In a bid to attract more high-skilled foreign professionals, China plans to issue two new types of visas - multiple entry, five-year "talent visas".
A draft bill, released by the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council on Friday, stated that China will grant R1 or R2 visas to senior-level foreign professionals "that the country urgently needs".
The new State Council regulation does not specify groups that China urgently needs and which are eligible for "talent visas". But Liu [Liu Guofu, an immigration law specialist at the Beijing Institute of Technology] said a draft in which ministerial departments had assessed feedback from specialists, including Liu, shows they include candidates with management experience at leading multinationals, specialists in education and science-related fields, and renowned figures in culture and sport.
"The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security or the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs may soon release the list of target groups," Liu said.
An R1 visa will come with residency rights, with holders allowed to apply for a residency permit of up to five years. Holders of R2 visas will have multiple entry and exit access, and will be permitted to stay in China for up to 180 days at a time.
According to China Daily, public opinion on the draft bill will be sought during a month long consultation period. The regulation will be implemented in July, under the Exit and Entry Administration Law.
Additionally, the Ministry of Public Security is drawing up a separate draft regulation that would allow foreigners who have worked in China for ten consecutive years to be eligible for a green card - thus "lowering the threshold for permanent residency".