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China might be launching a five-year work permit for foreigners

Music to the ears of Shanghai's expat community

Nabbing a Chinese residency permit might soon be getting a whole lot easier, as the Government has just announced the start of a new pilot programme allowing foreigners to apply for a work permit lasting not one, or two, or even three, but five whole years.

The scheme, which means that legally employed expats here for the long haul will be able to spend more time slurping noodles and rampaging round the city and a lot less time with cold sweats in a queue at the dark fortress that is the Public Security Bureau, applies to foreign residents with a minimum of two consecutive years of employment in China.

If they meet the criteria, they'll then be able to obtain one of the new mega-visas; this is a major improvement on the old system, which meant that even long-term residents had to apply for an updated permit on an annual basis, regardless of contract length or time already spent in the country. These developments come after other major revisions to the application process, including the introduction of a rankings system and special provision for those with Master's degrees.

While we would certainly argue that, just like every other country with strict entry requirements around the globe, China is entitled to make those here voluntarily suffer a little in the cogs of the bureaucratic machine, we'd also concede that the amount of legwork and headaches required to renew the current work permit suck.

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Let's all meet up in the year 2022/ Won't it be strange when we're not stuck in Hong Kooooong

On this basis, we're sure the Shanghai citizens of Expatia are stoked for the new work permit.

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