On 6 January 2017, the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security, Foreign Affairs and Education announced that qualified foreign university graduates with no working experience are now eligible to receive work permission in China.
This new regulation mostly affects foreign graduates of master degree programs in China. In the past years, it was rather difficult for young and qualified foreigners to get work permissions. One of the major obstacles had been the proof of two years working experience in a related field before coming to China. Additionally, foreigners applying for a Chinese work permit had to be at least 24 years old.
To be qualified, students have to have received their degree from a domestic university or a well-known international institution within the last 12 months.
Further eligibility requirements include:
- at least 18 years old
- good health
- clean criminal record
- excellent academic record, with an average minimum 80 points or a B grade
- relevant degree and education background
- proof of confirmed job offer in China relevant to the applicant’s degree, with a salary that is equal or higher than the local average
- valid passport
These changes can be seen as a major improvement for the Chinese economy and obviously for foreign master graduates themselves. From now on, it will be easier for students to start to work - or even establish their own company in China directly after graduation and it gives them an easier access to the market.
However, for Bachelor students, it is still hard to obtain legal work papers. Although it is understandable that China wants to assure no inexperienced students enter the country, there are many jobs that could be fulfilled by Bachelor degree holders. They can make a great contribution to international companies in China.
With policies such as the Made in China 2025 strategy, China is in need of international talent. Although it is one of the most popular destinations to study abroad, the total number of international students hasn’t increased over the past years, because there was no clear outlook to the future for students regarding internship, work, and residence. Overall this lowered the expectations for foreign students coming to China.
Students, especially those studying in China make a strong commitment to learning the language and adapting to the culture. By giving them a chance to start their career in China, it makes the Chinese domestic labor market a lot more attractive and offers further incentives for top students to attend Chinese universities.
The specific new regulation has to be further clarified. Companies which intend to employ foreign graduates should pay attention to updates from the local government.
For more information of the overhaul of China's work visa rules, please read our detailed article on the new point system for expats in China.
Collecting fingerprints of Foreigners coming to China
A new policy of collecting foreign passport holders’ fingerprints when arriving in China became effective last Friday, 9 February 2017. Firstly, the procedure will, at least for now, only take place in a few places in China including Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport. The Ministry of Public Security announced that the policy will then be taken over by more and more airports across the country by the end of this year.
Foreigners aged between 14 to 70 years will be fingerprinted when entering China. Diplomatic passport holders will be exempted.
The policy is set up in order to strengthen border control and ensure security. The Ministry also emphasized that it will ensure the new system to be efficient in order to avoid unnecessary delays.
When coming to China, passengers should keep an eye on new updates on which airports require fingerprints. Although there are no delays predicted, as this is already a common procedure in many countries as Japan or the USA, travelers with a tight schedule should keep this in mind and calculate with possible delays.
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