December 10th, the Department of Science and Technology of Hainan Province held a press conference to announce and explain the pilot project for expanding the scope of foreign talents and setting up decentralised service windows to process work permits.
It is reported that since late August 2019, the Provincial Department of Science and Technology has successively carried out pilot work in four key Parks: Bo’ao Lecheng International Medical Tourism pilot area, Hainan Ecological Software Park, Fuxing City Industrial Park and Yazhou Bay science and technology city.
Zhu Donghai, deputy director general of the Provincial Department of Science and Technology, commented that “in order to promote innovation of the management mechanism and system for foreigners’ employment in Hainan, the Provincial Department of Science and Technology consulted with the Boao Lecheng medical tourism pioneer zone, Hainan Ecological Software Park and other key parks to investigate difficulties, problems and relevant suggestions faced by the introduction of foreign talents.”
According to a spokesman, with the acceleration of the construction of Hainan free trade zone and free trade port, many foreign high-quality enterprises have already set up in the parks. In the next one to two years, the number of jobs for foreigners is expected to increase exponentially.
There are currently 80 registered foreign-funded enterprises in the Ecological Software Park, attracting more than 20 foreign top talents, in the near future it is expected to grow and attract more than 2000 foreign talents, becoming the centralized area of foreign talents in Hainan.
However, according to a spokesperson some issues need to be addressed, “The demand for foreign talents is focused on foreign professionals (class B) with certain professional expertise, and they cannot enjoy the current R-visa (talent) visa policy.
At present, for foreigners entering Hainan through the visa free policy for 59 countries, business visa or other non-work visas, even if they successfully apply for a foreigner’s work permit (not class A) in Hainan, they still have to leave again to obtain a work visa to enter the country legally, which greatly increases the cost for talents and enterprises.
Secondly, the work permit processing procedures and materials in China are complex, and the parks are too distant from the current work permit processing windows, the connections are not smooth resulting in the slow application of work permits for foreign talents in many parks.
In order to improve service levels and promote the work of attracting international talents, industrial parks will be granted autonomy in foreign talent identification, and the Provincial Department of Science and Technology will carry out pilot projects in Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism pilot area, Hainan Ecological Software Park, Fuxing City Industrial Park, Yazhou Bay Science and Technology City.
The pilot project considers two main points
1. Expand the scope of foreign talents (Class A) for Hainan.
According to the needs of the construction of Hainan free trade zone and free trade port, the key industrial parks will independently expand the scope of foreign talents (Class A) based on the national classification standards for foreign talents in the next 1-2 years, develop the classification standards for talents that meet market evaluation guidance, and report to the science and Technology Department of Hainan Province for implementation.
2. Delegate the pre-examination and approval authority for foreigner’s work permits in Hainan. Based on the government affairs service centre of each key Park, the park management party will hire relevant staff, who will take up the post after being trained and confirmed by Hainan Provincial Science and Technology Department, and can undertake the pre examination and approval function of foreigner’s work permit in the park.