13 February 2012

China visa programme to lure the brightest and best

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China has announced its intention to relax the restrictions on its '1,000 Foreign Experts' programme in an attempt lure some of the world's top innovators and scientists to the country.

Chinese visa

The Chinese government hopes the best foreign scientists will help China continue its ascendancy as a major world power.

While the most populous country in the world continues its rise as the fastest growing economy in the world, concerns within China are beginning to grow about the nation's apparent lack of innovation, managerial staff and tenured research scientists.

In an effort to combat this and solidify the country's place on the world stage as a global superpower, China is expanding its pilot programme titled '1,000 Foreign Experts' which hopes to recruit between 500 and 1,000 experts over the next 10 years in the fields of software and integrated circuits, agriculture, manufacture and the service industry.

The programme's main intention is to secure experienced research scientists, particularly physicists and biologists, although notably not social scientists.

Acclaimed academics have previously shunned China as a research option due to allegations of corruption, nepotism and poor standards. However, thanks to the increasing rate of government investment and strict improvements on standards, the government is hoping more foreign experts might be tempted by a Chinese visa.

The major change to the 1,000 Foreign Experts programme is the age limit; previously, applicants had to be under the age of 55; this limit has since been increased to 65.

Other requirements for application to the programme include having attained a PHD at a foreign university and requiring a commitment of full time work for at least nine months in each of three consecutive years.

The Chinese government intends to provide each successful applicant with a one-off subsidy of CNY1 million (£100,000) for their services.


The Worldwide Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company that offers Chinese visa advice and services.

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