In recent times, as if theyre trying to impress the whole talent show of humanity, cities across the country have put on their best policies to woo and retain all sorts of outstanding folks. Today, your friendly neighborhood overseas studying enthusiast is here to present to you the 2023 Urban Dating Game – where Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Tianjin, and Nanjing reveal their policies for international students looking for love… I mean, residence.
2023 Urban Dating Game: International Students Edition
In recent years, places big and small have been rolling out the red carpet for talent. Theyve even thrown in policies for international students looking to settle down. Some only require you to have a foreign undergraduate degree. Today, our matchmaker extraordinaire has rounded up the dating profiles of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Tianjin, and Nanjing for your perusal. Swipe right to see what they have to offer!
Beijings Bachelor(ette) Pad
The Love Connection Qualifications:
1. Hold a masters degree (or higher) from overseas, or if youve already got a domestic PhD before your globetrotting adventures, and youre in the midst of postdoctoral, “researching the universe” endeavors, youre eligible to apply.
2. Have danced with international study for at least a year.
3. Prove your commitment to the relationship within two years of your academic return, as your employer vouches for you with application materials in hand.
4. Aged 45 or less. Age is just a number, but this policy says keep it under 45!

  1. You must have said your goodbyes to your previous job before embarking on this global escapade.
    6. Youre ready to DTR (Define The Relationship) with a local employer in Beijing and commit to paying your share of the citys social insurance. Its a partnership, baby!
    7. Your personal info during your academic fling should match your study abroad persona. No secret identities allowed!
    8. If youve been learning the ropes in Chinas Macau or Hong Kong, youll still need to abide by the rules of this study abroad matchmaking game.
    The Required Love Letters:
    1. A “Dear John (or Jane) Letter” from your new workplace – make sure its official. For your first application, youll need to prove your relationship has a future by having a contract with your employer that lasts at least 6 months. Love cant be rushed, after all!
    2. A reference letter from our countrys embassy or consulate – because even love affairs sometimes need an official stamp of approval.
  1. Colorful scans of your “Returnee Certification” – its like a diploma for world travelers.
    2. For those globe-trotting degree holders, dont forget to get your “International Degree Recognition Certificate” before we can put a ring on it.
    3. If youre not in the career league or some other fancy club, show us the rainbow scans of your “Beijing Social Insurance Goodies Report” and your “Personal Income Tax Diary.” We need to see that youre financially compatible!
    4. Your “Archival Safekeeping Certificate” – because in this love story, we believe in keeping a record of all our precious moments.
    5. A colored scan of your “Household Registration” – but make sure its not from the countryside. Were a city-folk-only kind of club.
    6. Bonus Materials: If youve had some wild times studying languages, prepping for your bachelors degree, or mastering the art of instant ramen abroad, dont forget to pack your “Language Proficiency Certificates,” “Bachelors Degree Diploma,” and your “Masters Degree Acceptance Letter.” And if you continued your international affair with a foreign internship or job, bring along the “Employment Offer Letter.” Were not just about studying; were looking for that well-rounded love connection!
  • Your love story application, including letters, contracts, and such. Its like the love letters of modern times.
    Who Can Help International Lovebirds (Masters Degree Holders from Abroad) Settle Down and Find Employment in Beijing?
    1) Beijings Overseas Brainiac Center: Theyll help you lay down roots in Beijing and find love… I mean, employment in the citys corporate and public sectors.
    2) The Human Resources and Social Security Bureaus in Beijings various districts: Theyre like the matchmakers for international returnees looking to get hitched with local businesses in Beijings districts.
    3) The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security: Theyre your go-to when youre aiming for a love connection with the central government in Beijing.
    4) The Ministry of Educations Study Abroad Services Center: Theyre in the business of setting up love connections with central government organizations, corporate entities, and businesses in Beijing (even those registered with the local high-tech business bureaus). Love is in the air!

Unlocking the Shanghai Love Nest
Qualifications for the Love Quest
Educational Requirements
1. To be eligible, you must be the proud owner of a Ph.D. degree from a foreign university. Your foreign study time should be like a fine wine, generally aged for at least one year. If youre a graduate of joint programs or cooperative breeding grounds, consider it a match if youve spent at least half a year abroad.
2. If youve mastered the art of love at a domestic “Double First-Class” university and bagged a full-time bachelors, masters, or even higher degree (Institute of Science and Chinese Academy of Sciences graduate training units follow the same “Double First-Class” rules), then ventured abroad to add a masters degree to your collection, youre in the game!
3. Or, you could have earned a full-time bachelors, masters, or higher degree from a domestic non-“Double First-Class” institution and then jet-setted to study abroad. Love is about finding your match, even if they dont come from the A-list universities!


