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China introduces fast-track visa program for ‘high-end’ expats in media, science and business

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President Buhari and Chinese leader Jinping

The Chinese government is now making it easier for foreigners to live in the country – but only if you’re a Nobel laureate, a scientist, entrepreneur or another ‘high-end’ expat.

The Chinese government has begun rolling out new fast-track visas for desirable “high-end talent,” the South China Morning Post reports. The plans are designed to encourage specialists in fields such as science and business to relocate to and stay in the country.

Other high-end talent include chief or deputy editors in Chinese state media, foreign coaches and players in national and provincial sports teams, postdoctoral students from world-class universities outside China, and foreigners who earn at least six times the average annual wage in China.

The new visas, which can last for five or ten years, can be approved in a matter of days – for the right candidate. Previously, foreigners living and working in China had to renew their visa every one or two years.

And, what’s more, you won’t even have to pay. Fee waivers are part of the new initiative, as are 180-day stays for a single entry and same-day visa approvals for spouses and children. China upholds a strict immigration policy and tightly controls working visas. The country is in the midst of its biggest ever influx of foreign-educated professionals as the world’s largest developing nation continues to restructure and upgrade its economy.

“We should not only make use of Chinese talent resources and market space, but also adopt a more open policy for foreign experts,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in September 2017.