China: Online Pre-Assessment for Residence Permits Introduced in Shanghai

A service that allows foreign nationals in Shanghai to submit pre-assessments of their work-type Residence Permits via an online system was recently introduced by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau. The service is expected to reduce the overall processing time of Work-type Residence Permit applications.

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Apr 25, 2018

The situation

Residence Permit applications in Shanghai are expected to be processed faster after the online pre-assessment service was recently implemented by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau (PSB).

A closer look

  • Eligibility for online service. The service allows the following groups of foreign nationals to file pre-assessments of their work-type Residence Permit applications (initial, renewal and amendment) via the online system:
    • Highly-skilled foreign nationals recruited by the Chinese government (the original and copy of the certificate of foreign high-level talents issued by the Central Organization Department, Ministry of Human Resources and State Administration of Foreign Expert Bureau will be required);
    • Highly-skilled foreign nationals endorsed as ‘Talents’ in a recommendation letter issued by the Shanghai Expert Bureau (the original certificate of foreign high-level talents issued by the Shanghai Expert Bureau will be required);
    • Highly-skilled professionals employed by a company on the Shanghai Sci-tech Innovation List with a recommendation letter from their employer;
    • Qualified foreign nationals who hold a Master’s degree or above (the degree should be legalized if issued outside China, and translated if not in Chinese); and
    • Foreign nationals who previously held work-type Residence Permits endorsed as “Talents” or previous holders of a Talent (R) Visa.

Accompanying dependents can also file pre-assessments of their Residence Permits for Private Affairs online.

  • Pre-assessment process
    • Foreign nationals will need to register login details and enter personal information online to use the pre-assessment system.
    • The online service will process Residence Permit pre-assessment applications within three business days.
    • Upon approval of the pre-assessment, foreign nationals can file a Residence Permit application within seven business days and can collect their Residence Permit approximately an hour from filing.  
  • Possible causes of rejections. The following situations can lead to the rejection of an online pre-assessment:
  • Expired visa documents;
  • Former Chinese nationals who failed to cancel their Chinese household registration, or ‘Hukou’;
  • Submission of erroneous information online;
  • Other cases falling under Article 31 of the Exit and Entry Administration Law, including falsification, failure to provide supporting documents, findings of previous violations of relevant laws, etc.  


It currently takes approximately seven business days to process a Residence Permit application in Shanghai, and applicants cannot travel outside China during this period since they must submit their original passports or travel documents to the authorities for processing, which can take up to one week.


With this change, eligible applicants can expect more flexibility in their travel plans since they will no longer need to submit their passports or travel documents to the authorities and their work-type Residence Permit processing time is expected to decrease.

Looking ahead

It is unclear if other cities in China will introduce a similar online pre-assessment service for Residence Permit applications. Fragomen will closely monitor the situation and update our clients once new information becomes available.

Fragomen in China is Fragomen (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., operating exclusively as an immigration consultancy and not as a law firm in China. This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to

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