China’s has become more welcoming to international workers who may be committed to long-term service.
Foreigners working in the country for at least two consecutive years may now apply for a five-year work permit, the Ministry of Public Security announced last week.
The new program is scheduled for trial later this year, Caixin reported. It will apply in nine cities and provinces, including Beijing, Hebei and Wuhan, and in 11 free-trade zones in Chongqing, Henan and Tianjin.
The move upgrades from the current system that requires expats, even under multi-year contracts, to reapply for new work permits annually.
Other plans were also outlined in the announcement, including the eligibility for the permanent residence of foreigners who have worked in the same city or province for over four consecutive years. To fully qualify, they must also meet certain salary and income tax thresholds.
These programs boost China’s potential to attract international talent. Last year, 1,576 foreigners became permanent residents, marking a 163% increase from 2015.