BEIJING, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- The State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) has announced a pilot program to streamline work applications for foreigners.
The plan was approved by the State Council in a move to make the hiring of foreign talent in China more flexible and competitive.
On hearing the new policy, Gellusch Klaus who has worked in Beijing for five years expressed pleasant surprise. The German engineer described his experience applying for his work permits when he changed company as "crazy".
"It was a long process and I need to submit lots of documents, including those from my company," said Klaus. He said was looking forward to the new system.
Under the current system, foreigners need to apply for two work licenses issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social security and the SAFEA before they work in China. The trial program will unify the two permits into a single work permit.
The new work permit will be the legal credential for foreigners to work in China, with a number tied to each applicant forever, said Gao Xiang, director of the Department of Policies and Regulations under the SAFEA.
The pilot program will initially start in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanghai, Anhui, Shandong, Guangdong, Sichuan and Ningxia, from October 2016 to March 2017.
From April 2017, the permit will be applied to foreigners across the country.
Zhang Jianguo, head of the SAFEA, said the unification of the two permits will reduce repeated reviews and improve efficiency.
A system, jointly established with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Public Security, will be launched for supervision, credit assessment and rewarding excellent foreigners who work in China, Zhang said.
In addition, applicants will submit less material. A bilingual personal resume is no longer needed.
According to Gao, foreign workers will be classified into categories A, B and C. A, as top-notch personnel; B as professional talent; and C as unskilled workers or those working in the service industry.
The country will open a green channel for top-notch talent to apply for work permits, while limiting B and C categories, which are less needed.