New immigration and visa policies for foreigners working in Beijing took effect on March 1, 2016.
New pilot immigration policies in Zhongguancun Science Park
More relaxed rules beneficial to highly skilled foreign workers in recognized enterprises and institutions in Zhongguancun Science Park ("Zhongguancun Enterprise") have been introduced to reflect China's new emphasis on knowledge, innovation and technology. The new rules include:
- a reduced approval period to apply for permanent residence for highly skilled workers;
- the ability for foreigners in start-ups and technically skilled workers to apply for a work visa at the arrival port in China with the Zhongguancun Company's employment license for hiring foreigners; and
- new rules for foreign nationals of Chinese origin.
We expect the local exit-entry administration bureau in Beijing to clarify its practice and the requirements around these rules in the coming weeks. We recommend that multinational companies in Zhongguancun Science Park and their highly skilled foreign workers check the criteria and requirements for qualifying workers to evaluate their eligibility before filing an appliation.
Relaxed Green Card Criteria in Beijing
New rules relaxing the criteria for applying for a green card (permanent residence) have been announced, which apply to all foreign nationals in Beijing who meet the following criteria:
- have worked in Beijing for 4 consecutive years and resided in China for at least 6 months in each of the 4 years;
- have earned a pre-tax salary of at least RMB 500,000 and paid personal income tax of more than RMB 100,000 each year; and
- are sponsored by their current employer in Beijing.
These new rules are similar to those implemented in Shanghai from July 2015 with several local variations.