What is the change? The Beijing Entry-Exit Authority has announced a number of immigration measures aimed at attracting high-talent foreign workers to Beijing, and especially to the Zhongguancun Science Park (Z-Park).

What does the change mean? The measures provide a number of immigration and business travel incentives for Z-Park workers and their families.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Permanent residence, temporary residence, F (business) visas, X1 (student) visas.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals working in Z-Park and their family members.
  • Impact on processing times: In some cases, the measures will provide faster processing times or simpler immigration processes for eligible foreign nationals, as detailed below.

Background: Z-Park is one of Beijing’s tech hubs and is known as China’s “Silicon Valley.” Authorities announced new incentives last week aimed at helping Z-Park businesses recruit high-level foreign talent. They include:

  • Offering permanent residence permits to foreign spouses and children of Chinese citizens who work in Z-Park and qualify as “high-level talent.” These applications will be processed within 50 days rather than the standard 180 days.
  • Providing five-year, multiple entry F-visas (business visas) to foreign nationals working at an overseas branch of a company registered in Z-Park. The visas will also be available to experts and scholars invited by Chinese colleges, universities or research institutions located in Z-Park. The visas will have a permissible duration of stay of 180 days per visits.
  • Allowing certain “high-level foreign talent” workers in Z-Park to sponsor assistant team members for residence. Team members who may qualify under this route could include secretaries, translators, administrators and lab managers. Team members’ residence permits will be linked to the validity of the sponsor’s residence permit.
  • Allowing children of foreign workers in Beijing to apply for an X1 visa (student visa), rather than having to travel back home to lodge an application. Admissions letters will be required in order to apply for an X1 visa. Student resident permit validity will be linked to the term of study.
  • Permitting people of Chinese heritage who are citizens of foreign countries (“foreign Chinese”) to be eligible for five-year, multiple residence permits if they are working in Beijing or if the inviting party is in Beijing.

The new policies add to efforts by local authorities to simplify immigration policies for high-talent foreign workers. Similar simplified immigration policies are in place in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone and the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone. It remains to be seen if the new measures introduced in Beijing and the Z-Park are extended to the other high-talent areas in Shanghai and Guangdong.

Analysis & Comments: Officials hope the measures will provide extra incentives for high-talent foreign nationals to work at a Z-Park registered company. Z-Park companies are encouraged to work with their Deloitte professional to determine what immigration and travel options are available for foreign workers and their families. Deloitte and BAL will continue to monitor incentive offerings in high-talent areas in China and inform clients if/when the incentives are also introduced in Shanghai and Guangdong.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.