At a Glance

The Chinese State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs has released implementing guidelines for the Talent (R) Visa, a multiple-entry visa that allows foreign professionals eligible for Category A of the unified work permit classification system to perform business activities. These guidelines apply to nine cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai, as of January 1, 2018.

The situation

The Chinese State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs has released guidelines for an entry visa for highly-qualified foreign nationals performing business activities, called the Talent (R) visa.

A closer look

  • Eligibility.
    • Only highly-qualified foreign nationals that meet the requirements for Category A of the unified work permit classification system may apply for the R visa.
    • Foreign nationals who may be eligible to apply include highly-qualified scientists, international entrepreneurs and other foreign nationals who possess specific high-level skills that the Chinese government considers necessary in China.
    • The R entry visa is an alternative to the M visa, which only allows entry for 90 days per visit in China.
  • Duration. The R visa is valid for five to ten years and permits stays in China for up to 180 days per visit in China. The duration of stay per visit on the R visa is the longest duration of stay per visit for any entry Chinese visa.
    • Impact. Under this visa, foreign nationals can stay in China for longer periods of time without having to leave and re-enter, allowing them to avoid scrutiny at the border, which occurs for multiple visits.
  • Permissible activities. Foreign nationals under R visas can only perform business activities during their stay in China. This includes client meetings, seminars and training, to name a few activities.
  • Processing time. The consular visa processing time is up to two business days.
  • Dependents. R visa holders’ spouse and children under 18 years of age are eligible for a multiple-entry visa with the same validity as the principal’s R visa. The consular visa processing time is also up to two business days.
  • Application process. To apply for an R visa, foreign nationals will need to obtain a confirmation letter from the Foreign Expert Bureau which validates the foreign national’s qualifications and details of the Chinese employer. The confirmation letter is issued within five business days of the request and is valid for six months. Once a foreign national has the confirmation letter and other supporting documents, they can file the R visa application at an embassy or consulate outside China.
  • Fees. There are no application fees or expedited processing fees for the principal or their dependents.
    • Impact. This is an extremely cost-effective entry visa option when compared to other consular visas for China, which have processing fees.
  • Availability. These guidelines apply to nine cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai, as of January 1, 2018.
  • Working under an R visa. Foreign nationals who enter under an R visa and intend to work in China can apply for a work permit and residence permit and receive approval in three business days with expedited processing.
    • Impact. Eligible foreign nationals are able to obtain a work permit quicker than other visa options after entering under an R entry visa.

Background

China is implementing more comprehensive and effective policies in order to attract high-level talent globally.