New Visa Policies Aimed at Benefiting Foreigners in Guangdong and in Shenzhen
Guangdong’s policies are offering talented and innovative individuals plenty of opportunities to facilitate their acquisition of a working resident permit. Investors with a clear track record and an investment amounting to USD one million can apply for a permanent residence permit. Highly skilled talents can apply for a three-year resident permit, or with proper guarantees even a five-year residence permit while foreigners can apply for a working visa at the port of entry on arrival in Guangdong. However, it’s highly recommended to arrive in China with a visa rather than without.
Shenzhen, on the other hand, while not making considerable changes, they will be able to issue more types of visas while offering reduced visa-issuing times. Another change will be that visa will not need to be picked up, they can be delivered to a designated address in Shenzhen, hopefully making the process more efficient.
Visa Policies Measures Implemented in the Guangdong Free Trade Zone(FTZ)
1. Foreign individuals part of the innovation and entrepreneurship team in the Free Trade Zone, and international technical talents employed by Free Trade Zone enterprises shall be graded according to the evaluation standard of Free Trade Zone talents points, and those who reach a specific score can apply for permanent residence in China. The essential evaluation system will be worked out by the authorized Public Security Department of Guangdong province and other relevant departments, implementing after report it to the Ministry of Public Security for approval.
2. Foreigners who are the controlling shareholder of a company, directly investing in the Free Trade Zone in the Guangdong Province, investing for three years consecutively a total amount equivalent to USD one million (The Catalogue of Industries for Guiding Foreign Investment promoted by the state encourages industry investments totalling USD 500,000) and a good tax record, can apply for permanent residence in China.
3. Ethnic Chinese with a foreign nationality who starts a business in the Guangdong Free Trade Zone (below the age of 60) can directly apply for a work residence permit valid for years with their work permit and employer’s letter of guarantee, or apply for a five-year valid residence permit for private affairs (“entrepreneurship” Visa category) and providing their business plan.
4. International students from overseas universities who have been invited by the Guangdong Free Trade Zone Enterprises registered by the Guangdong Provincial Public Security Organs for entry and exit management agencies may apply for short-term private affairs visas for internships at the port visa authorities. For those entering the country with a different type of visa, they can apply for a short-term private affairs visa for internships.
5. Foreign high-level talents recognized by the personnel department of the Guangdong Province, the Guangdong Provincial Science and Technology Innovation Authority, and Guangdong Provincial Free Trade Office accredit enterprises to hire and guarantee the industry’s senior professional foreign talents, and international high-level talents (below the age of 60) employed by higher education institutions and research institutes in Guangdong Province, can receive a work permit (“talent” Visa category) with a valid period of fewer than five years. After working for three years, they can apply for a permanent residence in China with a recommendation letter.
6. Foreign high-level talents recognized by the personnel department of the Guangdong Province, or the Guangdong Province Science and Technology Innovation Authority, and the Guangdong Provincial Free Trade Office accredited enterprises are employed and guaranteed by the industry’s senior professional foreign talents, or employed by Guangdong universities and research institutes, or expatriate high-level talents hired by other high-level talents and other individuals who have proved to be high-level talents may apply for an R visa (“talent” Visa category) to the visa authorities at the port of arrival. After entry, you can apply for a residence permit with a validity of fewer than five years. Foreign high-level talents that come to China with other visas can apply to change their visa to an R-Visa or apply directly for a residence permit within five years.
7. For foreigners who work in the Guangdong Province with the work permit issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, or foreigners who work in the Guangdong Province can directly apply for a residence permit with a validity of one year after the entry of the work permit; Foreigners can apply for a Z-visa (work visa) to the visa authorities at the arrival port. After admission, they can apply for a residence permit.
8. For foreigners working in the Guangdong Province, if they have applied for a work residence permit for two consecutive times, without violating the laws and regulations, on the third application they can apply for a work residence permit with a validity period of fewer than five years.
9. For ethnic Chinese with a foreign nationality born in Guangdong or formerly registered in Guangdong, with the corresponding certificates or guarantees for visiting relatives, negotiating business, scientific and educational exchanges, and handling personal affairs, can acquire multiple valid visas for entry and exit within five years. For ethnic Chinese with foreign nationality who need to stay in Guangdong for work, study, family visits and personal affairs for an extended period, they can acquire a residence permit with five years of validity.
10. To support international students to innovate and start businesses in the Guangdong Province after graduating from higher education institutions (including higher education institutions in Hong Kong and Macao). Foreign students are willing to innovate and start a business in the Guangdong Province can apply for a private residence permit (“entrepreneurship” Visa category), within two years of validity with a diploma of higher, and carry out internships and innovative entrepreneurial activities. If a foreigner holding the private residence permit (“entrepreneurship” Visa category) is employed, they will need to apply for a work permit related to their new role.
11. For international students enrolled in primary or secondary schools, if they come to Guangdong Province for emergency reasons, they can apply for the X1 visa to the Guangdong Provincial Port Visa Authority with the admission letter and letter from the Guangdong Provincial Primary and Secondary School. After entering the country, they can apply for a student visa according to regulations. For those who enter China with other visas, they can issue a residence permit for study with the admission letter and certificate.
12. For foreign domestic service staff may apply for a private affairs residence permit for a specified period (“Domestic Service” Visa Category).
13. The Guangdong Province will submit to the State Council the optimizations and improvements for the visa-free transit policies regarding foreigners. Further expand the 72-hour visa-free transit area in Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. Allow foreigner to enter from Baiyun Airport, Shenzhen Bao’an Airport and Jieyang Chaoshan Airport. The exit ports will be expanded from Baiyun Airport to all land, sea and airports in the province to realize the linkage of airports, land, air and seaports. The scope of activities during the visa-free period is limited to the administrative area of the Guangdong Province, and the duration of stay is extended from 72 hours to 144 hours. (The Guangdong Provincial People’s Government shall report to the State Council for approval before implementation.)
Visa and Permanent Resident Policies Benefiting Foreigner in Shenzhen
1. Once foreign residents have submitted their visa application at the bureau, they will no longer need to come back to the same location to collect it when it is ready. Instead, their new visa will be mailed directly to the address that they provided, thereby making the application process a lot more convenient.
2. Introducing a variety of new visas and permits:
- 17 types of visa applications, including the extension of the R visa, L, G, F, Q2, M, J2, S2, X2, and C as well as the renewal of the X2 visa, R, F, J2, M, Q2, and S2.
- Two types of residence permits: first-time applications and renewal of an existing permit.
- Additionally, the visa application processing time has been shortened from seven working days to five working days, while processing time for permanent residence permits has been reduced from three months down to two months.
Ask LehmanBrown How You Can Benefit from the Policies
Guangdong Province’s policies are there to help anyone with an entrepreneurial or innovating idea establish in China no matter if you are a student or an investor. With many other ways to benefit from these policies, LehmanBrown can help you maximise the benefits you can receive and take care of the visa process for you. In the case you would like to set up a business in the Guangdong Province, LehmanBrown via the Guangzhou and Shenzhen office can provide your business with tailored solutions perfectly suited to your needs.