September 18, 2020

Shanghai: Changes to Work Permit Processes

Shanghai has introduced a series of changes designed to streamline immigration processes, including:

  • The introduction of online submissions for Notification Letter of Work Permit applications, work permit extensions, and cancellations
  • A reduction in the government processing times for Category A, B, and C Work Permit applications, extensions and cancellations by two business days
  • Increases in the maximum permit validity to five years for Category A and two years for Category B Work Permits
  • A reduction in the number of documents required for change of employer and intra-company transfer applications

What has changed?

On September 1, 2020, the Shanghai Foreign Expert Bureau made permanent the online Work Permit filing system, originally established as a temporary measure to reduce person-to-person contact during the Covid-19 epidemic. Individuals can now submit applications and all related documents via an online system for Notification Letter of Work Permit applications, extensions, and permit cancellations. Physical copies of application documents will no longer need to be submitted in person at the Foreign Expert Bureau to complete the application process.

Shorter processing times have also been implemented, reducing them from ten to eight business days for Category A Work Permit applications, extensions and cancellations, and from 15 to 13 day for Category B and C Work Permits.

Maximum validity periods have also been extended to five years for Category A Permits (with the exception of A Permits for individuals with a set salary which are restricted to a validity of one year for the initial application). For Category B Permits, the maximum validity period has been extended to two years.

Finally, the documents required for change of employer and intra-company applications have been reduced and items such as a police clearance certificate, certificate of physical examination, or work qualification certificate will no longer need to be provided.

What to expect /impact?

Applicants making submissions for any of the above-referenced permits for Shanghai will benefit from these streamlined processes.

For further information on changes to the immigration processes for Shanghai, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team.


Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over fifteen years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends, and currently serves as a member of the Worldwide ERC (WERC) Immigration Advisory Council.

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