China makes it easier for overseas NGO foreigners to work in China

By Deng Xiaoci Source:Global Times Published: 2017/8/16 17:48:39

The Beijing Municipality Public Security Bureau's NGO management office on Wednesday issues certificates of registration to 11 overseas NGOs, including the International Crane Foundation. Photo: Courtesy of the NGO management office of the Beijing Municipality Public Security Bureau

China issued new rules Wednesday on work permits for foreigners working for overseas nongovernmental organizations (NGO) in China to make it easier for them to gain legal status in the country.

The rules were jointly issued by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) and the Ministry of Public Security (MPS).

The MPS overseas NGO management office's WeChat account on Wednesday said overseas NGO's chief delegates whom the SAFEA consider "high-level foreign talent" can apply for up to a five-year work permit online if they present their chief delegate certificate, health check certificate and complete an online work permit application.

Along with a recommendation letter from the provincial public security department, overseas NGO chief delegates can also be considered as "high-level foreign talent" so that they can enjoy the streamlined procedure and a longer stay.

 "Under the agreement reached by the SAFEA and MPS, it will take less paperwork, a quicker review for the chief delegates to get a work permit in China, and a longer stay will be granted to them," said Duan Jianqiang, a liaison officer at the NGO management office of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.

Overseas NGO delegate certificate holders can apply for a work permit online with their delegate certificate, health certificate and application form. Work permit applications will be based on age, educational background and work experience for holders of delegate certificates.

The rules state that overseas NGO employees can apply for a work permit under existing rules, including the SAFEA's new work permit policy, launched in 2016, which classifies foreign workers into either an A, B, or C expat based on their profession, educational attainment and work experience.

Under the new NGO management law, up to four people in an overseas NGO can be registered as a chief delegate or delegate. It used to be impossible for foreign non-delegate employees to apply for such a work permit, according to the office.

"Some overseas NGO employees used to work in China with their tourist visa, or by registering themselves with irrelevant companies which could guarantee their legal status," Duan said. He added that the new rules could fix those problems," Duan explained.

The rules state that foreigners who registered with the MPS and come to China for temporary reasons could get a work permit for a specific event or reason, with the permit valid for the activity's duration. 

The rules also encourage relevant authorities to nominate chief foreign delegates and other overseas NGO employees for national and regional prizes, such as the China Friendship Award for their outstanding contributions to China.

"The rules show that the MPS and SAFEA have established a new green tunnel for all foreign employees of overseas NGOs in China," Duan said.


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