New policies make foreigner work permit applications easier
More than 8,500 expat applications for work permits and their extensions have been processed online since the municipal government of Shanghai introduced the new contactless approval procedures in early February.
The contactless approval procedures, which were announced by the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality in mid-February, are among the municipal government's measures to help prevent and control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Wu Qing, head of the human resource department at Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance (China), said more than 20 foreign workers extended their work permits in February. He added that the new procedures have proved to be especially helpful for those who have yet to return from Japan.
To better help foreign workers return to their jobs in Shanghai, the Commission on Mar 10 released another eight measures to facilitate the applications for foreigner work permits and extensions of their visa or residence permits.
Before these eight policies were introduced, applications to extend a foreigner's work permit had to be submitted 30 days before the expiry of the permit. This regulation has since been temporarily suspended and employers can help their foreign workers apply for extensions online as long as it is before the expiry date. In addition, for high-end talent aged over 65, their employers will no longer be required to attach insurance documents for the application.
The approval time for the cancellation of expat work permits has also been shortened from 10 working days to a maximum of three working days.
Liu Haitao, director of the National Immigration Administration's border inspection, said at a news conference on March 1 that foreigners' residence permits can be extended for two months after expiration during the epidemic period as long as they have not left the country. This policy will also be applicable in Shanghai.
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