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China work/residence permit master thread

China work/residence permit master thread

Old Aug 11, 18, 5:34 pm
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China work/residence permit master thread

Greetings, all. I considered posting this in the main visa thread, but opted to create a new thread because the visa thread deals mostly with L, M, X, and Q visas, while Z visas (which convert to work permits) are a separate beast.

I encourage general discussion about all aspects of the work permit system here, but I'm particularly interested in how the grading process works, and the benefits of A v B v C v "green card".

I applied for a work permit earlier this year, and don't actually know my score, but I'm pretty sure it's a high B. At the time of application, nobody explained the benefits of A v B to me; otherwise, I might have taken the HSK (or raised my in China salary) if doing so would have gotten me over the threshold.

The benefits of A that I've heard through the grapevine are:
1. 5 year validity (this is worth it, in and of itself)
2. 5 day processing time (not a big deal for me, but perhaps people who travel internationally a lot disagree)
3. ability to import a car tax free
---there must be others

China Work Permits: Are You an A, B, or C Tier Talent? - China Briefing News
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Old Aug 12, 18, 12:19 am
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For the sake of clarity, my understanding is the following:
1. Your employer sponsors a Z visa
2. #1 gets you a work permit, which contains your score, and facilitates the residence permit
3. The residence permit is what gets placed in your passport
4. Green cards are a level above the A/B/C system (e.g. think of AA Concierge Key)
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Old Aug 13, 18, 10:01 pm
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What do you mean by “5 days processing time”?

To get all the paperwork in order for a fresh visa takes weeks to months, regardless of status.

It takes 4 days to process (if you don’t pay for expedited service) at the local consulate office.

Do you mean 5 days to convert the visa into a residence permit?
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Old Aug 13, 18, 10:51 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
The benefits of A that I've heard through the grapevine are:
1. 5 year validity (this is worth it, in and of itself)
2. 5 day processing time (not a big deal for me, but perhaps people who travel internationally a lot disagree)
3. ability to import a car tax free
---there must be others
Personally, I don't believe that is relevant at all. FWIW - many problems in China can be resolved by relationship and money. Don't see how the tiers make the difference IMHO.

Originally Posted by moondog View Post
4. Green cards are a level above the A/B/C system (e.g. think of AA Concierge Key)
Do you mean the actual Green Card (PR Card) issued by the MPS or a Green-colored card within the Z visa?
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Old Aug 13, 18, 11:38 pm
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Personally, I don't believe that is relevant at all. FWIW - many problems in China can be resolved by relationship and money. Don't see how the tiers make the difference IMHO.
This seems to be less true over time. My experiences in Beijing and Shanghai over the last 5 years tell me that mid-level government officals have less control then they use to have, and it is harder for them to violate the rules, such as approving a work visa for somebody who is over 60.

Outside fo the tier one cities, relationships and money can still solve problems.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 2:27 am
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There are many links similar to the one I posted in my OP, some in greater detail, that explain the scoring system. However, I have seen almost no published information about the benefits of A...hence this thread. I won't bother with the HSK if A doesn't get me more than B.

Last edited by moondog; Aug 14, 18 at 2:32 am
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Old Aug 14, 18, 2:38 am
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Originally Posted by onuhistorian0116 View Post
Outside fo the tier one cities, relationships and money can still solve problems.
The lady who showed me her 5 year RP got it in an underprivileged city, as an English teacher. I don't think any bribery was involved.

Wrt my partner's wife's green card, I haven't seen it yet, but I helped her apply, and the process was painful.
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Old Aug 22, 18, 12:58 am
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Just got my WP upgraded to A. And indeed it does come with a 5-year validity so no more annual pilgrimages to the PSB!
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Old Aug 22, 18, 1:00 am
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Oh regarding the processing time I was told that it would take 7 working days this time around. I don't really remember what it was before though. I haven't got my passport back yet.
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Old Aug 29, 18, 10:18 pm
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My passports have been returned and it took exactly 7 working days as promised.
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Old Sep 1, 18, 8:52 am
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I renewed my visa/ residence permit this year, which needs to be in conjunction with renewal of my "foreign expert certificate" -- which is necessary for my job. The latter has gone through an overhaul this year, and is now a US/UK driving-license-style card. It's supposed to be able to be used in lieu of e.g. a passport, but I can't be bothered to test that, since the hassle factor of having to remember an extra ID is much greater to me.

