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China: Changes To The Work Permit Application For Foreigners In China

Latest update on the changes to the work permit application for foreigners in China

The Shanghai Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (Shanghai Foreign Experts Bureau) has implemented a New Work Permit Application Policy from 1st April 2017 effectively.

Affected parties:

  • Non-Chinese passport holders applying for a work permit in China.
  • HR departments of employing companies based in China.
  • RMC partners handling work permit applications.

Effective Date: 1st of April of 2017.

The New Work Permit Policy in China has been implemented nationwide beginning April 2017. Now the old “Alien Employment License” and old “Foreign Expert Employment Permit” are integrated into the “Foreigner’s Work Permit” in China. This new policy is being implemented by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) in China.

Effective from the 1st of April of 2017 onwards, the Shanghai Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (Shanghai Foreign Experts Bureau) will officially implement the Work Permit application under the new immigration policy and all foreign workers will be split into three categories – A, B and C, according to a new point-based evaluation system (see the details at the end of this document).

These changes also cover:

  • The elimination of the former Z-visa invitation letter.
  •  New online pre-application for by local HR.

Summary of these changes here, the consequences for HR and assignee’s and an overview of the new timeline.

More information

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Immigration team at or call +44(0)20 8836 3359.

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