To improve the opinions it issued in July 2015, on September 26, 2016, Shanghai Municipality published its New Opinions on Talent Development to Support Setting Up a Science and Innovation Center in Shanghai.

The highlights regarding foreigners’ immigration: 

  • Foreign talent, and associated team members, can apply for permanent residence permits in Shanghai.
  • Foreign talent working in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone and the Zhanjiang High and New Technology Development Zone (“the Two Zones”) can apply for permanent residence permits once approved by the Two Zones’ administration committees (instead of needing approval from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and from the Ministry of Public Security, and inclusion in the State and Shanghai Municipality talent plan).
  • Foreigners who have graduated with bachelor degrees from universities in Shanghai and intend to work in the Two Zones can apply for work and residence permits directly after graduation. This measure will soon be extended to those graduating with bachelor degrees from other universities in China. 
  • Regional headquarters, investment companies and foreign R&D centers of multinational enterprises registered in the Two Zones can recruit foreigners that have graduated from renowned universities directly after graduation.
  • Permanent residence permit holders can apply for foreign talent residence permits in Shanghai, which will include benefits similar to those citizens receive, such as access to real estate tax exemption, public schools and kindergartens, and the housing fund.
  • A pilot program is implemented to merge foreign expert certificates and foreigners’ work permits.
  • Post-doctorates from foreign universities can apply for employment licenses, work visas and work permits when invited to work as interns in China. 

On September 27, 2016, the Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau published the implementing rules on permanent residence permit holders applying for foreign talent residence permits. 

In September 2015, the Shanghai Municipality launched new visa policies to attract and retain foreign talent by facilitating the immigration process for “highly-skilled foreigners.” This has reinforced Shanghai’s aim to become a science and innovation hub in China by loosening immigration requirements for foreign talent.