New permit for foreigners aims to boost talent in workplace
Multiple-entry visas, valid for up to five years, will soon be on offer in a bid to attract more top talent.
The Exit and Entry Administration Law, which comes into effect in July, will also introduce a six-month visa for short-term hires.
Zhang Jianguo, director of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, said on Tuesday that foreigners must already be employed to apply for the visa.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is helping authorities implement the visas.
"We hope the visas will encourage more international experts to work here," Zhang said.
He declined to elaborate on what criteria applicants will need to meet.
Liu Guofu, an immigration law specialist at the Beijing Institute of Technology, said the government is targeting key groups.
These include candidates with management experience at leading multinationals, specialists in education and science-related fields and renowned figures in culture and sport.
Ministerial departments have been gauging feedback from specialists, including Liu, since late 2012.
About 550,000 foreign experts were working in China in 2012, Zhang said.
Adam Lane, a 31-year-old Briton, has been working in Beijing for four years and welcomes the visa.
"I need to have my visa renewed every year," he said. "This is not a problem, but the new visa will make things easier. I will probably apply for it."
Liu said the visa change will help attract international experts, but sharp focus must be maintained to get the right people for the economy.
"The regulation should list specific fields and expertise that the country urgently needs," he said.Being employed in China should not be a prerequisite, Liu suggested.