Foreigners with high scores in China's Work Permit Scoring System can be granted a work permit valid for 2-5 years, something made possible thanks to a change of policies currently taking place.


Different duration on China Work Permits

The total scores of the system are out of 100. Foreigners are divided into three different categories: A, B, and C, each representing groups with different likelihoods of receiving their work permit from the government.

Scores are attributed based on several factors, including annual salary, work experience, age, education background, Chinese language skills, etc.


Without being extraordinarily outstanding or making enormous cash contributions, receiving a high score can seem daunting and quite difficult to do. However, you’ll find that there are several ways you can use to add extra points to your total score based on the government’s scoring system (showing solid skills with Mandarin can get you an additional 5 points), as shown below.nogn.




Image: The provisional version of the scoring system in Guangzhou

This form can help you get a rough idea of whether you would qualify based on the total score you’ve calculated.


HSK test in China's Work Permit Scoring System

A maximum of 5 points can be granted to applications who’ve successfully passed their HSK test.

  • Test takers who are able to pass the HSK 1 (Level I) can understand and use very simple Chinese phrases, meet basic needs for communication and possess the ability to further their Chinese language studies.

  • Test takers who are able to pass the HSK 2 (Level II) have an excellent grasp of basic Chinese and can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.

  • Test takers who are able to pass the HSK 3 (Level III) can communicate in Chinese at a basic level in their daily, academic and professional lives. They can manage most communication in Chinese when travelling in China.

  • Test takers who are able to pass the HSK 4 (Level IV) can converse in Chinese on a wide range of topics and are able to communicate fluently with native Chinese speakers.

  • Test takers who are able to pass the HSK 5 (Level V) can read Chinese newspapers and magazines, enjoy Chinese films and plays, and give a full-length speech in Chinese.

If you’re looking for a training program before to help you get up to speed ahead of your HSK test, there are plenty of options you can find online. Additionally, the Guangzhou government also launched its own free Chinese language class for foreigners in Nansha. For more information, check their official page.


Image: Screenshot of the document" Nansha Cultural Exchange and Chinese Language Class"


HSK testing purposes

Beyond being a factor for extra points in China work permit application, the results of the HSK test can serve several purposes:

1. For international students, a reference for an educational institution’s decision-making concerning recruiting students, assigning students to different classes, allowing students to skip certain courses and giving students academic credits.

2. For foreign workers, a reference for employers’ decision-making concerning the recruitment, training and promotion of test takers.

3. For Chinese language learners, a method to assess and improve their proficiency in Chinese.

4. For Chinese language training institutions, a method to evaluate training results.

Having a good command of Mandarin is no doubt making your life and work easier in China - at least you’ll have the ability to bargain with merchants at local supermarkets. If you’re interested in taking the exam, you can find more information by visiting the official website:


Test takers will receive their results for the new HSK issued by Hanban within three weeks after taking the test.


Other ways to increase the validity period of your work visa

If you meet any of the conditions listed below, you can be granted a work permit valid for 2-5 years.


Image: State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs office in Shanghai

Comparably, the condition of foreign talents fulfilling the market demand for government encouraged posted is easier to meet, among all conditions, it includes:

1. Working for central state-owned enterprises; Fortune Global 500 companies with headquarters in China; National high-tech enterprises, or large-sized enterprises.


2. GM and Vice GM, technical talents, or backbone of scientific research employed by medium-sized enterprises.

3. Working for enterprise engineering research centers; engineering laboratories; technology research centers; enterprise technology centers; local technological innovation service platforms.

4. Working for local Chinese universities and other academic entities; first-class local hospitals; foreign-invested hospitals; first-class Chinese orchestra; Chinese mainstream media; national or provincial sport teams or clubs.

5. High Earners: Salary is not less than six times of the city's average salary. For those foreign foreigners who worked in Guangzhou, over 600,000RMB per year and paid his/her Guangzhou incoming tax over 110,000RMB per year.

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