Laws & Regulations

Measures for Encouraging Overseas Chinese Talent to Work and Start Businesses in Shanghai

Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1 These Measures have been adopted in accordance with the requirements on the implementation of the talent-driven development strategy in Shanghai in the new era whereby Shanghai will implement a more active, more open, more effective overseas talent engagement and attraction policy to strengthen the access of Shanghai to global human resources and create a more favorable environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Article 2 These Measures apply to returning overseas Chinese talent (“overseas returnees”) who come to work and start businesses in Shanghai, including those who have obtained foreign citizenship and those who have gone abroad via Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

"Overseas returnees" mentioned in the preceding paragraph shall refer to:

1. Those who have studied abroad (overseas) with government grants or funding or at their own expense and have obtained a bachelor's degree or a more advanced degree; or

2. Visiting scholars or fellows who have already obtained a bachelor’s degree or a more advanced degree or an intermediate or higher title of professional and technical qualification in China, and have worked for one year or longer and produced remarkable outcomes in foreign universities and research institutions.

Article 3 Shanghai gives priority to attracting high-level overseas returnees who are urgently needed for the development of strategic emerging industries and key projects in Shanghai.

"High-level overseas returnees" mentioned hereunder shall refer to:

1. Well-known scientists who enjoy a reputation in the international academic and professional circles, are pioneers or founders in a new field, or have made significant contributions to the development of a certain field;

2. Experts and scholars who have made significant contributions to the development of a profession or field, have published influential academic papers in leading international journals, have won academic awards with international influence, or are extensively and highly recognized for their academic achievements in their own field;

3. Experts and scholars who are holding positions equivalent to associate professors, associate research fellows or higher positions in famous overseas universities and research institutes;

4. Experts and scholars who hold intermediate or senior positions in government agencies, intergovernmental organizations, and well-known non-governmental organizations overseas;

5. Business experts who hold senior management positions in world-renowned companies, or management or professional personnel who hold senior technical positions in well-known multinational companies and financial institutions, or hold senior professional positions in well-known law, accounting or consulting firms, familiar with international rules and having rich practical experience;

6. Experts, scholars, and technical personnel who have chaired large-scale international scientific research or engineering projects and have rich scientific research and engineering experience;

7. Professional and technical personnel who hold independent intellectual property rights like major inventions and patents;

8. Other special talent who have special expertise urgently needed for the development of Shanghai.

Shanghai Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau (SMHRSS) shall be responsible for identifying and certifying high-level overseas returnees, and all other competent authorities shall provide relevant services within the scope of their respective responsibilities.

Article 4 SMHRSS is the competent authority for overseas returnees coming to work and start businesses in Shanghai. SMHRSS is responsible for formulating and organizing the implementation of the city’s policies and plans for engagement with overseas returnees, building an exchange platform for overseas returnees coming to Shanghai for innovation and entrepreneurship purposes, and enhancing Shanghai's attraction for overseas returnees.

Shanghai Science and Technology Committee, Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau, Shanghai Municipal Market Supervision Administration, Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, Shanghai Municipal Finance Bureau, Shanghai Municipal Taxation Administration, Shanghai Municipal Economy and Information Technology Commission, Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission, Shanghai Municipal Housing and Urban-rural Development Commission, Shanghai Customs, the Shanghai Headquarters of the People's Bank of China, and the Shanghai Branch of China State Administration of Foreign Exchange shall, within the scope of their respective responsibilities, handle affairs concerning and facilitate overseas returnees coming to work and start businesses in Shanghai.

Article 5 Competent authorities, entrepreneurship parks, social organizations, and employers of overseas returnees should provide convenience for overseas returnees to work and start businesses in Shanghai.

Article 6 Shanghai Municipal Government shall establish a joint meeting mechanism concerning overseas returnees working or starting businesses in Shanghai. Consisting of competent authorities of Shanghai Municipality, the mechanism will be primarily responsible for addressing major issues involving overseas returnees, and SMHRSS shall be in charge of its operation.

The human resources and social security bureaus of Shanghai’s districts shall set up service windows to offer necessary policy consultation services and handle applications.