  • Youre a perfect match if you hold a Ph.D. from a foreign university, and your overseas study affair has lasted at least a year. Its like wine; the longer, the better. If youre a graduate of some swanky international love affair, spending at least half a year abroad, youre still in the running.
    2. Or, you could be a local legend from a non-“Double First-Class” institution, earning your full-time bachelors, masters, or even higher degree. Then, you jet off to a foreign university to add another degree to your collection. Variety is the spice of life!
    3. If youve scored a bachelors degree from a high-flying foreign university, consider yourself on the love map.
    4. For those whove rocked the local scene with a masters degree or higher, or have achieved associate professor or higher professional qualifications, but then decided to take a sabbatical for some international love with a high-flying foreign university or research institution, and its lasted at least a year – we salute your sense of adventure!
    5. If you dont quite fit into categories 2 or 3, but you managed to snag a bachelors or masters degree from a foreign university, youre still in the game. Love knows no bounds!
    * “High-flying foreign universities” are those that make it to the top 500 in world rankings, as reported by The Times Higher Education Supplement, U.S. News & World Report, QS World University Rankings, and the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities. The Shanghai Human Resources Bureau is the ultimate matchmaker in this love story!
  • For all those who want to plant their roots in the “City of Love,” Shanghai, weve got some ground rules. But hey, who said love was easy?
    More Love Compatibility Checks
    1. Lovebirds must swoop down to Shanghai and stick around for at least 2 years after returning home. Were in it for the long haul!
    2. If your qualifications fall into the “1-4 items” category, youve got to keep the flames of your social insurance contributions burning bright at the same place for the past six months. Your base payment should be no less than the previous years average salary for city-dwelling employees in Shanghai. Social insurance and taxes should be in sweet harmony.
    3. Now, for those whove been dancing to their own beat and belong to category “number 5,” youve got to keep the party going for a full year at the same place. Your social insurance payment should be at least 1.5 times the previous years average salary for urban employees in Shanghai. Lets make sure the numbers match!
    4. Sign on the dotted line – your employment contract needs to last for at least 2 years, because in the game of love, were looking for commitment.
  • Youre about to embark on a quest to join the ranks of Shanghais elite. But hey, they dont just let anyone into this exclusive club! Here are some key criteria to get past the velvet ropes and be a part of the Shanghai Socialites:
    The Shanghai Socialite Starter Pack
    1. To join the party, youve got to be under the spotlight with at least 5 years to go before youre legally retired. Were looking for someone whos still got some dance moves left!
    2. Your resume must include a masters degree or above, and your employment contract should have a minimum of 3 months left (no sneak-outs during the probation period, please!). Were not inviting part-time partygoers.
    3. Heres the deal: If youre working overseas on assignment, youre not our target demographic. Were searching for the real deal – locals or those whove come back to spice up Shanghais social scene.
    4. Age is just a number, but were looking for folks with a little more experience. You need to be at least 5 years away from your retirement party.
    The Application Kit
    1. Start by flaunting your foreign degree and grades with the Ministry of Educations “Foreign Degree Recognition Certificate,” plus your foreign transcripts. Lets see those academic dance moves!
    2. If you were working in a 9-to-5 gig before your international adventure, make sure to bring the break-up letter from your previous employer (or a “still together” certificate if youre still on good terms).
    3. Bring your passport, visas, and your travel journal to prove your whirlwind global romance.
    4. Dont forget to show off your local ID and address book – we want to know whos in your Shanghai social circle.
    5. And last but not least, make sure all your documents are as real as a diamond tiara at a royal ball – no fake documents allowed! Lets get this Shanghai party started!
  • Getting into the VIP club of Shanghais permanent residents is no easy feat. Its like trying to score an invite to the coolest party in town! Heres the lowdown on what it takes to join this elite crowd:
    The Shanghai Socialites Secret Recipe
    1. First things first, you need a masters degree or higher, and an employment contract thats still got some life left in it (no disappearing acts during the probation period, please!). Were not looking for fair-weather friends.
    2. Now, if youve been on an overseas work assignment, youre not on our guest list. Were seeking the real deal – locals or folks whove come back to add some spice to Shanghais social scene.
    3. Age is just a number, but were searching for experienced folks who are at least 5 years away from their retirement party.
    4. The application kit, darling, includes your “Foreign Degree Recognition Certificate” and those overseas transcripts to show off your academic achievements.
    5. If you were a 9-to-5 warrior before your international escapade, dont forget the love letter from your previous employer (or a “still friends” certificate if youre on good terms).
    6. Of course, youll need your passport, visas, and the full travel diary to prove your whirlwind global romance.
    7. Flash your local ID and address book – we want to know whos who in your Shanghai social circle.
    8. Last but not least, make sure all your documents are as real as a golden ticket to Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory – no funny business allowed!
