Shanghai’s Startup Visa

Cost of Living
Talent Migration


A new “business startup visa” has been piloted across select districts in Shanghai, giving foreign entrepreneurs the ability to live in China as they establish a business. In May 2018, the Shanghai Public Security Bureau updated the policies for a new “Private Residence Permit (entrepreneurship)”, commonly referred to as the “business startup visa” (创业签证), which offers foreigners a chance to establish a new and innovative startup business within Shanghai.

The business startup visa is unique in that its scope of eligibility is expansive — it includes individuals who have traditionally been excluded from many other visa categories, such as inexperienced graduates and individuals older than 60 years old.

To date, the visa has only been piloted in certain districts in Shanghai, including Changning and Yangpu. Compared to traditional work permits, the business startup visa also gives investors and key management staff alike flexibility in conducting auxiliary business activities such as market research, business development, staff recruitment, lease searching, initial company setup procedures, etc. before getting the company legally established.



12 months



120 Month(s)


P. Residency

48 Month(s)

What are eligibility requirements for the Shanghai’s Startup Visa?

4 Eligibility Requirements

  • The following people are eligible to apply for the business startup visa:
  • Foreign students who have the willingness to innovate and start a business in Shanghai and graduated from a higher education institution in China;
  • Foreigners planning to invest in Shanghai or innovate in business.
  • Excellent overseas graduates from top Chinese universities or world-renowned universities who have been graduated for no more than two years but have made outstanding achievements in innovation and entrepreneurship in Shanghai.

Which documents do I need to apply for the Shanghai’s Startup Visa?

2 Document Required

  • Most of the required documents are similar to that required of other types of visa applications.
  • Visa application form, completed and signed.

Talent Migration data for China

Talent gain & drain map of 2015-2019 data. Sourced from World Bank Digital Development Data.

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