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Shanghai eases access for foreign talent

By ZHOU WENTING | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-10 05:59

Shanghai unveiled measures on Friday aimed at attracting talented people from overseas, including high-level professionals and young graduates, as it tries to build itself into a global technological innovation hub by 2030.

According to the 10-article immigration policy, recently approved by the Ministry of Public Security, senior overseas professionals will have easier access and spend less time when they apply for permanent resident permits.

Expats working at the Shanghai Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone or the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, along with their spouses and children, can directly apply for permanent residency with a recommendation from the administrative committees of the zones. They no longer will need to provide certificates from different departments.

The policy also guarantees quicker access for qualified international talent.

Foreigners with a master's degree or above, or those employed by an enterprise in Zhangjiang, the free trade zone, institutions of higher education or scientific research institutes in Shanghai can directly apply for an R visa for professional talent at Shanghai port upon entry, as long as they show their employment certificates, according to the new policy.

Yu Lizhong, chancellor and chairman of the board of New York University Shanghai, said the policy is welcome.

"Our international graduates love Shanghai, and I believe a job here will give full play to their energy, and that's what we're delighted to see," he said.

Momachi Pabrai, a US student majoring in media and data analytics, said: "China has a lot of new media programs, so understanding marketing from the Chinese perspective is a whole new world. I'd love to have the opportunity to work at least for a couple of months in China's marketing landscape."

The new measures also include preferential policies for overseas Chinese and family members of talented expats to live, work or study in Shanghai. Overseas Chinese holding a PhD or having worked for four years in enterprises in Zhangjiang, the free trade zone or other qualified areas can apply for permanent resident permits.

"I believe such convenience will encourage a large number of overseas Chinese to return for entrepreneurial plans and business," said Fu Guohua, general manager of KFS Design International Shanghai. Fu, a Chinese Canadian, returned in 1995 to start a business.

"We had a hard time in the 1990s. We had to renew our visa and get out of China every month. Things are getting better," he said.

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