A screenshot of the official website of Shanghai Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs [Photo: shafea.gov.cn]
When Ford Motor Company decided to move its Asia-Pacific headquarters from Singapore to east China's Shanghai, it was told that the company's president couldn't apply for his employment permit because he was over 60 years old.
This dilemma will no longer happen in Shanghai!
Shanghai is now sparing no effort to offer a variety of conveniences to overseas talents. Senior foreign executives in Shanghai who formerly were too old to apply can now apply for the "foreign expert certificates" to get legal residence. Moreover, the city is considering loosening the home-purchase restrictions and household registration requirements for foreign experts.
As the financial hub of China, Shanghai has long been the paradise where international talent and elites can distinguish themselves. However, due to the limitation and restriction of some policies, many foreigners have encountered difficulties when facing the residence issue.
Hu Zhangping, an official from the Shanghai municipal committee, says in the past, some transnational corporations' senior executives who were over 60 years old couldn't apply for the residence permits when they came to work in Shanghai, because in China the retirement age for men is 60.
"Shanghai is now trying to make some changes on the basis of the country's policies. For example, we can allow those over 60 foreign managers to apply for a foreign expert certificate. The age limitation can be broadened to 70." Hu said.
What's more, according to the current policy, foreign college students in China need to go back to their countries and work for two years before they can apply for jobs in China. But in Shanghai, foreign students with master's degrees can directly look for jobs in Zhangjiang High-tech Industrial Development Zone and the Pilot Free Trade Zone.
Statistics released by the Shanghai public security bureau in July of last year showed that China has issued over 7,000 permanent residence permits, or the "Chinese green cards", since reforming and opening-up, among which 2,000 have been issued for Shanghai residence. However, in reality only some 200 permits have really been issued to overseas expats.