China has announced implementation of a new single-permit work authorization system for foreign nationals starting November 1. The new integrated system is a major overhaul of the Chinese employment immigration scheme and will include new electronic application submission and processing. The system will also combine the current two permit categories – the foreign work permit and the foreign expert certificate – into a single permit with three occupation groups evaluated on a points-based system. The goal is to increase the population of highly-skilled foreign talent working in China.
China’s Labor Market and Rising Immigration
Since 1978, China has been steadily transforming itself from a centrally-planned economy into a market-driven economy. The economic reforms of the past forty years have resulted in the fastest sustained expansion by any major economy in the modern world, with average annual GDP growth of over 10 percent. Currently the world’s second largest economy, China is expected to surpass the United States to claim the top spot by 2020. While still a developing nation in some respects, and with significant regional disparities in personal income and standard of living, the rapid economic growth has lifted more than 800 million Chinese out of poverty, according to World Bank statistics.