Q: As for foreign visitors, are there any flexible visa rules that can facilitate their investments or their process in finding working opportunities in China? And what foreigners are eligible for such a visa?
China has adopted flexible new visa rules to make it convenient for foreign professionals and investors to work and invest in the country.
According to the rules, qualified foreigners may apply for a special multiple-entry visitor's visa which is valid for 2-5 years, allowing a maximum of 12 months' stay per visit.
For foreigners who need to work in China, they may also apply for a special work visa which allows them to stay in the country for 2-5 years with multiple-entry rights.
The new rules, jointly formulated by nine central government departments, including the Public Security Ministry, the Science and Technology Ministry and the Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Ministry, are aimed at attracting high-level professionals and investors from abroad.
Foreigners who fit the qualifications described below can apply for such visas:
Senior advisers invited by government institutions at the provincial and ministerial level and high-tech professionals and senior managerial personnel who come to carry out science and technology cooperation projects, key project agreements or professional personnel exchange programs in the country.
Those who have made outstanding contributions to China or who come to carry out an inter-governmental agreement on aid given gratis.
Professors and researchers invited by research institutions and key universities or colleges at the provincial and ministerial level.
Those invited by Chinese enterprises or institutions to hold a position of deputy general manager or higher, or other senior managerial personnel and essential technical personnel who enjoy the same treatment.
Those who invest a minimum of US$1 million in the western areas of the country or in poor counties in the central part of the country, or invest a minimum of US$3 million in other parts of the country.
Ethnic Chinese who have won important international awards for science and technology achievements.
Spouses of the aforesaid foreigners and their children under the age of 18.
A circular issued by the General Office of the State Council calls on all relevant government departments to effectively carry out the rules by cutting red tape, streamlining procedures, and improving efficiency.