Visa re­laxed to at­tract for­eign tal­ent

Open­ing up does not mean pref­er­en­tial treat­ment: experts

Global Times US Edition - - TOPNEWS - By Liu Caiyu and Leng Shumei

China will ex­pand pref­er­en­tial im­mi­gra­tion and en­try poli­cies to at­tract more for­eign tal­ent to more free trade zones across the coun­try start­ing Au­gust 1.

The de­ci­sion was an­nounced at a press con­fer­ence Wed­nes­day by the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity in Bei­jing.

It will be im­ple­mented to cre­ate a bet­ter busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment the min­istry sent to the Global Times.

The poli­cies in­clude 12 clauses which pro­vide con­ve­nience to ac­quire per­ma­nent res­i­dence per­mits by for­eign tal­ent in­clud­ing those who ben­e­fit China’s de­vel­op­ment, their spouses and chil­dren, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment.

The reg­u­la­tion also ex­panded the scope of long-term visa and res­i­dence per­mits, for ex­am­ple, for­eign re­searchers, busi­ness-peo­ple and as­sis­tant per­son­nel can ap­ply for two-to -five-year visas or res­i­dence per­mits.

Sup­port ser­vices will be pro­vided to for­eign grad­u­ate stu­dents who start up a busi­ness in China or ex­cel­lent for­eign stu­dents in­vited by do­mes­tic com­pa­nies and in­sti­tutes.

The pol­icy demon­strates China’s de­ter­mi­na­tion at open­ness and the coun­try’s ef­forts to build its im­age not only as the tourist des­ti­na­tion but also the hub of creativ­ity and high tech­nol­ogy, Song Guoyou, di­rec­tor of Fu­dan Univer­sity’s Cen­ter for Eco­nomic Diplomacy, told the Global Times.

Wang Huiyao, founder and pres­i­dent of Bei­jing-based in­de­pen­dent think tank the Cen­ter for China and Glob­al­iza­tion told the Global Times on Wed­nes­day that “as a ma­jor tal­ent ex­port­ing coun­try, China is also mak­ing ef­forts to be­come a tal­ent im­port­ing coun­try as well, to meet the de­mand of na­tional de­vel­op­ment and the na­tion’s ef­fort to be­come a tech­nol­ogy power.”

China be­lieves in open­ness of trade and in­vest­ment, as well as to tal­ent.

For­eign tal­ent will also as­sist glob­al­iz­ing Chi­nese com­pa­nies and the de­vel­op­ment of high­tech com­pa­nies, ac­cord­ing to Wang.

The pref­er­en­tial im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies were al­ready ap­plied since 2015 in 16 prov­inces and cities in­clud­ing Bei­jing, Shang­hai and South China’s Guang­dong Province, Chen Bin, head of the For­eign­ers Ad­min­is­tra­tion Depart­ment of the State Im­mi­gra­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion, said at the press con­fer­ence.

Ac­cord­ing to Chen, lo­cal im­mi­gra­tion author­i­ties across China have is­sued 133,000 visas and res­i­dence per­mits to for­eign en­trepreneur­s, in­vestors and pro­fes­sional tech­ni­cal per­son­nel and other tal­ents.

Im­mi­gra­tion ser­vice cen­ters can be es­tab­lished in places where for­eign­ers con­cen­trate to pro­vide con­sul­tancy in poli­cies, travel, le­gal as­sis­tance and lan­guage, the state­ment read.

The open­ing came amid me­dia re­ports about a for­eigner vi­o­lently treat­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer and for­eign­ers in China de­tained for tak­ing drugs.

Chi­nese experts warned that the govern­ment should im­pose strict reg­u­la­tions on the en­try of for­eign­ers, such as il­le­gal English teach­ers and those who have crim­i­nal records back home.

A visa reg­u­la­tion for for­eign­ers who in­tend to work in China took ef­fect on Jan­uary 1, 2018.

For­eign em­ploy­ees are di­vided into three cat­e­gories: A, B and C based on salary, ed­u­ca­tional back­ground, Chi­nese lan­guage pro­fi­ciency, age and lo­ca­tion.

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