5-yr visas allowed for foreign experts
2012-December-13 Source: Szdaily web edition
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More professional experts from overseas will be eligible for visas that are valid for up to five years under a new regulation.

The regulation, which was endorsed by five ministry-level departments in late September and released Tuesday, states that four groups of international professionals can benefit from the new long-term visa.

One group includes people selected by the Recruitment Program of Global Experts, said Zhang Dong, a senior official with the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

China established the recruitment program in 2008, aiming to attract 2,000 overseas professionals for key projects across a range of sectors in the country, including engineering and finance. The visa policy was first designed for recruits of the program.

Another group eligible for the long-term visa are those working on projects carried out by Central Government departments, their affiliated public institutions and centrally administered enterprises, Zhang said.

The third group is for overseas talent introduced through provincial-level recruitment programs.

The fourth group is for professionals recruited by high-level projects carried out by governments below the provincial level who are admitted by the department, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security or the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, he said.

Overseas experts whose business requires them to enter and exit the country multiple times can obtain a visa that's valid for five years and allows them to stay in China for 180 days at a time.

Those who need to work or stay longer in China can acquire a work visa or a two- to five-year residence permit, according to the regulation.

For the first time, the rules will allow foreign spouses and children of Chinese overseas returnees to obtain long-term visas and residence permits, or even permanent residence permits.

Currently, foreigners working in China can only obtain a two-year visa or residence permit.

Editor: Jecey
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