On this page, we will explain how to apply for a Category C work permit in China, the eligibility rules, and how to apply. For expert assistance with your immigration matter, contact Reiss Edwards, immigration lawyers and solicitors in London.
For prospective migrant workers with fewer professional skills and qualifications (than required for a Category A or B work permit in China), the employment and business opportunities available in China are still considerable. The economy is booming in China, and many businesses are looking internationally to fill a wide range of vacancies for which there is insufficient labour available locally. In response, the Chinese immigration authorities have made efforts to streamline the process of securing a work visa for China, including putting in place an online application system. If you have made the decision to move to China for employment, it is essential that you choose the correct work permit for your needs. China, like many countries, offers a wide range of permits catering for different situations and requirements. On this page, we will explain how to apply for a Category C work permit in China, the eligibility rules, and how to apply.
What is a Category C work permit for China?
On 1st April 2017, the Chinese government introduced a new immigration route for migrant workers to replace the outgoing “Alien Employment Permit” and old “Foreign Expert Certificate”.
Under this system, there are three main classifications of work permits in China:
The focus of this page is on Category C. Category C is specifically intended for foreign workers with fewer skills/qualifications/experience who wish to work in China for a small amount of time; as such, it is a short-term work permit. Suitable candidates for a Category C permit may include representatives of international businesses which need to send an employee to work in China for a few weeks or months. The Category C work permit in China is also intended for those coming to China as an intern as part of an agreement with an overseas government.
Overall, foreign nationals with Category C work permits represent around 20% of all work permit holders in China (Category B is over 60%). Foreign workers considering applying for a Category C work permit may be granted permission if it can be shown that there is a lack of skills in the local labour market. Work permits granted under this route are often subject to shorter durations, caps on numbers of permits, and longer waiting times.
Am I Eligible For A Category C Work Permit In China?
To make a successful application for a Category C work permit, you must fit one of the following criteria:
The points-based system awards points for the following attributes:
Annual Salary (In RMB)
450,000 and above 20 points
350,000 - 449,999 17 points
250,000 - 349,999 14 points
150,000 - 249,999 11 points
70,000 - 149,999 8 points
50,000 - 69,999 5 points
Less than 50,000 0 points
Level of Education
Doctorate 20 points
Master’s degree 15 points
Bachelor’s degree 10 points
One additional point for every year above two years (to a maximum of 20 points)
Two years 5 points
Less than two years 0 points
Annual working time
Above nine months 15
6 - 9 months 10
3 - 6 months 5
Less than 3 months 0
Level of Chinese language
Bachelor’s or Higher degree on Chinese study (Major) 5 points
HSK 5 and above 5 points
HSK 4 4 points
HSK 3 3 points
HSK 2 2 points
HSK 1 1 points
18 - 25 years old 10 points
26 - 45 years old 15 points
46 - 55 years old 10 points
56 - 60 years old 5 points
Above 60 years old 0 points
Graduated from a globally recognized university or experience in a top 500 company
Graduated from Globally recognized top 100 university 5 points
Work experience in Fortune Global 500 company 5 points
You own patent or intellectual property 5 points
Continuously work in China for over five years 5 points
If you are unsure if you are eligible for a Category C work permit for China, speak to a lawyer specializing in Chinese immigration policy who will be able to assess this for you.
How Can I Apply For A Category C Foreigner Work Permit For China?
There are several steps to securing a Category C work permit, as follows (this process below assumes you are applying from outside China):
What Do I Need To Do Once In China?
On arrival, you will need to register with the police within 24 hours. To do this, take your passport, proof of accommodation, and your landlord’s contact details to a local police station where you are living in China. You may also need to get a medical check-up if your medical exam report is not written or translated into Chinese.
Assuming you have completed the above steps and have your work permit/certificate, you will need to register for your residence permit. As a resident of China, you will have the permission you need to stay in the country for the purposes of work in accordance with your work permit.
Can I Change To A Different Employer Once In China?
It may be possible to work for a different employer than the one you originally worked for once in China, but this requires a new work permit application to be submitted and approved. The current employer has to cancel the existing work permit – this must be done within ten days of the employment coming to an end. As part of the new application, a letter proving that the employee’s work permit has been cancelled should be included. If the employee is staying within the same occupation, their current visa can continue to be used. If there is a change of occupation, the employee may be required to leave China and apply for a new visa. Again, if you are unsure, speak to an immigration solicitor.
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