The Shanghai Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau has implemented several rule changes to the processes for obtaining China Working Visas and Work Permits. These changes should make the process easier and quicker for applicants.

Who Does This Affect?

  • Companies currently planning to send a transferee to China
  • Companies with transferring employees in the process of submitting applications for working visas and work permits

What are the Documents a Transferring Employee Needs to Have to Enter China?

A Working Visa is required to enter China for working purposes, and is valid for only 30 days. Upon entry, the Working Visa document must be replaced within 30 days by a Resident Permit, which allows foreigners to reside in China. A Resident Permit replaces the Working Visa on the transferring employee’s passport and allows them to remain in China legally, as well as travel abroad without any restrictions during their employment. A Foreigner’s Work Permit is a document that is delivered to the transferring employee after they have contacted and proceeded accordingly with the local Chinese authorities.

What are the Changes to the Process?

In April 2017, two previous types of Work Permits were combined into a single and unique Foreigner’s Work Permit. The Foreigner’s Work Permits are divided into three distinct categories: A, B, and C.

Foreigner’s Work Permit Categories

  • A: High-End Foreign Talents, professionals including scientists, science and technology leading talents, international entrepreneurs, special talents, and other foreign high-end talents urgently needed for economic and social development.
  • B: Foreign Professional Talents, in line with the Foreigners Employed in China Guide Catalog and the corresponding demands of economic and social development.
  • C: Other Foreigners, employed to meet the demand of the domestic labor market in line with the state policies and regulations.

The process changes work in tandem with China’s new Working Permits Points System, which allows applicants to apply online, a simple and quick process. In November 2017, further adjustments were made to the Working Permits Points System, along with a new segmentation of working areas in China.

What Does This Mean?

The new online application system should make the process simpler and easier for applicants to apply for China Working Visas and Work Permits. The Working Permits Points System is easy to understand and helps applicants quickly understand if they fall into one of the three distinct categories.


Global Mobility Solutions’ team of global relocation experts can help HR teams determine the best plan and course of action on how to submit applications for China Working Visas and Work Permits. Global Mobility Solutions can also help you pursue additional options if the Working Permits Points System is not viable for a transferring employee. Contact our experts online or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

Request your complimentary Visa Program Assessment for China Working Visas and Work Permits

Vice President, Global Services Tammy is responsible for GMS’ regional operations teams in North and Latin America, EMEA, and APAC. Tammy provides a decade of leadership experience in the areas of international assignment management, global network management, global consulting and business development. Her experience in global mobility includes new client implementations, policy and compliance development, global compensation and billing, vendor management, case management, and real estate home sale/purchase programs. Tammy travels extensively and studied abroad in Switzerland, Chile, Peru, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

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