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The New Foreigner’s work permit Policy in Shanghai – Online Approval

On March 1, 2021, the New Online Foreigner’s Work Permit Policy (Version 4.0) was announced by the Shanghai Ministry of Science and Technology and the Shanghai Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs. In order to accelerate the building of Shanghai into a technological innovation center with global influence, Shanghai is pioneering more open and more convenient policies for introducing foreign experts and creating a world-class business environment.

What are the favorable work permit policies for Foreign scientific and Technological Talents?

1. Further relax the limits in terms of age, academic degree, or work experience.

2. Implement a “Notice+Pledge” System for those with No Criminal Record.

3. Allow foreign scientific and technological talents working in Shanghai to find part-time jobs

4. Support application for Confirmation Letter for Foreign High-end Talents by foreign researchers of research teams

How do foreign scientific and technological talents working in Shanghai apply for a part-time job?

1. Only foreigners who have a Foreigner’s Work Permit in China and are qualified as “Foreign scientific and technological talents” may work part-time in China. The part-time jobs shall be related to their full-available at “Form sheet” under “WorkPermit for Foreigners Working in China” based on the approval of the Shanghai Ministry of Science and Technology and the Shanghai Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.

2. Before submission, it is necessary to obtain the consent of the original employers and sign a written tripartite agreement with the original employer and the part-time employer to clarify each party’s rights and obligations.

3. The original tripartite agreement shall be reviewed at the windows.

Cancellation: Once an applicant resigns, the work permit shall be canceled and the part-time job shall be rendered invalid.

What are the conditions of application extended work permit of the Confirmation Letter for Foreign High-end Talents?

The conditions of application of the Confirmation Letter for Foreign High-end Talents is further extended according to the Online Approval for Foreigner’s Work Permit in China (Version 4.0), Foreign researchers participating in national task forces and young foreign talents, including recent doctoral graduates from key disciplines such as science, engineering, agriculture, and medicine, upon identification by the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (Shanghai Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs), may directly apply for the Confirmation Letter for Foreign Highend Talents according to relevant regulations and may apply for an R visa with a validity period of up to 10 years. Their accompanying family members may also apply for an R visa with the same validity period.

What are the requirements for applying for and extending a Foreigner’s Work Permit in Shanghai?

To regulate innovative entrepreneurial talents in Shanghai, for foreign talents such as legal representatives making investment or innovative entrepreneurship and small Foreign investors, after an enterprise is legally established, limits in terms of age, academic degree, or work experience may be relaxed when they apply for their first work permit in China.

For Foreign investors who have a physical office, their work permits in China may be extended based on the operating status, taxes, and social security payment of their companies. Foreign investors with virtual registration shall submit all documents required, including but not limited to operating status, taxes record, and social security payment for an extension which is necessary according to the circumstances.

Tips: From March 1st, 2021, if you want to apply for or renew the work permit and Residence as a shareholder of WFOE/JV. The Government will check the real office address of the company. You need to provide the Company’s office rental contract, office photos, and

(A) Company operating status (like your business introduction and structure)
(B) Taxes Records (Enterprise VAT tax receipt, or the Invoices /Fapiao record)
(C) Company Chinese employee’s social security payment receipt, etc.

In other words, if you have a bachelor’s degree, you can apply for the one-year Work permit and Residence like before. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you can only get the half-year period Work permit and Residence for the first time.

Foreign Experts Bureau

Who are qualified as foreign talents with special expertise?

There are 3 categories for Foreign Workers. First is Category A for “High-end Foreign Professionals”, the second is Category B for “Foreign Professionals” and the third is Category C for “Other Foreigners”.

According to the new policy, besides the global entrepreneurs and world-renowned scientists, the Scientific researchers and the foreigners who have new Doctor degree in science, engineering, agriculture, and medicine are also listed as Top talents. That means that they can apply for the Visa R as the foreign high-end and much-needed talent.

