Shanghai has implemented new work permit policies aimed at accelerating the city’s growth as a global technological innovation center. The new policies include expanding the type of workers eligible for Category A work permits, permitting some foreign scientific and technological workers in Shanghai to find part-time jobs and easing application requirements for investors, entrepreneurs and foreign experts.

Key Points:

  • Category A expanded. In China, foreign workers are generally categorized in three groups: Category A for “top talent,” Category B for “professional talent” and Category C for “other workers” (i.e., seasonal workers, conditional foreign interns/graduates, etc.). Officials in Shanghai have now expanded Category A so that besides global entrepreneurs and leading scientists, it also includes foreign scientific and technological researchers and Ph.D. holders in science, engineering, agriculture and medicine. Qualifying workers can apply for R visas, which are valid for up to 10 years. Accompanying family members can also apply for R visas with the same validity period.
  • Part-time jobs. Foreign scientific and technological researchers can now hold part-time jobs in addition to their primary employment. The part-time job must be related to their full-time work, and employees must obtain pre-approval from the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality before lodging an application. Employees must also obtain consent from their full-time employer and must sign a written agreement with both the full-time and part-time employer. If the employee departs his or her full-time work, the part-time job will be rendered invalid.
  • Requirements for investors/entrepreneurs. Foreign nationals who invest or engage in local innovative business will be eligible for eased requirements related to age, education and work experience when they apply for their first work permit. Up until now, applicants had to be under the age of 60, have a bachelor’s degree and at least two years of relevant work experience. These requirements can now be waived on a case-by-case basis.
  • Foreign experts. New age, education and work requirements are forthcoming for foreign experts who hold international vocational certificates or have skills that are in urgent demand in Shanghai. While officials have not indicated what the precise new requirements will be, they have said that applicants up to the age of 70 will be accepted, whereas the previous age limit was 60. Qualifying foreign experts will be granted two-year work permits.

Analysis & Comments: The recent changes in Shanghai are consistent with China’s broader efforts to bring top global talent in competitive fields to the country. Employers who wish to determine whether their employees may qualify for work permits under the new rules are encouraged to work closely with Deloitte.

Rest of World Source: Deloitte. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL does not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more. Deloitte Legal means the legal practices of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited member firms or their affiliates that provide legal services. For legal, regulatory and other reasons, not all member firms provide legal services. This includes Deloitte Tax LLP in the United States which does not provide legal and/or immigration advice or services. This communication contains general information only, and none of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, its member firms or their related entities (collectively, the “Deloitte network”) is, by means of this communication, rendering professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. No entity in the Deloitte network shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this communication. © 2021. For information, contact Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.