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[Promotion] Expert Permit – An Option for Foreigners Working in Guangdong @Zhong Lun Law Firm

Expert Permit – An Option for Foreigners Working in Guangdong

Kent WOO, Partner at Zhong Lun Guangzhou

This article will touch upon an alternative for working permit based on local employment.

With the growing consumption market and probably due to the relatively lower housing costs in Pearl River Delta, more and more foreigners are working in this area.  Normally, the foreigners enter into the Employment Agreement with the local employers and then apply for a working permit.  This may affect the social insurance and tax position of the foreigners back in home countries.  In addition, the working permit based on the employment with the local employer can be complicated and time-consuming in certain regions in Guangdong.

Alternatively, the foreigner could be seconded by the offshore headquarters or entities to work as the “foreign expert” in China.  However, the secondment arrangement was permitted on a limited basis and can only be approved on provincial level.  We now see that the secondment arrangement is likely to be more available in Guangdong with a circular issued by the Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs of Guangdong Province in late 2015.

The major applicants for the Foreign Expert Working Permit were traditionally in cultural and educational field, e.g. teachers.  The current practice has extended the applicants to high-ranking foreign technical or managerial professionals who are employed to take up position above vice general manager or enjoy equivalent treatment in China.  It should be noted that such applicants shall hold a bachelor’s degree or higher degrees and have at least 5-year work experiences in related jobs. Our recent experience is that applicants in mid-level positions, such as senior consultants, or managers at mid-level or above, are also possible to be granted the Foreign Expert Working Permit. 

Previously, all the applications must be submitted to the Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs of Guangdong Province and due to the high volume of applications received, the provincial foreign affair authority may take more time to complete the whole process.  With the circular, the local foreign affair authority is authorized to approve and grant the Foreign Expert Working Permit and the timeframe is greatly shortened.

In order to apply for a Foreign Expert Working Permit, a Secondment Agreement with the offshore headquarter or entity, together with other documents like the resume, degree and professional certificates of the applicant and the business license of the local company are required.  It usually takes approximately 20 working days to process the Foreign Expert Working Permit now, although in certain cases, it may take another 10 working days.

With the Foreign Expert Working Permit and Invitation Letter issued by relevant foreign affairs authority, the foreigner will be able to apply for the Z (Working) Visa at the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in his/her home country. 

The information contained in this article is only intended to be a synopsis.  It is advisable to take detailed professional advice before acting on it.  If you would like to find out more about how Zhong Lun can assist you, please contact Kent WOO at kentwoo@zhonglun.com or +8620 2826 1777.

【要点:近年来,到广东省工作的包括外国人持续增加。外国人在中国就业需要经过许可,其中两种主要的许可为外国人就业许可和外国专家来华工作许可。为落实国务院与广东省政府“简政放权、放管结合”的要求,广东省外国专家局于今年年初将“外国专家来华工作许可”行政许可业务全面委托给各地级以上市、顺德区以及广东自贸试验区各片区外国专家归口管理部门办理。此举意味着来广东省工作的经济技术类外国专家(包括企业高管、技术人员)和文教类外国专家(包括老师)来粤工作将更便捷。】

 
 
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