China’s Ministry of Social Security and Human Resources, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Department of Education recently jointly promulgated rules for graduates from foreign countries without working experiences. These rules apply to foreign graduates who obtained their master’s degree or higher education in China and to foreign graduates who received advanced degrees from a well-recognized foreign institution (whatever that means). Those who meet either of the above qualifications must then meet the following additional qualifications to be eligible for China employment:
- have graduated within the past year
- be over 18 years of age
- have no criminal record
- have good grades (no lower than 80 out of 100 or B/B+) and no record of infractions during school
- be in good health
- have a specified employer and a position relevant to the job candidate’s field(s) of study
- hold a valid passport or any other valid travel document in lieu of a passport
In addition, the candidate’s proposed salary cannot be lower than the local average salary. This will be vigorously reviewed as part of the work permit application.
The prospective employer will need to apply for a work permit for the foreign recent graduate and the authorities will usually require all of the following:
- the candidate’s resume
- a proposed letter of intent regarding the employment. This letter of intent must also specify the expected salary.
- a report specifying why employing this individual is necessary, including certification that the position was advertised to Chinese candidates for at least 30 days
- a certificate of no criminal record
- all relevant diplomas
- a school-issued certificate confirming the potential foreign employee has no record of infractions at school
- relevant school transcripts
- a medical certificate showing good health
- a recent photo (within the last 6 months)
Once approved, the foreign employee can get a China Z work visa. The initial term of employment cannot exceed one year, but employment can then be renewed for subsequent terms of up to five years. Applications will be subject to the applicable national/local quota.
It should go without saying (but since I am a lawyer I am not willing to risk that) that you as the employer should have in place for this new hire all of the usual safeguards you use (or should use) with any of your other China employees, be they foreign or Chinese. In other words, you should at minimum, enter into an employment contract with this new hire.
Local labor authorities are expected to come up with specific measures and local standards in implementing these new rules. Those local standards likely will determine whether this new employment category will become a big deal or rarely be used. I will report back on what I learn from compiling and submitting these applications on behalf of clients.