Starting November 1 a pilot program will run until April that allows work permits for foreigners to be streamlined from two types (foreign employees and foreign experts) into one type. Once the pilot is complete, a new permit card will be issued to the worker. The application process will also be simplified.
The unified work permit will be open to expats in nine provinces and cities (including Shanghai) and will be classified into three categories: A (top talent), B (professional talent) and C (those working in the service industry aka the much more demeaning 'unskilled workers' bracket).
A second program being introduced to Shanghai will allow students who graduate from local universities without work experience be allowed to find employment in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone and the Shanghai Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone.
This is actually quite a big deal as previous to this, foreigners needed to have at least two years' work experience to apply for work and residence permits in Shanghai. Not easy for those seeking new opportunities post-university.
Officials are also looking into expanding the policy to foreign grads of universities outside of Shanghai.
[Image via Horizon]