Beijing launches initiatives to assist foreign talents

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In order to create a better business environment, the Beijing Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau has launched multiple initiatives to facilitate foreign talents to work and live in Beijing.

The "Confirmation Letter for High Level Foreign Talents" – a pre-requisite for the R-Visa – can now be issued in two working days; foreigners can choose near-by service windows to submit applications regarding work affairs; and international university graduates can learn about employment policies in newly established service stations on campus.

The initiatives also include indirect ones aiming to help the children of foreign talents to enroll in schools, learn about the traditional Chinese culture, and live happy lives in Beijing.

In January last year, nine provinces and cities including Beijing piloted the foreign talent visa system, which grants the R-Visa to foreign professionals in high demand: scientists, experts, leading talents of industrial technology, international entrepreneurs, specialized talents, and highly-skilled talents. The R-Visa allows multiple entries with a maximum 180 days per stay during the validity period of either five or 10 years. The visa holder's spouse and children will also be granted visa of the same validity period and multi-entry terms.

To obtain the R-Visa, foreigners should first apply for the "Confirmation Letter for High Level Foreign Talents." The letter is issued by provincial foreigner affairs management departments in no more than five working days. The Beijing Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau has reduced the time needed to verify the qualifications of applicants in order to issue the letter in as fast as two workings days.

The bureau is working to further delegate authority on foreign talent affairs to lower-level departments. The Foreign Experts Affairs Center of Beijing Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau has set up district-level service windows in Chaoyang, Haidian, and Shunyi districts. Over 20 procedures, including extending and making changes to foreigner work permits in China, can now be done at district-level service windows. This initiative will benefit about 60% of the foreign talents in Beijing. According to the Foreign Experts Affairs Center, district-level service windows will also be set up in Yizhuang Economic Development Zone, Tongzhou district, and Changping district this year.

There are also a number of initiatives to facilitate foreign professionals' transitions to living in Beijing. The Foreign Experts Affairs Center has set up a service station at Tsinghua University to help foreign experts and international students understand employment policies, high-level foreign expert projects, and social security policies in China. In addition, the center has provided one-on-one Chinese language teaching service to more than 200 high-end foreign talents since October 2015, and signed agreements with seven international schools to facilitate the enrollment of their children.

In recent years, foreign talents have been mainly introduced to areas of medical and healthcare, software and information services, big data, environmental engineering and new materials, and ecological agriculture, etc. To better serve enterprises, the Foreign Experts Affairs Center has also handled the employment permit procedures for over 30 outstanding foreign university graduates in Beijing for ByteDance.

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