SHANGHAI, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Shanghai has opened a talent hub in its free trade zone aiming to streamline procedures for attracting foreign professionals.
Visa applicants can obtain work and residence permits by making a single visit at the Shanghai Pudong International Talent Hub, located in the heart of Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in the Pudong New Area, the China Daily reported.
Also unveiled is a one-stop online service platform, where applicants can book physical examinations and apply for both permits by filling in one online form, the newspaper said.
Previously, foreign professionals had to make at least three trips to government departments - for foreign experts affairs, human resources and public security - to obtain a work visa, it said.
A professional team will also assist family members with the relevant procedures.
Under the initiative, applications can receive approval in five days, said Xiao Lin, a director in charge of administrative approval systems in the Pudong New Area.
"This is achieved by cutting the number of approval phases by 70 percent, shortening the examination time by 60 percent, and halving the types of materials," Xiao said.
Wang Fanglei, a human resources director at Shanghai Suoguang Visual Products Co, also touted the convenience of the new system when she helped a Japanese expert apply for credentials.
"Information such as birth date and nationality are automatically recorded when the scanned version of a passport is uploaded. The system can also adjust the photos to fit corresponding requirements in size and precision, saving time and improving accuracy," she said.
To better serve foreign talent, a number of domestic and international human resources industry leaders have also set up offices in the talent hub, including Manpower, Shanghai Foreign Service Group, CDP Group and Liepin.com, China Daily reported.
Shanghai has spared no efforts in simplifying procedures to make itself a magnet for top-notch global talent. For instance, top-talent confirmation letters issued by local administrators can make it easier for foreigners to get an R visa, which is issued to high-level personnel and top professionals.
Since last year, holders of this visa are permitted to stay in China for 180 days at a time and make multiple entries for up to 10 years. The previous limit was five years.