[Q&A] Latest Update of Foreign Experts Policies during the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus epidemic has lasted for almost two months. Now the number of new cases in China is decreasing steadily, which would be impossible without effective measures taken by the government and full support from each and every one. We understand that it might bring you so much inconvenience during this period of time. To give you a support, authorities in Shanghai have streamlined some administrative processes relating to foreigners’ work permit, visa, and Shanghai Health QR Code. Now let me give you some tips as follows, hoping they are helpful to you.
4. 暂时取消“延期业务须在许可届满前 30 日提交”的限制，用人单位可在许可届满前在线提交；
Q1. X School: We are applying a Work Permit for a newly employed foreign expert. Do we have to go to the Shanghai Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs in person to hand in the paperwork?
Office of International Cooperation and Exchange: No need to do so. Since February 2020, the Shanghai Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) temporarily has expanded online work permit applications to more foreign employees (Type B), which was only available for top foreign talents (Type A). Instead of handling paperwork and visiting windows, you can apply online for work permit notification letters, as well as for the extension of work permits, which avoids gatherings and prevents the risk of cross-infections.
Moreover, on Tuesday of this week (March 10th), SAFEA further streamlined the administrative process by releasing some new policies. The key points are listed as below.
1. Top foreign talents over 65 years old don’t need to submit the international health insurance policy and related documents.
2. It requires only 3 business days (previously 10) for authorities to deal with employers' applications to cancel the work permits of foreign experts.
3. During the epidemic, online evidence, such as e-mail and WeChat records, are admissible if foreign experts are not able to sign their names on termination of employment paperwork.
4. SAFEA has temporarily abolished the requirements that employers need to apply for work permit extensions of foreign experts 30 days prior to expiration.
5. Foreign experts who stay in China with an automatically extended visa can apply and extend their work permits.
For more information:
Q2.Foreign Expert: I am in Shanghai. My visa will expire on March 20th, but the University is still closed. What am I supposed to do now?
Office of International Cooperation and Exchange: Don’t worry. According to the latest policy issued by the National Immigration Administration (NIA), during epidemic period, the visas of foreigners will be automatically extended for 2 months, which means foreigners staying in China don’t need to go to the visa office in person to renew visas even if they are going to expire. Visa offices of Exit-Entry Administration (EEA) in Shanghai are still open for those with urgent needs. However, it’s strongly recommended that you stay at home and avoid heading out.
To avoid crowds gathering risks, we also recommend that our foreign experts complete residence registration online upon your arrival in Shanghai rather than go to the police station in person. Here is a step-by-step guide of the online registration:
Q3. Foreign Expert: I heard recently that there is some “code” Shanghai residents are applying and using. What is that? Do I need to apply? And how?
Office of International Cooperation and Exchange: If you are in Shanghai or will come to Shanghai, please apply for a Shanghai Health QR Code (随申码), which equals to a health declaration. It is a necessity for your entry of this city and access to most utilities. The code will be expanded to cover more office buildings, factory sites, technology parks and administration service centers at all levels as well as all public spaces, so there would be no need for extra paperwork.
Those who have already completed identity verification by Alipay (支付宝) can apply directly for a code (Route: Alipay- City Service- 随申码).
There is a similar application entrance in the WeChat (Route: WeChat- Me- WeChat Pay- Anti-Virus Code).
For more information:
Q4. Foreign Expert: I am staying at home in Shanghai. Sometimes I don’t know to whom I shall turn for help. What can I do when I meet problems?
Office of International Cooperation and Exchange: The University will always be right behind you though she remains closed now. If you meet any problem you cannot solve alone, please don’t hesitate to contact the foreign affairs secretary of your school or any staff member of our office. We will spare no effort to help you. In addition, foreigners who have any questions related to life in Shanghai during this period of time can call 12345, the government’s service hotline for all residents, which offers consultations in English, Japanese, Korean, French, German, Spanish and Russian.