In December 2012, the government of China announced a change for the labour market access of foreign workers.



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Source from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS), Chinese available:

Inception date: 13 Dec 2012 | Removal date: open ended

Labour market access

In 2008, the Central Government established the Recruitment Program of Global Experts and released favorable visa treatment with a maximum of one year for qualified experts recruited through the Program.
On 13 December 2012, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS), the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee and the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) jointly released the Circular on Issues of Facilitating Visas and Residence Permits for Highly-Qualified Foreigners' Entry into China (MHRSS Circular '2012' No. 57).
The Circular allows qualified foreign experts, who are not eligible for the recruitment Program of Global Experts, to apply for a long-term visa (i.e. valid for two to five years).
The following categories of foreign experts might qualify for application:
1. Foreign experts selected by the Recruitment Program of Global Experts.
2. Foreign experts who are working on projects carried out by central government departments, their affiliated public institutions and centrally administered enterprises.
3. Foreign experts introduced through provincial-level recruitment programs.
4. Foreign experts recruited by high-level projects carried out by governments below the provincial level who are admitted and approved by the organization department of CPC committee, the human resources and social security department and the department of administration of foreign experts affairs at provincial level.
Foreign experts whose business requires them to enter and exit the country multiple times can obtain a visa valid for five years, which allows them to stay in China for 180 days at a time. Those who need to work or stay longer in China can acquire a work visa or a two- to five-year residence permit. In addition, for the first time, the foreign spouses and children of Chinese overseas returnees will be allowed to obtain long-term visa and residence permits or even permanent residence permits.