Am I qualified for a Chinese work visa? Foreign Talents Classification criteria

Am I qualified for a China work visa? How to judge which category talents you meet?and which kind of visa you should apply for?

With these questions, figure out which talents you belong to. Let’s get started!

According to the classification criteria of foreigners working in China, foreign talents are divided into 3 categories:

  • High-Level Foreign Talents (category A);
  • Professional Foreign Talents(category B);
  • Other foreign personnel (category C);

and their corresponding work visas are divided into R visa and Z visa.

China Work Visa Types

There are two types of China work visa:

Talent CategoryWork Visa Type
A-foreign high-end talentsR
B-Professional Foreign TalentsZ
C-Other foreign personnelZ
R visa and Z visa

What is the R visa? As u can see from the table, The R visa is for High-Level Foreign Talents, category A. Wondering whether you are qualified for an R visa? You can click here.

Let’s focus on the Z visa today!

What is the Z visa?

The Z visa is for Professional Foreign Talents, category B and Other foreign personnel, category C. Usually, we are talking about “Z” visa, which means a work visa for Category B and C talents.

Today we will focus on the “Z” visa, and who is eligible for the Z visa.
The Z visa is usually issued once and the stay period after the entry is 30 days.

The holder of the Z visa should enter China within 90 days after the visa issuance. and must complete the application for a work permit within 30 days after arrival, and then apply for a residence permit at the local police station. A residence permit will replace the Z visa, to allow your multiple entries and long stay. The specific length of stay must be subject to the work contract length.

Keynote: This article is based on the official website of China’s “service system for foreigners working in China”. All work permit applications for foreign talents must be submitted for approval on this website.

Many people asking, Am I qualified to get a China work visa? 

First, We have to figure out which category we belong to.

According to the classification standard of foreigners working in China, foreign talents are divided into 3 categories: 

  • High Level Foreign Talents (category A); 
  • Professional Foreign Talents(category B);
  • Other foreign personnel (category C)

How is it divided?According to the following:

What is Category A talent?

Foreign high-level talents (category A):

“sophisticated and high-quality” foreign high-level talents, such as scientists, technology leaders, international entrepreneurs, and special talents.

They are urgently needed by China’s economic and social development; They meet the requirements of the government’s foreign talents importing highlights and catalogs.

so, they are determined to be Class A.

The work permit application for Category A talents is the “green channel” service. Easier to apply, but you have to meet the criteria for class A talent.

The definition of this kind of talent is very broad, please check this.

In this article, we focus on category B and category C talents.

What is Category B talent?

Definition of Professional Foreign Talents(category B):
It meets the catalog and job requirements of foreigners coming to China for work. The professional foreigners who are needed for the development of China’s economic and social undertakings.

If the talent meets one of the following conditions, they are determined as category B. Those who meet one of the following conditions are determined as category B, including: 

(1)Foreign professionals hold a bachelor’s degree or above and have at least 2years relevant work experience. Including:

  • Foreign professionals with bachelor’s degrees or above and relevant work experience of 2 years or more. Meet one of the following provisions:
  • Managers or professional technicians engaged in scientific research, teaching, and management in special fields such as education, scientific research, news, publishing, culture, art, health, and sports.
  • The personnel who implement Chinese-foreign intergovernmental agreements, international organization agreements, Chinese-foreign economic and trade, and engineering and technical contracts shall relax age requirements for personnel dispatched by internationally renowned academic institutions and international scientific and educational organizations in accordance with the terms of intergovernmental exchange and cooperation agreements.
  • Hire personnel from representative offices of international organizations in China and representatives of overseas expert organizations in China.
  • Mid-level or higher employees dispatched by multinational companies, chief representatives and representatives of foreign companies’ permanent representative offices in China.
  • Foreign managers or professional technicians employed by various enterprises, institutions, social organizations, etc.

(2) Skilled talents holding international general vocational skills qualification certificates or in urgent need.

(3) Foreign language teaching staff. 

In principle, they only can teach their mother language, they must hold a BA degree or above with relevant language teaching work experience at least 2 years.

Those who have obtained a bachelor’s degree or above in education, language, or normal education, or obtained a teacher qualification certificate in their host country or an international language teaching certificate that meets China’s requirements, then the work experience certificate is not necessary for them.

For example: To get an English teaching job in China, you can click here!

(4) Foreign talents whose average wage income is not less than 4 times the social average wage income of the previous year in the region.

(5) Special personnel and project implementation personnel who meet the regulations of relevant state departments.

(6) Professional talents with a score of 60 points or more.

What is Category C talent?

Definition of Other foreign personnel (category C):

Other foreign personnel who meet the needs of the domestic labor market and meet the requirements of national policies. They are determined as category C, mainly including:

(1) Foreigners who meet the current regulations for the management of foreigners working in China;

(2) Foreign personnel engaged in temporary and short-term work (not exceeding 90 days);

(3) Personnel implementing quota management, include:

  • According to intergovernmental agreements, Foreign youths who come to China for an internship;
  • Foreign students who meet the prescribed conditions;
  • Foreign graduates from overseas universities;
  • and foreigners work in special fields such as ocean fishing.


The above classification of talents seems to be a headache.

In my opinion, all talents can divide into 2 categories: high-level talents and professional talents. Many people only meet the B-type talent standard.

Talent CategoryVisa TypeAge limitationNumber of ApplicantsWork permit Application Procedure
Category ARNo limitNo limitGreen channel;allow the commitment papers when to apply for a work permit, provide the originals later
Category BZ18-60limitedprovide all relevant documents in original paper
Category CZ18-60Strict limitedprovide all relevant documents in original paper
The difference between Talent A, Talent B and Talent C
Visa TypeWork permit notice validity period(day)Visa validity before entry China(day)Effective stay in China(day)
The difference between R and Z visa

Now, figure out which type of work visa you should apply for? If you still have questions, you can contact us for one-to-one guidance.

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