Chapter II Overseas Returnees Rendering Services to Shanghai

Article 7 In accordance with law and relevant regulations of the State and Shanghai municipal government, overseas returnees are encouraged to contribute their own expertise to the economic and social development of Shanghai by giving lectures, engaging in academic and technical exchanges, starting businesses, offering advisory services, carrying out cooperative research, providing intermediary services, and taking part-time jobs in the city. In specific, they are expected to render services to the city of Shanghai including without limitation to:

1. Serving as a civil servant (excluding foreign nationals), a consultant or advisor, or a technology expert in a government agency;

2. Establishing high-tech startups by investing their proprietary technologies or cash;

3. Acting as legal representative of State-owned enterprises;

4. Holding technical positions, intermediate and senior management positions, consulting or honorary positions in schools, research institutes, medical institutions, art troupes, news media, financial institutions, key (open) laboratories, engineering centers, and other enterprises and public institutions, full time or part time;

5. Investing in education and health sectors, or setting up architecture, law, accounting, and consulting firms;

6. Utilizing their access to advanced technologies, equipment and funds to conduct cooperative research or establish cooperative research and development bases with local Chinese universities, scientific research institutes, and enterprises;

7. Assuming senior management or technical positions in major and key projects;

8. Giving lectures or conducting academic, cultural and art exchanges in Shanghai;

9. Undertaking research and development activities abroad on behalf of research institutes of Shanghai, or commissioning overseas research projects to research institutes in Shanghai;

10. Utilizing their connection with overseas research, education and training institutions to train talent for relevant institutions of Shanghai on a cooperative basis or independently, and promote international talent exchanges;

11. Registering intermediary services agencies in Shanghai to facilitate the inbound flow of foreign capital, technologies and projects, or setting up technology service agencies such as incubators and technology transfer agencies in Shanghai to provide incubation, technology transfer and other professional services for access to international innovation resource;

12. Working for overseas branches of Shanghai organizations; and

13. Serving the development of Shanghai in other ways.

Article 8 Shanghai will continue to promote an integrated approach concerning overseas returnees in the Yangtze River Delta, and promote human resource sharing and orderly flow of high-level overseas returnees with other regions. Shanghai will encourage overseas returnees to serve the Yangtze River Delta in various ways.

Chapter III Establishing Business Enterprises and Other Economic Entities

Article 9 SMHRSS shall provide certification and other related services for overseas returnees starting enterprises to qualify for preferential policies, and other competent authorities shall provide convenience for overseas returnees to start enterprises and enjoy relevant policy benefits.

Article 10 SMHRSS may first accept applications of overseas returnees submitted through their domestic relatives and friends for qualification certification for preferential policies, and then competent authorities shall handle relevant procedures to facilitate overseas returnees to invest in Shanghai.

Article 11 In sectors where investment is permitted and encouraged by the State and Shanghai municipal government, overseas returnees can invest their patents and proprietary technologies in Shanghai through technology transfer, technology contracting, and technology as stock right. They can also set up their own enterprises or joint ventures with local companies, or invest in Shanghai in their individual names or on behalf of overseas companies.

Article 12 Shanghai shall encourage the establishment of entrepreneurship parks for overseas returnees. Qualified entrepreneurship parks for overseas returnees can enjoy the same preferential policies for incubators in high-tech development zones and economic and technological development zones, and can bring in and establish venture funds.

Article 13 SMHRSS is responsible for the administration of the entrepreneurship parks for overseas returnees, and shall strengthen guidance and support for the entrepreneurship parks for overseas returnees. Governments at all levels should give support for entrepreneurship parks for overseas returnees, supporting the establishment and caring for the development of such parks. An evaluation mechanism shall be established for high-tech projects to be hosted in entrepreneurship parks.

Article 14 Entrepreneurship parks for overseas returnees should provide comprehensive services such as registration, tax agency, business services, training, high-tech certification, project funding application, legal advice, and international cooperation for overseas returnees to start businesses in the parks. More accessible professional services involving intellectual property rights, investment and financing shall be encouraged, and preferential treatment in terms of rent, financial resources and information services shall be provided to enterprises registered in the parks.

Article 15 Shanghai shall encourage and support entrepreneurial parks for overseas returnees with adequate resources to set up seed funds and guarantee funds to provide startup capital support and financing guarantee for overseas returnees, and create favorable conditions for enterprises registered in such parks to attract international venture investment and get publicly listed.

