Expats take advantage of loosened visa policy

The Shanghai municipal government has handed out significantly more permanent residence permits to expats since loosening its visa policies in July.

A total of 715 residence permits were issued to expats in the city between July and December, up from 60 during the same period in 2014.

A dozen beneficial policies, including providing permanent residence permits for high-level overseas passport holders and subsidies to high-tech professionals, were designed to open Shanghai's door wider to the world as apart of its focus on forming a global technological innovation center.

High-level talents with permanent jobs in Shanghai can obtain a foreign expert permit that is valid for two to five years. The procedure for obtaining a permit has been simplified and the age restriction lifted to 70 years from 60.

Expats are able to apply for permanent residency on the recommendation of their companies after working for three years.

The requirement for technology and innovation talent has been lowered, and they will be eligible for permanent residence permits that are valid for up to 10 years, compared to five years before, according to the measures.

To offer improved living standards for overseas professionals, the city government has also issued residence permits for foreign housekeepers working with expat families.

In addition, international students who obtain master's degrees at local universities are able to get work permits directly if they find jobs. International graduates with bachelor's degrees are also eligible to apply for two-year residence permits to start up businesses.

'We've just recruited a foreign PhD graduate directly from Shanghai University. I think this kind of situation can arise with help from the loosening employment policy for international graduates,' said Alasdair Jelfs, managing director of Merck Chemicals China.


By Yu Ran in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2016-01-13