A senior Microsoft executive has been issued the very first “Certificate for Foreign High-End Talent" in Beijing.
The foreigner was revealed by state media to be Sajualumootll George, Microsoft's director of human resources for Asia Pacific. With the certificate, George is eligible for a 10-year multi-entry visa.
The second and third recipients were identified as US professors Chong Gu of Purdue University and Lucio Soibelman from the University of Southern California.
Several other top executives from major multinational corporations also applied for the certificates, which would make them eligible for a five- to 10-year multi-entry visa allowing stays for up to 180 days at a time. (Their spouses and children would also be eligible). The applications can be processed within a few days, and both the certificate and visa are free of charge.
Beijing and nine other cities and provinces are trialing the new 'top talent' visa scheme, which launched on January 1. Those qualified to apply for the certificates include "top scientists, international entrepreneurs and other talent with specific high-level skills that are in need in the development of the country's economy and society." (Read more about the new categories of foreign talents here).