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On 9 September 2016, the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs unveiled the reform of the current work permit system for foreigners living in China. The changes will merge the various regulations for foreign specialists with the application procedures of ordinary foreigners. The reform will replace the current work permit booklet with an ID card similar to the one Chinese already have, and implement a grading system, which will rank foreign workers according to their experience and skills.

 

According to the reform plans, which started to be tested since beginning of October 2016 onwards in Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, Hebei, Anhui, Shandong, Guangdong, Sichuan and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region before being implemented nationwide in April 2017, foreigners applying for a Chinese work permit will be graded according to a 3-grade points system.

 

The following table gives you an overview of the required points for a working visa. A minimum of 60 points is necessary to obtain at least a B Grade. Please read our article What does China's new point system for Expats really mean? for further information. It is important to mention, that this table might be adjusted according to the experiences gathered during the pilot phase.

 

 

Pointsystem Tabelle

 

Although the new permit is supposed to look like a Chinese ID, Chinese labor authorities are obviously struggling to get enough plastic cards together. As this sample shows, the Beijing authorities are currently issuing a DIN A4 certificate made of carton, with a small perforated area of the size of an ID card in the middle. However, the card cannot be detached without destroying the picture, which makes it necessary for the holder to bring the whole document with you, if you want to use it, for example in order to buy a train ticket. We hope that, in the near future, Chinese authorities will replace this certificate by a more convenient plastic card.

 

Elmo 1

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Hoffmann Richard Hoffmann is a partner at ECOVIS Beijing China. Richard obtained an honors degree in law and worked in Germany, the United States, and China for various prestigious law firms prior to joining ECOVIS. He has published more than fifty articles in international magazines, frequently speaks at high profile events in China and abroad and is often invited as a legal expert by international TV stations. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
ECOVIS Beijing is the trusted tax and legal advisor to several embassies and official institutions in China. It specializes in mid-sized international companies and is focused on tax & legal advisory, accounting and auditing. If you’re interested in finding out more about tax and legal, don’t hesitate to sign up to our Newsletter, give us a call +86 10-65616609 (ext 811/806) or contact us directly via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
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