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China eases restrictions for work visas for fresh graduates
Good news for students and graduates interested in moving to China: two years of professional experience are no longer required to be granted a work visa.
A New Year's surprise for students and graduates who see themselves in China right after completing their studies: the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People's Republic of China (MOHRSS) decreed on January 06 2017 that it has eased the requirements for a work visa.
The discontinuation of the previously mandatory two years of professional experience is significant. From now on, a foreign graduate can apply for a work visa in China immediately after completing their studies. A Master's degree from a Chinese university or a "renowned" foreign university is absolutely required, however. The application must also be submitted within one year upon graduating.
The following minimum criteria are defined for applying for the work permit:
- Minimum 18 years of age
- Good health
- No crime record
- Outstanding academic achievements with an average grade of 80% or greater than B/B+ as well as good behavior
- Relevant degree
- Confirmed employment relevant to the degree, as well as income greater than the legal average income of the respective city/region
Furthermore, as part of the application process for the Z visa, it must be verified that the employer has offered the vacant position to local workers for at least 30 days.
The employment certificate issued by the authorities has an initial validity of one year and may be extended by another 5 years upon proper payment of Chinese income tax.
The available volume of work visas for foreign graduates is determined and reported on January 31 of every year by the MOHRSS.
The new regulation is valid as of January 6, 2017 and comes into effect immediately.
Experts have been demanding such an adjustment for a long time. "China is working diligently toward its 'Made in China 2025' agenda, which sees the country as a market leader in many areas. Currently they once again lack the necessary workforce, which they are now seeking out abroad," says Dirk Mussenbrock, founder of the European-Chinese job portal SinoJobs. "And this will certainly work, because young professionals from all around the world see interesting career prospects in China's big cities in particular."