016. Up to March 28, the trial cities and provinces had processed 20,188 applications and issued 9,638 work permits to foreigners in China. The number of enterprises registered for the service has reached 21,866.