CHINA: Shanghai Releases Details on New R (Talent) Visa

The Exit and Entry Administration of Shanghai Public Security Bureau has released further details on the new immigration regulations for the R (Talent) Visa which includes the eligibility criteria, application processing times and the relaxed permanent residency rules.

The R (Talent) Visa is designed for foreign workers who are highly qualified or whose skills are urgently needed in China. Shanghai”s new regulations have defined those considered to be eligible foreign workers as:

1. Certified by one of the competent Chinese authorities in the central government or Shanghai local government, e.g. Ministry of Organization, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, or State Administration of Foreign Experts.


2. Recruited by Shanghai technology and innovation companies from the new occupations list developed by the Shanghai Science Innovation Department.

This includes:

  • Migrant workers filling a gap in the local job market 

  • Senior Level Executives

  • World Renowned Scientific Researchers

  • World-recognized award winning talent

  • Highly Qualified experts

Foreign talent holding the proper documents issued by one of the approved government ministry or company can apply for the R (Talent) Visa directly in Shanghai airport after landing. If their working contract exceeds 180 days, they can also apply for a Talent Working Residence Permit valid for five years (as opposed to 1 year for normal Working Residence Permit). After completing 3 continuous years in Shanghai with the Talent Working Residence Permit, the migrant can apply for a China green card. The processing times will see a reduction from 180 days to up to 90 days. Another potential benefit is that R (Talent) Visa holders are allowed to hire foreign housekeeping workers (one per household) and sponsor him/her to get a S1 visa.

The new regulations reflect Shanghai”s intent to attract and retain foreign talent and promote itself as a centre of science, technology and innovation. In addition to the R (Talent) Visa, the new regulations will also benefit certain foreign students who can now apply for a Working Residence Permit after graduation to conduct internships or start businesses in Shanghai, and foreign entrepreneurs in science, technology and innovation who may apply for a Shanghai overseas Talent Residence Card (B Card) which will be valid for 10 years.

If you require any advice on these changes or any on Chinese immigration issues, please contact us.

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