Shanghai Free Trade Zone: New policies to attract more overseas talent
Wednesday marks the fifth anniversary of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. The pilot zone has just released a batch of new immigration laws to attract more overseas talent. Officials are also expanding an area that honors a special work visa. Lin Nan has more.
Lathika Chandra Mouli graduated from New York University's Shanghai campus last year. She found a job at a blockchain startup in Shanghai and quickly received a work permit, thanks to a new scheme called Talent Visa.
LATHIKA CHANDRA MOULI BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, ENERGO LABS "If you have a bachelor's degree without 2 years experience, it was very hard to get a visa, so I was originally very uncertain about whether I could stay in China after graduation."
Previously, foreigners needed two years of work experience before applying for a Chinese work permit. The Talent Visa was launched in 2016. It initially sought foreign graduates from local schools who worked in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone or Zhangjiang, and later expanded to foreign graduates from leading Chinese schools and work in Shanghai.
LATHIKA CHANDRA MOULI BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, ENERGO LABS "Shanghai is a very innovative city, there is a lot of research happening here, and there are some startups, and new technology every day. For someone who is involved in engineering, it is very exciting to be in Shanghai."
Aside from Lathika, there were ten other international graduates from NYU Shanghai who were able to stay in town and work after graduation in 2017.
YU LIZHONG, CHANCELLOR NYU SHANGHAI "In this age of globalization, the flow of talent is very strong and frequent. But getting a work permit is difficult in many countries. Shanghai is the first Chinese city to grant work permits to graduates without work experience. Attracting these young professionals who know China well is beneficial to the development of the city."
LIN NAN SHANGHAI "Shanghai authorities have launched a batch of new policies to relax work permit and green card requirements for overseas talent. It is all part of an effort to promote the city as an innovation hub."
The new measures have allowed top foreign talent, and even overseas Chinese to speed up or simplify the work permit and green card application processes.
CAI BAODI, DIRECTOR EXIT-ENTRY ADMINISTRATION BUREAU OF SHANGHAI PUBLIC SECURITY BUREAU "The policy umbrella has become wider and more flexible, but standards are still high. We, and the city urgently need high-end professionals. Only company executives or professionals with awards were eligible for green cards in the past. Now those recommended by the Free Trade Zone committee, or recognized by area industries are qualified to apply."
Shanghai authorities say the Free Trade Zone has seen an increasing number of visa and green card requests. They add that some of China's other free trade zones may adopt similar measures to lure more talent. Lin Nan CGTN Shanghai.