How to Apply For Short-term Work Permits in China

In order to standardize the management of work permits for foreigners and to attract talent of higher quality to mainland China, the government has designed and implemented a foreigner work permit management system. 

Short-term Work Permit for Guangzhou

The Guangzhou Foreign Experts Bureau recently introduced a Foreigner's Work Permit service (FWP) for those who plan to work in Guangzhou for a short period of time ( 90 days).

Here's how you can apply for it: 

1.  Submit your online application with the Service System for Foreigners Working in China.

2. A third-party agency will pre-screen your application and accept it if it meets the requirements. 

3. Your application will then reviewed by the deciding agency and the results will be released within 5 working days from the date of submission. 


Short-Term Work Permit for Dalian

Dalian introduced its 4 New Policies aimed at easing the processing of work permits and reducing barriers to foreign business travelers and expatriate workers. Applicants who meet one of the following requirements are eligible to apply for a short-term work permit in Dalian:

1. Foreign experts selected for the China or Liaoning Province high-level talent program or the high-level foreign expert program.

2. Foreign experts who are issued an Overseas Outstanding Expert Certificate by the Dalian Labor Bureau.

3. Foreign experts who are issued a Xinghai Friendship Award by the Dalian municipal government.

4. Foreigners who are named an Honorary Citizen of Dalian by the Dalian municipal government.

5. Foreign personnel whose annual tax payment surpasses RMB 300,000 (about US$43,500).

6. High-level managerial professionals who are legal representatives, investors, general managers or  vice general managers of a Top 100 Tax Payment Enterprise.

7.  High-level managerial professionals who are legal representatives, investors, general managers or  vice general managers of an Outstanding Foreign-Invested Enterprise

8. High-level managerial professionals who are legal representatives investors, general managers or vice general manager of a Fortune Top 500 Enterprise in Dalian City.

9. Class A type enterprises registered in the Dalian Public Security Bureau.  

Residence permit validity: 

Seven categories of high-level foreign professionals will enjoy a longer initial residence permit validity of one to five years. (Previously, the maximum validity was one year, renewable annually). The seven categories are categories 1 through 7 above.

Port visas: 

Foreign visitors who have been invited to Dalian for urgent business travels, such as for engineering repair, will be able to apply for a port visa at three new units (the Exit-Entry Bureau, the Jinpu New Area, and the High-Tech Industrial Zone). Dalian authorities will also honor port visa applications from foreigners who entered through the ports of BeijingShenzhen or Guangzhou.

Longer visa-free stays for transiting travelers:

Dalian will extend visa-free stays for transiting travelers from 72 hours to 144 hours. The visa-free stays are available to nationals form of 51 countries and will be extended to allow visits throughout Liaoning Province instead of restricting them to the cities of Shenyang and Dalian.

Short-Term Work Permit for Beijing

Foreign workers applying for a 90-day short-term work permit in Beijing can be eligible under the following circumstances:

1. Visiting a business partner to accomplish certain technical, scientific, research or guidance work in China;

2. Training for sporting-related purposes;

3. Shooting a film, including both documentaries and commercials;

4. Participating in a fashion show as a model;

5. Giving a commercial performance;

6. Other activities at the discretion of authorities.

All other activities involving short-term assignments in China still be approved by applying for a Chinese Business Visa.

The application procedures to apply for Short-Term Work Permits in Beijing will involve the following steps:

1. Acquiring an Employment License and Approval for Short-Term Employment for Foreigners Working in China from the Ministry of Labour;

2. These approvals will then allow for the issuance of an Invitation Letter;

3. These items will then support an application for a short-term work permit from a Consulate or Embassy of China;

4.  Following entry in mainland China, the holder of the short-term visa may either use that visa to work for a period of up to 30 days or, if their period of employment is longer, they must acquire a Residence Permit from within the country for up to 90 days.

Shanghai short-term work permit

As a foreign employee, executive, or investor, a member of your countrys consulate staff, or the spouse of an expat living in Shanghai, you are subject to the usual visa regulations for moving to China. You can use an L visa for tourists and private visitors for a first fact-finding trip, to go flat hunting or visit a couple of international schools.

However, as soon as you travel to Shanghai for commercial or academic purposes, an L visa is no longer going to cut it. In this case, you will need to apply for an F visa. Which allow you to stay in China for up to six months. Among other things, it requires a letter of invitation from your contact in China, whether it be a business organization, an academic institution or a personal contact.

 It is valid for a stay of up to six months. Among other things, it requires a letter of invitation from your Chinese contacts, a Chinese business organization, academic institution, etc.

An F visa is especially suitable for shorter business trips, academic research projects, or extended language-learning holidays. For the exact details of the application process and the mandatory documents, please make an enquiry at the nearest Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your home country.

Although DalianShanghaiBeijingShenzhen and Guangzhou's policies may differ from one another, the rest of China shares the same policies for foreigners applying a short-term work permit based on the following conditions:

Who can apply?

Foreigners aged 16-60 who come to China for short-term work assignments must adhere to the following requirements, and stay in China for no more than 90 days:

1. Visiting local partners to complete certain technological, scientific research, management, guidance work, etc.;

2.  Visiting local sports institutions for trial training purposes (including coaches and athletes);

3. Shooting videos contents (including commercials and documentaries);

4. Fashion shows (including car models, models for advertisements, etc.)

Require Documents:

For the company:

1. Photocopy of business license;

2. The sample of company chops;

3. Photocopy of the ID card of the legal representative;

4. Invitation letter.

Form the applicant:

1. 35*49 mm colored photos;

2. Application form;

3. Employment letter;

4. Health certificate (must have been issued in the last 6 months);

5. Registration Form of Temporary Residence;

6. Photocopy of the applicant's information page, and latest visa page on the passport, if applicable.

Author: Suki

Editor: Crystal H


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