Article 16 Enterprises established by overseas returnees are eligible for business startup incentives such as guarantee loans, social insurance subsidies for startups, rent subsidies for operation venues, awards for outstanding entrepreneurial projects, and technological innovation coupons.

Article 17 Financial institutions, domestic and foreign venture capital funds, private investors are encouraged to establish venture funds for overseas returnees in accordance with relevant regulations of the State and Shanghai municipal government. Commercial banks are encouraged to promote innovation in financial products and service methods, develop financial products that meet the needs of entrepreneurial projects of overseas returnees, and strengthen financial service for overseas returnees to start businesses. Guarantee agencies and re-guarantee agencies are encouraged to provide loan guarantees and re-guarantee services for overseas returnees to establish enterprises.

Article 18 The intellectual property rights of overseas returnees and their businesses shall be safeguarded. Enterprises of overseas returnees are encouraged to file for patents, and relevant fees shall be cut according to eligibility regulations. The technology property rights of overseas returnees can be invested and accounted for as equity in companies.

Article 19 Enterprises of overseas returnees are encouraged to apply for setting up post-doctoral research stations, and their post-doctoral research stations are encouraged to recruit overseas post-doctoral fellows to carry out research projects, and provide financial support to outstanding overseas post-doctoral research fellows who have worked at the station full-time.

Article 20 Laboratories of universities and research institutions are encouraged to be open to enterprises of overseas returnees, and such enterprises are encouraged to establish corporate technology centers or jointly establish technology centers with universities and research institutes with preferential policies.

Chapter IV Other Benefits

Article 21 Overseas returnees who come to Shanghai to work or start a business and their spouses, and their children under 16 years of age or who are studying in middle schools in China, may apply to SMHRSS for permanent household registration in Shanghai according to regulations of Shanghai Municipal Government. High-level overseas returnees are given access to other benefits according to regulations.

Article 22 Overseas returnees who come to Shanghai to work or start a business and their spouses, and their children may apply for a Shanghai Residence Pass in accordance with relevant regulations of Shanghai Municipal Government. Among them, foreign nationals and other qualified overseas returnees and their spouses, and their children can apply for Shanghai Residence Passes for Overseas Talent (or Shanghai Residence Pass Type B).

Article 23 All district governments of Shanghai Municipality shall proactively care for the education of the children of overseas returnees. For children of overseas returnees who hold a Shanghai Residence Pass Type B and have reached the age for pre-school education and compulsory education, the education authority of the place of residence shall try to meet their schooling needs in accordance with the principle of proximity in accordance with relevant regulations of Shanghai Municipal Government. For overseas returnees' children who have lived abroad for more than 5 years and will take the high school entrance examination in Shanghai within their language adaptation period (3 years), the admission score can be appropriately lowered. Overseas returnees' children who have studied in high school in Shanghai and have obtained a high school graduation diploma can take the college entrance examination in Shanghai according to relevant regulations and apply for admission to colleges and universities that have enrollment quota for Shanghai. Eligible children of overseas returnees can attend international schools for children of foreigners in Shanghai.

Competent authorities shall try to meet the schooling needs of children of overseas returnees who have obtained foreign citizenship. In districts where foreign nationals are concentrated, more schools for children of foreign personnel shall be opened. Facilitation services shall be given to the schooling of children of high-level overseas returnees. Shanghai will encourage its primary and secondary schools to create better conditions for children of foreign personnel to study in regular classes.

Article 24 Overseas returnees who have obtained foreign citizenship and hold Shanghai Residence Pass Type B can apply for a Work Permit in accordance with the current rules in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone Lin-Gang Special Area, and obtain permission of residence that does not exceed the remaining validity period of the Residence Pass they hold. Employers of overseas returnees shall assist overseas returnees in going through necessary formalities.

Article 25 Overseas returnees who hold Shanghai Residence Pass Type B may apply for professional titles in Shanghai, take the professional (practice) qualification examination, and register their professional (practice) qualification while they work in Shanghai. Their overseas professional experience, academic research achievements, scientific and technological innovations and contributions can factor in the evaluation of senior professional titles, while the evaluation shall not be affected by the years of their domestic service.

Article 26 Overseas returnees who have obtained foreign citizenship and hold Shanghai Residence Pass Type B can participate in social insurances in accordance with relevant regulations of the State and Shanghai municipal government. Their unemployed spouse and children under the age of 18 or children in high school can participate in basic medical insurance for urban and rural residents in Shanghai and are entitled to corresponding benefits.