To facilitate economic and social development in Shanghai and attract more foreign talents with special expertise to work in Shanghai, for those who are not up to the standards for Foreign High-end Talents (Category A) but meet one of the following three requirements, limits in terms of age, academic degree or work experience may be further relaxed. In principle, they shall be under 70 years of age. Those who are eligible may be granted a work permit valid for at least 2 years.

  1. Hold a general foreign vocational qualification
  2. Skilled talents urgently needed in Shangh
  3. Hold other international vocational qualification

How is a foreign highly skilled talent determined?

Foreign skilled talents who hold senior foreign vocational qualifications that are included in management under the national vocational qualification system may directly work in Shanghai, including management certificate and business administration certificate (excluding international language certificates). For other certificates, refer to the foreign vocational qualification certificate management platform.

Foreign skilled talents who have the expertise and rich practical with the urgently needed occupations for the development of major industries in shanghai, after obtaining overseas skills authorities of the industries, may apply for a work permit. See the annex for the Urgently Needed Skilled and Technical Professionals in Key Industries in Shanghai.

Talents holding other unspecified international vocational qualifications (such as Acca certificate in financial management, and international football coaching qualification) will be determined based on their employer’s qualifications, the shortage in the industry, the specialization demonstrated by the certificate, and the talents’ work experience and competence, etc.

GWBMA provides one-stop business services for Foreign Enterprises, including company registration, location, Accounting & Tax, HR outsourcing, and legal services. The team and partner of GWBMA have graduated from famous schools and abroad with rich experience in practice. We are well versed in foreign investment, intellectual property, and other business, and can tailor the most suitable foreign investment plan for customers according to their actual situation.


Hi, I’m Fiona Hua, CIO certificate,  Expert in Management and Human Resources. About ten years of work experience in Shanghai. Familiar with business management, HR outsourcing, and tax planning.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Philippe Lau

    Hi, I would like to know if it is possible for a freshly graduated student with an overseas bachelor degree to obtain a FWP if he has an offer for employment from a firm in Shanghai.
    Thank you.
    P. Lau

    1. BaseInShanghai

      Normally, to apply for a work permit in China, you need to have 2 years of working experience with the certificate documents except the bachelor’s degree.

      1. Philippe Lau

        In that case with a bachelor degree can you apply for a FWP?
        Awaiting your reply.
        P. Lau

        1. BaseInShanghai

          Yes, but you need to find a Job and have 2 working experiences.

  2. Philippe Lau

    Already got an offfer from an employer in Shanghai but does not have the two years of working experience. Does this two years of working experience also apply to an applicant with an international degree from a university which is ranked among the world’s 200?

    1. BaseInShanghai

      After all, there are many factors that affect a foreigner’s work permit in Shanghai, such as Salary, Working Experience. So, you’d better have 2 years of working experience.

  3. Philippe Lau

    Already find a job in Shanghai but does not have the two years working experience. Is there no relaxation as regards the working experience for an applicant with an international degree from a university which is world-ranked among the top 200? Besides applicant is of chinese descent.

    1. BaseInShanghai

      According to the regulation, you have the right to apply for work permit, but you have the probability of being rejected.

  4. Philippe Lau

    Besides applicant is of Chinese descent.

    1. BaseInShanghai

      The Chinese descent is the same. You can try if you find a job in the 200 Fortune company. A good job will bring good results.

  5. Philippe Lau

    Can you do the application? How much will be the cost?

    1. BaseInShanghai

      Yes, we can provide a one-stop service for foreign investors. But we need to know your information, please add the Wechat QR at the bottom right of the page.

  6. Braulio

    hello, i have a master degree from the univeristy of barcelona whic ranks 99 on world’s top 100 univeristies and i also have a bachelor degree at tongji univeristy shanghai, and two years working experience back in my country( i hve the reference letter) HSK 4, i wanted to know what are the requirements for me to apply for a FWP

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