China’s continuing search to attract top overseas talent to its shores may soon result in the issuing of five or ten-year multiple-entry visas.
Head of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs Zhang Jianguo said he will work to resolve the issue this year in order to attract foreign talent. However, if you’re wondering how you can get one of these extended visas, Zhang made it very clear as to what type of foreigner China is specifically looking for.
“Many foreign experts wrote me e-mails to complain about the visa problem,” said Zhang. “Most of them are high-end talented people. Some are even Nobel Prize winners. Currently, they can get only one-year or two-year multiple-entry permits, which are not very convenient for them.”
Zhang then notes that other countries are more accommodating to Chinese citizens, even if they aren’t Nobel Prize winners. “For example, many Chinese business people or even students can apply for 10-year multiple-entry permits in the United States. I think … we should ensure that top overseas talented people who want to come and work in China can enjoy the same convenience.”
Zhang’s sentiments are backed by a government plan that will attract high-caliber overseas talent to China.
According to a draft of the 13th Five-Year Plan, China is looking to introduce many types of overseas talent to its workforce. However, they’re not looking for anymore English teachers. Rather, China wants to attract scientists in strategic sectors as well as innovators in “breakthrough techniques” and can help develop high-tech industries.
Zhang said the plan will establish a recruitment mechanism for foreign talent as well as draft regulations on how to guide them through national science and technology programs. Zhang also made it clear that the needs of foreign talent will be looked after should they make the move to China.
“What if they get ill in China? How can the expenses in a Chinese hospital be covered by insurance in China or their commercial insurance bought overseas?” asked Zhang. “I know there are very few hospitals that could connect with overseas insurance companies. And this needs policy support from government agencies such as us.”
For years, China has been trying to roll out visa reforms so as to attract talent from overseas. Back in January, the Ministry of Public Security announced a pilot project granting preferential policies to attract high-end foreign talent that will boost scientific and technological innovation in Beijing’s newly re-tooled Zhongguancun National Demonstration Zone.