Notice of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Public Security on Comprehensively Implementing the Work Permit System for Foreigners in China
The foreign experts affairs departments, human resources and social security departments, foreign affairs departments, and public security departments of all provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government, the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps and sub-provincial cities; and all ministries and commissions of the State Council and all institutions directly under the State Council:
On December 31, 2015, the Approval Reform Office of the State Council decided to integrate the Employment Permit for Foreigners in China and the Foreign Expert Work Permit in China into the Work Permit for Foreigners in China. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security shall be responsible for developing the policies for foreigners working in China jointly with the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, which shall be responsible for specific organization and implementation. From October 2016 to March 2017, the pilot program of the work permit system for foreigners in China had been implemented in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanghai, Anhui, Shandong, Guangdong, Sichuan, Yunnan, Ningxia and other places with positive progress. In accordance with the requirements for simplification of administrative procedures and delegation of powers to lower levels, combination of delegation with administration, and optimization of services, for the purposes of realizing the organic transition of the work permit, visa and residence, and establishing a work permit system for foreigners in China with unified standards and normalized procedures, the work permit system for foreigners in China established shall be implemented nation-wide from April 1, 2017. Relevant work are hereby notified as follows:
I. Guiding Thought
We should comprehensively implement the spirit of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Plenary Sessions of the 18th CPC Central Committee, the spirit of a series of important speeches delivered by the General Secretary Xi Jinping, as well as the spirit of his speeches and instructions on introducing foreign talents and intellectual work. We should firmly establish the innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development concept, put the strategic thinking of gathering and using talents worldwide into practice, and further carry out the development strategy of talent and employment first. We should stick to the principles of encouraging the high-end, controlling the ordinary, and restricting the low-end, and improve the management system for foreign talents working in China, in order to realize the reasonable transition of work permit, visa and residence for foreigners in China, to gradually achieve the internationally competitive talent system and the system environment balancing and protecting the domestic employment market, and to better serve the implementation of major national strategies and the economic and social development.
II. Work Objectives
We should implement the Exit-Entry Administration Law of the Peoples Republic of China by integrating the management and service resources for foreign talents working in China, rationalizing management system, and optimizing corresponding institutions and functions to develop a unified, authoritative and efficient foreign talent management system. We should deepen the reform of simplification of administrative procedures, combination of decentralization and control, and optimization of services to promote the transformation of government functions. We should strictly implement the requirements for standardized administrative licensing to comprehensively regulate the administrative licensing behavior. We should also reasonably implement classified administration. We should boost the construction of Internet plus government services to strengthen the sharing of government affairs information and resources. We should utilize big data to enhance the supervision efficiency by innovating the in-process and post-process supervision, in order to form a social credit system for the fields of foreigners working in China, a foreigner work management system featured by reasonable management, interconnection and sharing, coordinated supervision, public participation, convenience and efficiency, as well as the management rules for foreigners working in China featured by standardized administration and strict approval, to realize useful complement to the domestic employment market, and to make such service and management more reasonable, standardized, information-based and internationalized.
III. Main Tasks
(I) Comprehensively implementing the work permit system for foreigners in China. Unified management of foreigners working in China shall be implemented, the application materials shall be simplified, the application standards shall be regulated, the Classification Criteria for Foreigners Working in China (See Annex) featured by high efficiency, rationality and scientific reflection of the market needs shall be improved, the green channel for high-end foreigners working and conducting innovation and business startup in China shall be created, and the service guarantee level shall be improved.
(II) Improving the laws, regulations and rules on foreigners working in China. We should strengthen the top-level design, accelerate the development of the Regulations for the Administration of Foreigners Working in China and detailed implementation rules for talent visas. We should establish the guidance catalogue for foreigners working in China, the foreign talent market tests, foreigner and employer credit management and other systems, and improve the classification criteria and the licensing service guidelines. We should follow the requirements in the Notice of the General Office of the State Council on Matters Concerning Clearing up of Rules and Documents of Administrative Regulations and Departments (GBH  No. 12) by promptly clearing up the departmental rules and regulatory documents involving the reform of administrative approval system, and repealing the policy documents not applicable to the implementation of work permit system for foreigners in China. All localities and departments shall not issue any policy or measure contrary to this reform.
(III) Innovating in the utilization of the Internet plus government services. We should establish a unified, standardized and multi-level linked Internet plus government services technology and service system and a model of comprehensive front office acceptance, classified background approval, and unified window issuance. Foreign experts’ affairs, human resources and social security, foreign affairs, public security and other departments shall strengthen the information sharing, background authentication and business collaboration, integrate and share the public service resources in order to realize the standardized, precise, convenient, platform-based, and collaborative government affairs services.
(IV) Strengthening the in-process and post-process supervision. We should improve the working mechanism of dual random and public disclosure, strengthen the construction of government, business and personal integrity system for the fields of foreigners working in China, as well as establish the mechanism for the formation, collection, publicity and use of credit records of employers, foreigners working in China and special institutions entrusted. We should utilize big data to enhance the supervision of services for market players and improve the credit rewarding and punishing system.
IV. Specific Implementation
From April 1, 2017, the work permit system for foreigners in China shall be implemented in a unified manner across the country, and the Notice of the Peoples Republic of China for the Work Permit for Foreigners (hereinafter referred to as the Notice for the Work Permit for Foreigners) and the Work Permit of the Peoples Republic of China for Foreigners Working in China (hereinafter referred to as the Work Permit for Foreigners Working in China, to be jointly made by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs) shall be issued. Foreigners working in China shall undergo relevant formalities of visa and residence upon the strength of the Notice for the Work Permit for Foreigners and the Work Permit for Foreigners Working in China. The existing and valid work permits for foreign experts in China, the employment permits for foreigners entering the territory of China and relevant certificates shall remain effective.
V. Guarantee Measures
All localities and departments shall, from the global and strategic perspective, unify the understanding, conduct close cooperation, strengthen work coordination and system implementation, and continuously improve the capacity and level of government affairs services to benefit enterprises and people to the maximum extent.
We should proactively issue authoritative information to respond to social concerns, to guide social expectation, and to keep the employers and all social sectors informed of and clear about new policies in order to further form a sound atmosphere of public opinions promoting the implementation of work permit system for foreigners in China.
State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs
Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Public Security
March 28, 2017