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Working Visa to China 2017 New Policy
Working Visa to China 2017 New Policy

Following recent measures targeted at cracking down on less-skilled laowai (slang for "foreigner), including ranking expats based on their "talent" and banning non-native English teachers from teaching in some regions, there is finally some good some news to report for foreigners looking to work in China.

International graduates with master's degrees from Chinese universities or from "well-known" foreign universities (which universities qualify as "well-known" is not yet known) are now eligible for a Z (working) visa immediately after graduation, waiving the previous requirement of two years of postgraduate work experience, according to an announcement from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS)

This is in fact, essentially, an extension of a policy announced in 2015, which applied only to international graduates with a Master's degree from a Shanghai university looking to work in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone or the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park.

The full requirements now are:
- At least 18 years old and in good health.
- Have a clean criminal record.
- Excellent academic performance, with an average grade over 80% or above B/ B+ and a good behavioral record.
- Have a relevant degree and educational background.
- Have a confirmed job offer in China relevant to your degree major, with a higher salary than the local average (as determined by the local social security department).
- Have a valid passport or equivalent.

To apply for the Z visa, applicants must present the following:
- Proof of employment history.
- Letter proving the employment offer and remuneration.
- Report giving evidence that the company advertised the job to domestic workers for at least 30 days.
- Proof of health status.
- Criminal record check.
- Degree certificate and transcript.
- Record of good behavior and grades during education (not required if the applicant has already graduated).
- Photo taken within the last six months.
- Employment license or foreign expert work permit, obtained from the Human Resources and Social Security Department or Management or State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.

The issued employment certificate will initially only be valid for one year, but can be extended by up to another five years after the employee has paid at least the income tax appropriate for the salary offered. Quotas for foreign graduates will vary between provinces and regions depending on the local demand. That number is announced on January 31st each year by the MOHRSS.

It's yet to be seen how smoothly the application process will run, but there is at least hope that China is starting to open up more to foreign talent. The new policy took effect on January 6th, 2017, so international students -- start job hunting now!

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