According to data from the Ministry of Education of China, a total of 492,185 foreign students, from 196 countries and regions, attended higher education institutions in the Chinese mainland in 2018.

Foreign nationals are drawn by the fascinating Chinese culture, sophisticated urban cities and rural cities close to nature. The country exudes both traditional and contemporary living.

The official language of China is Mandarin, and it is to your competitive advantage to learn at least the basic language if you plan to stay and work in the country after graduation.

China has the largest population in the world, so you can expect a large number of graduates every year. But do not let this hinder your plans as the Chinese markets have multiple trade and investment opportunities.

Some of the major sectors currently experiencing rapid growth are processed food and beverages, transportation, IT and telecommunications, education, energy and environment protection, building construction products and services.

There are two ways for foreign nationals to be granted work permits in China.

  • International Graduates in Chinese Universities
  • International Graduates in qualified Foreign Universities

As long as you have a qualified Bachelor’s degree and two years overseas experience then you may qualify for a work permit. To do away with the required experience, you must have a Master’s degree or higher from a Chinese institution.

Points Based System

As of April 2017, the Chinese government has implemented a points based system and categorised foreign nationals into 3 Tiers.

  • Tier A – Individuals with a score of 85 or more and considered as top foreign talent. Individuals employed in a senior management position and earning over six times the average local salary
  • Tier B –  Individuals with a score of 60-85. Individuals with a Bachelor’s degree or above, two years of work experience in a relevant field and earning over four times the average local salary. 
  • Tier C – Individuals with ascore below 60. Individuals undertaking short term work in China and do not qualify for tier A or B.

See how you score on the tables below.

Annual Salary

Educational Qualifications / Vocational Skills

Work Experience

Time Spent Working in China (per year)

Location of Employment


Mandarin Proficiency



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