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16 Ago 2017

Attracting skilled international migrants to China: A review and comparison of policies and practices

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The report reviews the existing policies and practices of China concerning the attraction of foreign professionals and other skilled international migrants with a comparative analysis of talent attraction policies and their outcomes in Germany, Japan, and Singapore. Based on a comparative study, recommendations are put forward for China to improve its foreign talent policies and practices in order to be more successful in the international competition for talents.

China is actively pursuing a transformation from an export-oriented, low-skilled and labour-intensive economy towards a science, technology and innovation-based economy. Such transformation inevitably spurs rapid growth in the demand for high skilled workers. More than ever committed to globalization, the Chinese government is attaching more importance to the attraction of foreign talents who not only bring valuable resources to help boost China’s economic development but also contribute to building and strengthening the relationship between China and the rest of the world. Working towards this objective of competing for global talent, China has become ever more aware of the urgent need for the introduction of specific schemes and policies to attract skilled international migrants. 

The study on attracting skilled international migrants to China: A review and comparison of policies and practices was conducted under the EU–China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support Project, a collaboration between the International Labour Organization and the International Organization for Migration, funded by the European Union.

  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Executive Summary
  • 1. Background and introduction
  • 2. Theoretical perspective of skilled labour migration policies
    • 2.1 Driving factors for attracting foreign talent and skilled workers
      • 2.1.1 Demographic imperatives
      • 2.1.2 Skill Shortages
      • 2.1.3 Entrepreneurship and knowledge advancements and research networks
      • 2.1.4 Reverse migration
    • 2.2 Formal immigration systems
  • 3. Chinese policies, mechanisms, and administration to attract and retain skilled overseas workers
    • 3.1 Background: China’s shortage of educated and skilled human resources
    • 3.2 Chinese programmes for attracting overseas talent
      • 3.2.1 Overview
      • 3.2.2 National-level schemes for encouraging the return of overseas Chinese talent
      • 3.2.3 Regional-level schemes for encouraging the return of overseas Chinese talent
      • Provinces
      • Cities
      • Assessing provincial- and municipal-level efforts to attract overseas Chinese talent
      • 3.2.4 Visa regulation changes and other new initiatives for attracting skilled foreign talent to China 
  • 4. Comparative study of admission policies and mechanisms for attracting foreign talent in Germany/EU, Japan, and Singapore 
    • 4.1 Germany
      • 4.1.1 Labour migration to Germany in the early years of the Bundesrepublik: The gastarbeiter era
      • 4.1.2 The new domestic economic context for foreign labour recruitment in Germany
      • 4.1.3 German talent attraction policies 
        • The Green Card system
        • Immigration Act, 2004
        • Foreign students graduating from German universities
      • 4.1.4 German immigration policy and the EU 
        • Labour mobility in the EU/EC and the German stance on immigration 
        • Background to the Blue Card system 
        • EU Blue Card: Mechanism, operation, and German application of the scheme 
        • Assessing the Blue Card 
      • 4.1.5 Overall assessment of German talent attraction efforts 
    • 4.2 Japan 
      • 4.2.1 Policy-making background in Japan 
        • Social context: An ageing and declining population causing labour shortages 
        • Earlier schemes for attracting highly-educated and skilled talent 
      • 4.2.2 Highly Skilled Foreign Professional Visa 
        • Mechanism and operation
        • Judging the HSFP visa’s effectiveness 
    • 4.3 Singapore 
      • 4.3.1 Policy-making background 
        • Social context: A long history of being a magnet for migrants, adverse post-1970s demographic trends, and labour shortages 
        • Singapore’s past efforts to attract highly qualified talent 
      • 4.3.2 Current talent attraction schemes in Singapore 
        • Singapore’s integrated platform for attracting talent and the Employment Pass system 
        • Evaluating Singapore’s talent attraction efforts 
  • 5. Qualitative comparison of the case study countries 
  • 6. Surveys with highly skilled migrants in case study countries 
    • 6.1 Survey background and methodology 
    • 6.2 Makeup of survey respondents 
    • 6.3 Survey respondents’ evaluation of high-skilled immigration policies in case study countries 
  • 7. Conclusion: Lessons learned and recommendations for China’s competitive policies 
  • 8. Bibliography