Online work permit applications expanded during coronavirus outbreak

Local companies can register for work permits for their international staff through online application in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Shanghai Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.

In China, foreign workers are classified into three categories: A for “top talent,” B for “professional talent” and C for “unskilled workers,” mostly foreign graduates.

Foreign workers are required to first obtain a work permit notification letter, then use the letter to get a “Z” visa, an employment visa issued to foreigners, and then finally apply for a work permit for foreigners working in China.

Starting from this week, local companies with B- and C-class foreign workers can apply for work permit notification letters, as well as for the extension of work permits, on the Internet instead of submitting paper documents to authorities.

Previously, online applications were only available for A-class foreign workers.

Also, the administration suggests that foreign workers who have obtained notification letters but who haven’t entered China apply for “Z” visas at Chinese embassies and consulates abroad. After they obtain a “Z” visa, usually valid within three months, they can go to Shanghai during this period.

Visa service windows across the city also remain opened, and disinfection measures have been carried out to ensure safety.

Companies can find addresses and contact numbers through the website:

Foreigner's work permit consulting hotline: 8008205114. Health consulting hotline: 12320.