Foreign Entrepreneurs and Investors Can Now Apply For Startup Visas in Shanghai

Foreign entrepreneurs and investors meeting certain requirements now can apply a new business startup visa piloted in select districts in Shanghai to live in China.

In May 2018, the Shanghai Public Security Bureau introduced a new “Private Residence Permit (entrepreneurship)”, commonly referred to as the “business startup visa” (创业签证) , which offers foreigners a chance to establish a new and innovative startup business within Shanghai, according to China Briefing.

Shanghai. Image Source: IADDM.

The new startup visa is a pilot program in Changning and Yangpu districts of Shanghai and part of a list of changes to visa application policies. In Yangpu district, about 5,000 foreigners and more than 6,000 foreign students in the district can immediately benefit from the changes that include the new startup visa.

Valid for one year, the startup visa can be extended and transferred to a work permit once the company is established.

The business startup visa is eligible for certain people that are traditionally excluded from applying to certain visas, groups such as inexperienced graduates and individuals older than 60.

The applicant will be required to submit an entrepreneurship or investment related certificate from a economic development zone, a high-tech park, or a corporate incubator space designated by the government.

Even before the establishment of the business, the new startup visa will allow investors and key management staff alike to conduct auxiliary business activities such as market research, business development, staff recruitment, lease searching, initial company setup procedures, etc.

The following people are eligible to apply for the business startup visa:

  1. Foreign students who have the willingness to innovate and start a business in Shanghai and graduated from a higher education institution in China;
  2. Foreigners planning to invest in Shanghai or innovate in business; and
  3. Excellent foreign graduates from top Chinese universities or world-renowned universities who graduated less than two years ago but have made outstanding achievements in innovation and entrepreneurship in Shanghai.

The business startup visa is part of the latest policies of the Shanghai government to stimulate the city’s economic development through innovation and attracting high-level talent.