Favorable visa policy to draw talent

Updated: 2015-01-26 04:01

By SUZHOU(China Daily)

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Easier access to work permits and green cards in the pipeline to attract top foreign experts

China will expand the favorable visa policies of its 1,000 Talent Plan to dozens of other programs nationwide to attract leading professionals to work in the country.

This move is expected to ease one of the top concerns of foreign talent in China.

"In the past, we have had a very strict policy and high standards in terms of ‘exit and entry', and the number of overseas talents in China is not that large," an official from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security who wished a remain anonymous told People's Daily. "However, the 1,000 Talent Plan is a convenient channel. Now this channel is also open to experts from 55 programs. This will help to forge a diversified talent recruitment network."

Foreign experts recruited through the 55 programs can apply for visas, residence permits and permanent residence — also called Chinese green cards — under the same standard for experts recruited by the national Recruitment Program of Global Experts, or the 1,000 Talent Plan.

The various programs are offered by seven ministries, 21 provinces, 12 cities and one centrally administered enterprise.

The People's Daily's report cited the Organizing Committee of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.

The next move will be drafting regulations on permanent residence and more favorable policies for high-end talent, according to the Central Coordination Group for Talent Work under the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization, a think tank in Beijing, said the expansion of the policy means a lot in terms of applying for a Chinese green card.

"A Chinese green card is very hard to obtain, and the majority of the talent quota was distributed to foreign talent in the 1,000 plan, so this move means more foreign talent can apply for permanent residence in China through the 1,000-plan channel and enjoy the advantages that come with that," Wang said.

"But compared with other countries' permanent residence policies, I think the Chinese government still has to expand the scale instead of just focusing on talent programs," said Wang. "This means many foreigners have to be part of some ‘programs' before they apply for a green card, and the many levels of examination and approval are quite confusing and time-consuming."

Ralf Altmeyer, a German virologist who leads the academy's Institute Pasteur of Shanghai, said this will help diversify the distribution of foreign talent in China beyond the first-tier cities.

However, Altmeyer also suggested governments do more to attract and retain foreign talent in China.

"The quality of the working environment is the first thing and having children or spouses settled in China is another," said Altmeyer.

This move means more foreign talent can apply for permanent residence ... and enjoy the advantages that come with that."

Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization