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China Talent Visa (R)

Chinese talent visa, namely the R Visa is issued to foreign high-level personnel and much-needed highly talented people who need to stay and work in China. Usually they can get a multiple-entry talent visa with the validity of five or ten years, and their spouse and minor children can obtain a relative visa, which refers to the S2 type in most cases, with the same validity. The duration of each stay can be as long as 180 days.

The measure complements the existing Work Z Visa that allows foreigners to work in China if they have a work permit or employment certificate issued by the competent Chinese authorities. The Chinese government has shown its sincerity towards global talents with this policy and created a friendly environment for them to work in China.

Who Count as High Level Talents?

Indubitably, eligible applicants for the R visa must have the highly-skilled and specialized qualities that are urgently needed due to a short supply among Chinese. Here we list major types of talents qualifying for the China talent visa but not all of them.

1. Those who have been selected to join China’s talents introduction programs accredited by talents management authorities, such as the Program for the Introduction of Renowned Overseas Professors, 1,000 Talents Plan, 100 Talents Plan, and CAS Hundred Talents Project.

2. Those who have accomplished achievements in professional fields recognized internationally, including Nobel Prize winners, scholars from Academy of Science or Academy of Engineering in foreign countries, professors and vice professors taking a position in the world’s top 200 universities, etc.

3. Foreigners who are capable of taking market-oriented positions in enterprises encouraged by the government, including senior management staff in China’s state-owned enterprises, Fortune Global 500 Enterprises, etc.

China Talent Visa Requirements & Documents

1. Passport

- Your original passport valid for at least 6 months and a copy of its information page.

2. Application Form

- One accurately and truthfully completed China Talent Visa Application Form signed by the applicant. If the form is filled out by entrusted travel/visa agent, both the applicant's signature and the stamp of the agent are required.

3. Recent Photo

- One recently-taken colored photo. The size of the photo should be 48mm x 33mm, with head width 21mm - 24mm and head length 28mm - 33mm, in white, light grey or light blue background.

4. The Confirmation Letter for High Level Foreign Talents

- to be obtained from China’s provincial level Bureau of Foreign Experts Affairs. (Download Sample of the Confirmation Letter for High Level Foreign Talents)

5. Other documents as required by the Chinese embassy or consulate.


How to Apply for China R Visa

First, applicants need to ask the Chinese organization inviting them to apply online for the Confirmation Letter for High Level Foreign Talents, which may take five working days for processing.

Then prepare other documents mentioned above and submit all these documents to the Chinese embassy, consulate or Chinese Visa Application Service Center (CVASC) wherever available either in person or by someone else or entrusted travel agent. Appointment is not required. Meanwhile, mail applications are not acceptable by most embassies and consulates. In cases where application by post at CVASC is available, extra service fee might be charged.

Processing Time

The normal processing takes about 4 working days and can be shortened to two working days only upon the request of the applicant. The same applies to the applicant’s spouse and minor children.

Chinese R Visa Fees

The talents and their accompanying spouses and minor children can get the visa for free. Neither do they need to pay for the express service fee. However, if applying through the CVASC, they may need to pay some money to the CVASC.

Things to Know after Entering China

Talents working in China with the R visa should apply for a Foreigners Work Permit with the help of their working organization at the local Foreigners Working Management Bureau or its entrusted agencies after entering. Their passports, R visa, the contract of employment, and a physical examination record will be required to submit.

As for the extension, renewal, and replacement of the Foreigners Work Permit, the contract of employment, or certificate of employment issued by the Chinese organization where they work in, a physical examination record, the original R visa and endorsement pages, and passport information page copies are required.

Further Reading:

8 Tips for Filling Out Chinese Visa Application Form

- Last modified on Apr. 22, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Talent Visa
Asked by Aliyu Isa Aliyu from CHINA | May. 23, 2019 12:21Reply
About R Visa
I'm a foreigner working in one of the universities in China with an R visa of validity 10 years with multiple entries. The duration of stay for each entry is 180 days. I've asked the police when I collected the temporary residence paper if I can continue working as a postdoctoral scholar without residence permit. They said once I apply for a residence permit, my 10 years visa will be cancelled. I decided not apply so that I can maintain my 10 years visa. Now I want to bring my family to china, will they be issued a visa to come to China without me having a residence permit but rather a valid visa of duration of stay 10 years ?
Asked by Tawheed from SD | May. 20, 2019 19:19Reply
I have R visa, and I want to apply for residence permit for one year, how can I do?
How about my R visa? they can cancelled and give me residence permit? already I get the work permit for one year , but I don't want to lose the advantages of R visa
Answers (1)
Answered by Wendy from CANADA | May. 21, 2019 23:24

After you enter China, you can apply for a residence permit at local exit and entry administration. They will not cancel your R visa, but give you a residence permit depending on the R visa. The required documents include: passport, application form, passport style photo, temporary accommodation registration, a health certificate, and an invitation letter issued by a related organization.
Asked by Dr Gary from AUSTRALIA | Apr. 03, 2019 02:37Reply
R Visa age limit
Is there an upper age limit for getting the China R type?
Answers (1)
Answered by Leon | Apr. 03, 2019 18:59

As I know, there is no upper age limit. You can inquire it with the China embassy.
Asked by jia from ALGERIA | Mar. 28, 2019 14:32Reply
i have r visa and I'm planning to work in China (already got a job contract but for 2 years only) i would like to know if I need to apply for a residence permit or to keep R
Answers (2)
Answered by Nelson | Mar. 28, 2019 20:35

You are advised to change your R type into work Z type, and then you can apply for residence permit to work and live in China.
Answered by archiculture from HONG KONG | Apr. 21, 2019 22:35

I disagree, it doesn’t make sense. If R visa holders will need to get the Z visa, they may as well go for the Z visa directly! The Z visa is inferior compared to R visas. R visa holders are able to apply for the Work permit and Residence Permit directly (which are also required for Z visa holders).
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