The residence permit does not state (in an obvious way) which category visa you have, but my FEC states that I am an "A" category. I have no idea of any tangible benefits over and above "B" -- we got a 4 year renewal, not 5, but that's because my son's passport expires in 4 years -- and in past experience, the most they will renew to is the expiry date of family member's passport validity (no idea if that's a rule, that's just my experience).

I'm under the impression the "B" category holders can also get up to 5 years, so not sure if that is an exclusive "A" thing.

Since importing a car presumably has a prohibitive customs bill attached to it, I'm not sure there is an advantage there, unless one needs the equivalent of "The Beast" or something!

My impression is that the categories are about the "hassle factor" of getting the visa in the first place. This has practical applications for me, since I do get expressions of interest for staff (with PhDs!) that want to work for me, but will not fulfil "A" criteria (mostly due to the abysmally low salaries for scientists in China, lack of Chinese language, and living in Beijing). Getting the paperwork can take months and months and months..

tb
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Old Sep 1, 18, 8:59 am
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Getting a green card is orders of magnitude more hassle. My university keeps bugging me to get/ apply for one...and I have refused thus far. There are FTers on this forum that are in the process, and I know of someone else who recently got one (a genuine world expert, non-academic, lived in China for most of the last 20 years, and married to a Chinese citizen). He said it was a major, major hassle. I don't plan on retiring in China, so can't see the appeal to us -- but there are genuine (theoretical) advantages. E.g. in academia, top tier universities offer subsidised housing for purchase, but only for Chinese citizens. It's been reported that green card holders will have the same benefit...

If one has geographically diverse income or assets, a green card has major downsides, in that China and the US both tax permanent residents/ citizens on world-wide income, but "normal" residence holders are taxed solely on China income (provided they fulfil certain criteria if staying longer than 5 years in China).
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Old Sep 1, 18, 3:49 pm
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Originally Posted by trueblu View Post
Getting a green card is orders of magnitude more hassle. My university keeps bugging me to get/ apply for one...and I have refused thus far. There are FTers on this forum that are in the process, and I know of someone else who recently got one (a genuine world expert, non-academic, lived in China for most of the last 20 years, and married to a Chinese citizen). He said it was a major, major hassle. I don't plan on retiring in China, so can't see the appeal to us -- but there are genuine (theoretical) advantages. E.g. in academia, top tier universities offer subsidised housing for purchase, but only for Chinese citizens. It's been reported that green card holders will have the same benefit...

If one has geographically diverse income or assets, a green card has major downsides, in that China and the US both tax permanent residents/ citizens on world-wide income, but "normal" residence holders are taxed solely on China income (provided they fulfil certain criteria if staying longer than 5 years in China).
The process is definitely a BIG hassle, but I STRONGLY encourage you to give it a go. With respect to tax matters, I can put you in touch with our lawyers, who are really expensive, but provide free initial consultations. I don't think your total legal bill would exceed $3,000 (this is what we paid for my partner's wife, and the name change was half of the battle).

Basically, the green card is more dear than a Harvard degree, and the benefits extend to your entire family.
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Old Sep 1, 18, 8:25 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
The process is definitely a BIG hassle, but I STRONGLY encourage you to give it a go. With respect to tax matters, I can put you in touch with our lawyers, who are really expensive, but provide free initial consultations. I don't think your total legal bill would exceed $3,000 (this is what we paid for my partner's wife, and the name change was half of the battle).

Basically, the green card is more dear than a Harvard degree, and the benefits extend to your entire family.
a) The tax implications are not huge for me: since I don't have much money! I was just stating, since most China hands are here for the cash...

b) Value will depend on the person...although I don't have a Harvard degree, I do have several others, and I would not personally trade them for a green card that I neither need or want!

tb
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Old Sep 1, 18, 9:27 pm
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Originally Posted by trueblu View Post
a) The tax implications are not huge for me: since I don't have much money! I was just stating, since most China hands are here for the cash...

b) Value will depend on the person...although I don't have a Harvard degree, I do have several others, and I would not personally trade them for a green card that I neither need or want!

tb
Fair enough; I respect your points. That having been said, if I were in your shoes (I'm not), I would pursue the green card. Only 1% of expats are afforded the opportunity, and you happen to be in this elite circle.
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