Article 27 Overseas returnees who have obtained foreign citizenship and hold Shanghai Residence Pass Type B, on the basis of a labor (employment) relationship with employers in Shanghai Municipality and a negotiated agreement, may deposit in or withdraw from their housing provident fund (HPF) and apply for HPF loans in accordance with relevant regulations of Shanghai Municipal Government. Any holder of Shanghai Residence Pass Type B who terminates their labor (employment) contract with their current employer in Shanghai can go through relevant procedures for blocking and transferring their HPF accounts in accordance with regulations.

Article 28 Overseas returnees who have obtained foreign citizenship and hold Shanghai Residence Pass Type B may apply for or renew a motor vehicle driver’s license, register their motor vehicles, and participate in the public auction of non-commercial passenger car ownership quota in accordance with relevant State and Shanghai municipal regulations.

Article 29 Shanghai shall provide residence and entry and exit facilitation for overseas returnees who have obtained foreign citizenship. Overseas returnees who qualify as high-level talent may apply for work-type Residence Passes (marked with "talent") and "R" visas (talent visas) in accordance with regulations. High-level overseas returnees who have obtained foreign citizenship or recognized by the private sector as such may apply for permanent residence in China in accordance with regulations based on the recommendation of relevant government departments or their employers.

Article 30 Shanghai will try to subsidize overseas returnees who come to work, start a business in Shanghai.

Article 31 Employers and competent authorities of Shanghai should care for the employment of the spouses of high-level overseas returnees and give them preference under the same conditions.

Article 32 High-level overseas returnees as recognized by SMHRSS can, in accordance with relevant regulations of the State and Shanghai municipal Government, enjoy access to the fast track in household registration, application for Shanghai Residence Pass Type B, and opening individual free trade accounts, and customs clearance facilitation.

Article 33 Overseas returnees who are not foreign nationals may apply for positions in Shanghai's civil service system in accordance with law and regulations. Shanghai Administration of Civil Service may, considering the merits of overseas returnees and the needs of government agencies, organize eligible overseas returnees to participate in the national civil service examination, and recruit qualified overseas returnees as national civil servants following the principles of openness, fairness and justice.

Article 34 Insurance companies in Shanghai are encouraged to develop commercial medical insurance products that meet the needs of overseas returnees, and try to establish a unified international commercial medical insurance information platform for high-level overseas talent. Qualified hospitals are encouraged to further improve their medical facilities and services for overseas talent, strengthen cooperation with domestic and foreign insurance companies, and join the direct payment network for international medical insurance. Market entities are encouraged to establish third-party international medical insurance settlement platforms.

Article 35 Compensations for overseas returnees working in Shanghai may be determined by the employer after negotiation with the overseas returnees in question based on their position and their contributions.

Article 36 Issues concerning housing for overseas returnees while they work in Shanghai shall be settled through consultation by the employers and the overseas returnees in question. Employers may provide contract-based housing, or provide monetarized subsidies for overseas talent to rent or buy houses. District governments, industrial parks and enterprises of Shanghai are encouraged to provide rental subsidies or houses for lease to outstanding high-tech and entrepreneurial overseas returnees.

Article 37 Cash involving payment of capital contributions, distribution of profits, capital gains, and proceeds from assets disposal or liquidation of overseas returnees who establish foreign-invested enterprises in China may be freely remitted into and out of China in Renminbi or foreign exchange in accordance with law.

Article 38 Overseas returnees who need to import research and educational supplies from abroad should submit their application to the customs through the tax-exempted universities, research institutes and other employers they work for, and the customs will determine and handle duty reductions and exemptions in accordance with relevant regulations of the State. Payment for imported goods may be settled in foreign exchange through designated banks based on the proof of the import contract, invoice, and application for payment of foreign exchange.

Article 39 Outstanding overseas returnees who start businesses in Shanghai shall be commended in accordance with relevant regulations.

Chapter V Supplementary Provisions

Article 40 These regulations shall come into effect on February 1, 2021, and shall be valid until January 31, 2026.

Should there be any inconsistency between Chinese and English version, the Chinese version shall prevail.

Copyright 2009 Shanghai Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau. All rights reserved.