Foreigner Hails Hainan's Convenient Services
A birdview of the Phoenix Island, Sanya, Hainan Province. (PHOTO: VCG)
By QU Baoquan and WANG Zhuhua
Bliakhovich Viacheslav, a Russian living and working in Sanya, Hainan province, is overjoyed at having his work permit application processed in just three days. He was so over the moon that he sent a thank-you note to the Sanya Municipal Bureau of Science, Industry and Information Technology (Sanya Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs) on July 15.
Viacheslav, who is more than 70 years old, is the general manager of the Hainan Zhuodayong Import and Export Trading Company. His visa was set to expire on July 10, 2021. On July 5, he applied for a work permit from Sanya's Science, Industry and Information Technology Bureau. That means if his permit was not approved within five days, he may have had to leave the city.
To Viacheslav's surprise, two staff members from the Bureau accepted his application in two working days and completed the approval process in just three working days.
In order to attract more foreigners to invest, start businesses and work in the Hainan Free Trade Port (FTP), Hainan is reforming the approval processes of entry, work and residence permits for foreign experts. Together with other relevant departments, the Department of Science and Technology of Hainan Province pioneered an integrated government platform to provide one-stop services for foreigners. With the cross-department examination and approval system, information related to work and residence permits for foreigners can be shared and reviewed in an integrated way.
Under the guidance and support of the State Bureau of Foreign Experts Affairs, Hainan quickly renewed its previous approval system and set up its own version of the Service System for Foreigners Working in China. The system is more convenient, integrating more information and functions. The work and residence applications submitted by foreigners can be reviewed and handled at the same time through this system. Apart from online applications, they can also submit applications offline at a one-stop service window, avoiding repeated submissions and approvals.
The system was upgraded on September 1, 2020, providing more smooth and integrated functions. According to statistics, information and materials required by the Service System for Foreigners Working in China (Hainan Version) are simplified to 73 items from the previous 98 items. The six procedures for handling foreigners' work and residence permits are simplified to two. Basically, the application and approval process happens simultaneously and the approval duration generally won't exceed seven working days.
Actually, this is just one example of Hainan's efforts to create a first-class business environment for its free trade port. In recent years, Hainan has taken multiple measures to create a legal, international and convenient environment for foreign experts.
For example, it has expanded the scope of foreign experts in the Hainan FTP Resort Software Community and Hainan Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone, and set up a pilot service window for foreigners going there. The approval authority for foreigners' work permits in China has been delegated to the Yangpu Economic Development Zone to further facilitate foreigners' working and living in Hainan.