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Shanghai Has New Work Visa Laws - Calculate Your Points Here

By Nov 4, 2016 Community


By this time next year, people are going to be starting conversations with "how many points are you?" Remember, you heard it here first.

On April 1, 2017, China will launch a new visa point system that ranks foreigners in three categories: A, top level talent (85 points); B, professional talent (60-85 points); and C, unskilled workers (less than 60 points). But if you're working in Shanghai, you have the option to apply for a visa or get one renewed through that system right now.

How does this affect you? How many points will you get? What requirements have changed? Find out inside.


Here are the basic rules and different characteristics of the visa types on the new system.

Category A: Foreign Top Level Talent

If you qualify, the A visa is the easiest to get. There's less paperwork and it's easy to renew.

To qualify, have one of the following:

- You've been selected by the government's Recruitment Program of Global Experts.
- You're an industry leader in your field or a world renowned award winner (e.g., Nobel Prize winner).
- Employment in a high-level position in areas of technology, education, art, and others.
- You qualify as an "innovative entrepreneur" recognized by the government.
- You quality as an "outstanding young talent" recognized by the government.
- Visa score above 85 points.

Category B: Foreign Professionals

Getting a B visa is pretty similar to the current process. Your company needs to prove to the government that they need you to work for them instead of a local. It's not guaranteed and it's largely up to the discretion of the visa office.

To qualify, have one of the following:

- Bachelor Degree or above and 2 years working experience
- Attained a graduate degree in one of the world's top 100 universities or in China.
- Visa score between 60-85 points

Category C: Unskilled Workers

There appears to be a limit to the number of C visas that can be given out. They are hard to get and they are for shorter periods, usually not lasting longer than a few months.

To qualify, have one of the following:

- Authorized to be hired by a government department.
- Accepted to work in a government authorized internship.
- Type A's household staff.
- Be really lucky.

The Biggest Changes

If you've been following along, you'll have noticed that technically, you are no longer required to have two years work experience and a bachelor's degree. If you get above 60 points, you can get in without meeting that criteria. We spoke to the visa office and they said that it's still up to the discretion of the government whether you qualify as an essential hire, but having experience and a degree is no longer a mandated requirement.

So how do you know how many points you have? Calculate for yourself by using the chart below. Obviously, how many points you'll actually get is up to the government, but you can get a rough idea.

Shanghai's foreign workers can still renew their current visas until April 1 (note: your visa must expire by the end of April to renew before April 1). Afterwards, everyone will be on the new system, and the government will reevaluate you under the new criteria. But it seems that for most foreigners, this system will give more opportunities to get work visas.

For more info, check the Shanghai Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau's website (in Chinese).



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  • 3 years ago Unverified User

    This is the way they start kicking out the undesirables….so basically most of you are going bye bye.

  • 3 years ago ameriwen

    Always good to have more transparency into the visa evaluation system. There may still be some subjectivity, but they didn't have to do this so I imagine their goal is a more consistent process.

  • 3 years ago handoogies

    "So what about refugee visas?"


    God bless the CCP.

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