Jan. 5 (UPI) -- China is offering new fast-tracked work visas to recruit talented specialists, such as top scientists and businesspeople, to work and live in the country.
The Beijing bureau of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs effectively kicked off the program Tuesday by approving the first Certificate for Foreign High-end Talent. One must acquire the certificate before applying for the new visas, which are for five or ten years and include multiple entries into the country.
Applications for the visas can be completed online at no cost.
China plans to gear the visas toward Nobel laureates, editors working in the country's state media, coaches and athletes, postdoctoral students at esteemed foreign universities and foreigners earning more than six times the average annual income in China. Companion visas would also be provided to recipients' spouses and children.
The average annual income in Beijing in 2016 was $14,220.
Shanghai has more foreign workers than any other provincial area. Roughly 215,000 of the city's 24 million people hail from outside the country.
Japan provided the biggest source of foreign workers in 2016, followed by the United States and South Korea.