According to an article in the China Daily, the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council has put together plans for two new visa types for foreign professionals.
The visas will be targeted towards senior-level foreign talent that the country is in urgent need of, but the government has yet to outline specific groups that will be eligible for the new R1 and R2 visas.
A R1 visa will come with residency rights, while a R2 visa will allow multiple entry and exits.
Liu Guofu, an immigration law specialist at the Beijing Institute of Technology, said R1 visa holders can apply for a residence permit for up to five years, while a R2 visa will allow professionals to stay in China for 180 days at a time.
The regulation will be implemented under the Exit and Entry Administration Law, which takes effect in July.
Visa holders should be experts recognized by provincial-level governments and above, and professionals that China urgently needs, according to the regulation.
The Beijing Institute of Technology’s immigration law specialist Liu Guofu explained that while the State Council regulation does not outline which groups are needed, a draft indicates that candidates will likely be those with management experience at leading multinationals, specialists in education and science-related fields, and renowned figures in culture and sport.
“The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security or the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs may soon release the list of target groups,” Liu said.
Wang Huiyao, director of the Center for China and Globalization in Beijing, said the new visas will help attract overseas talent.
“The regulation will especially lure those who work in other countries but want to spend time working in China,” he said.
Wang said that in the past China had focused a great deal on how to manage foreigners working in or visiting the country when making or amending visa-related laws and regulations.
But now the country is aiming to attract global talent by providing more convenient visa policies, like many other countries, including the United States.