Leading foreign experts will get their work permits the same day they apply for them in Shanghai as long as all requirements are met.
The city aims to bring this into play this year to facilitate attracting more top foreign professionals to the city.
The qualifications for such leading foreign experts who are entitled to the faster "green channel" process are yet to be worked out but they should first qualify as professionals working at those research and development centers that fall in the Category A work permits for foreigners in China, the city's human resources and social security bureau said yesterday.
They will be exempt from submitting proof of no criminal records and diploma verifications when applying for a work permit in Shanghai as they are deemed to be trustworthy and their skills are urgently needed.
Meanwhile, several new policies to boost the hunt for global talent to work in the city's foreign-invested R&D centers have already come into force this year.
Category A foreign specialists are now given work permits of up to five years — regardless of their age.
For foreign professionals employed by the foreign R&D centers that fall in the Category A, even if applicant companies forget to bring proof of no criminal records or verifications of diplomas of the applicants when applying for work permits for specialists, the application centers should accept and approve the applications if the companies pledge to submit the missing records when they come to collect the work permits.
There were 416 foreign-invested R&D centers in Shanghai at the end of August, accounting for a quarter of the total on China's mainland, according to the government.
The foreign-invested R&D centers can now hire foreigners who neither fall in the Category A nor B with a recommendation letter from their corresponding government administrations, the bureau said, adding that it will also put "systematic" efforts into hiring foreign professionals through its eight overseas liaison offices.
Last month, the city government announced a five-year (2017-2021) plan to further ease visa rules for top foreign talent.
Shanghai issued 34,551 work permits to foreigners in 2017, accounting for a quarter of the total in China, the bureau said.
Changning District and the Pudong New Area governments were given the authority to approve work permits to foreigners.
The number of foreigners working and starting businesses in Shanghai amounted to 215,000 at the end of last year — more than anywhere else in the country.
This year, visa and green card rules will be eased for outstanding graduates from top foreign universities who come to work in Shanghai.
Such graduates will be able to apply for a two-year residence permit in Shanghai within two years after graduation and to apply for a Chinese green card after working in the city for three years. The details of the policy are yet to be worked out.