hina has implemented a points system for foreigners seeking work in the country, said Zhang Jianguo, director of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA), which manages so-called “foreign talent” in China.
According to Zhang, the points system will be a part of China’s newly-issued management system for foreigners working in China, which took effect on April 1, 2017. The new system classifies foreign workers into high-end talent, experts and other employees, each of which will be put under its own assessment mechanism.
As a pilot city, Shanghai tried the new system from October 2016 to March 2017, during which it adopted a points scale to categorize foreign workers as well as those with urgently-needed skills in the scientific or high-tech fields. Those who get 85 points or more out of 100 will be listed as category A and receive a “green pass” when applying for China’s work permit.
Shanghai’s pilot system imposed no restriction on the education background of A-type foreigners, but requires B-type ones to have received a Bachelor’s degree or above from a full-time regular foreign university or to hold a Master’s degree or above from a Chinese university ranked in the Top 100. The B-type foreigners require 60 points or above.
Shanghai has set quotas for C-type foreigners, most of whom do temporary work in China, such as interns and workers in distant water fishing. According to Zhang, the new system has also greatly simplified the application formalities for better management, including unifying the former “work permit” and “entry permit” into a single permit which is now the one legal requirement for working in China, and setting up a nationwide database in which each foreign employee will be assigned a sole lifetime code for management.
According to Zhang, the new system aims to better serve foreign talent and protect their rights and interests. In the first half of 2017, SAFEA reportedly doubled the number of staff dealing with applications to shorten the waiting time for foreigners.