    And just to keep things interesting, if you happen to meet the criteria for Shanghais “high-level returning talent,” there are some extra perks that might just sweeten the deal. After all, who doesnt love a bonus?
    But we get it, the past couple of years have been a rollercoaster thanks to the pandemic. Many international students have traded their globe-trotting adventures for online courses in the comfort of their own homes. Overseas study just couldnt keep up. In response to this, the Shanghai Social Security Bureau dropped a hint, saying, “If your time abroad doesnt match the requirements because of the pandemic, we wont hold it against you when applying for permanent residency in Shanghai.” Thats right, theyve thrown a lifeline to those who couldnt jet-set across borders. But youll need to provide proof like school notifications about the end of in-person classes and an explanation of the situation. Its like showing the bouncer your party pass!
    Enrolling in the Guangzhou Grad School of Love
    So, youve got a foreign bachelors degree, or maybe a masters or higher, and youre looking to make a name for yourself in the vibrant city of Guangzhou. Well, congratulations, youre officially in the running for permanent residency. Let the love affair begin!
    Love at First Application
    But heres the deal: no matter where you choose to call home, its all about the qualifications, and Guangzhou is no different. So, if youre looking to be part of this love story, youve got to tick all the right boxes. Its like going through a love compatibility checklist, but with a touch of Chinese bureaucracy.
  • Lets dive into the fine print of this love contract – after all, were talking about settling down in Guangzhou, and there are some house rules for this love nest:
    The Age of Love
    1. If youre the proud owner of a foreign Ph.D., youve got to be under 50 (including 50). Think of it as an age cap, but this is a cap youd love to wear!
    2. Those with foreign masters degrees need to keep it under 45 (including 45). Its like being part of an exclusive club, where only the youthful and the wise get to join.
    3. If youve got a foreign bachelors degree and undergrad credentials, you need to stay under 40 (including 40). Think of it as a bit like Cinderellas curfew – just no pumpkin carriages involved!
    Social Insurance Dance
    1. If youre rolling in with a foreign masters degree or higher, youve got to be a social insurance member at your local welcoming committee (the “Five-Insider” club). Its the VIP package for this love affair!
    2. For those with foreign bachelors degrees and undergrad qualifications, youll need to have your dance card stamped by the local social insurance office too. Its like getting the seal of approval from the dance floors head honcho.
    So, if youre looking to get cozy in Guangzhou, keep these rules in mind. Its like a dating app, but for permanent residency. Swipe right for love in Guangzhou!
  • So, youve decided to take the plunge and settle down in the vibrant city of Shenzhen, but there are a few ground rules for this love story:
    The Age of Adventure
    1. If youre under 45 and have a history of international adventures, congratulations, youre in the game!
    2. Make sure youve got your “Certification of International Study Qualification.” Think of it as your ticket to the love rollercoaster – no ticket, no ride!
    Social Insurance Shenanigans
    Now, lets talk about the fine art of social insurance – after all, every love nest has its house rules:
    1. If youre a recent graduate (the post-graduation glow is real!), you need to join the social insurance party right away. Its like arriving at a party and immediately hitting the dance floor – no wallflowers allowed!
    2. If youve missed the post-graduation party bus, but still want to join the permanent residency fiesta, youll need to dance with the social insurance stars for a continuous six-month streak. No need to stick with the same partner – its a social dance party, after all!
    3. Your social insurance unit should be in sync with your actual employment unit. Its like making sure your dancing shoes match your outfit!
    4. Keep an eye on those social insurance records. If there are any back payments, its like missing a few steps in the dance – not the end of the world, but it wont go unnoticed!
    And if you meet these criteria, youre all set to embark on a love affair with Shenzhen – no red roses required!
  • Ah, the enchanting city of Hangzhou – where West Lakes beauty meets tech-savvy innovation. But, of course, there are rules to this fairy tale:
    The Hangzhou Charm
    If you were born in the heart of Hangzhou or youve found love within its boundaries, youre already on the guest list for the permanent residency party. Its like being given a golden ticket to the city!
    But theres more to this tale. If youve got a masters degree or higher, whether its from a local or international institution (even if you had to attend classes on Mars), you get the VIP treatment. You can have your residency cake and eat it too with the “Settle First, Work Later” policy. Its like getting your dessert before your main course – talk about sweetening the deal!
    Now, lets talk about Chengdu – the city where the pandas roam, and the food is spicier than a summer romance:
    The Chengdu Chronicles
    To be part of the Chengdu club, you need to be a fresh-faced graduate with a full-time bachelors degree or higher. Its like being a freshly baked croissant – warm, full of potential, and ready for action!
    If youre under 45, youre in the game. Its like a passport to an adventure-filled theme park – youre in for a wild ride! So, if you meet these criteria, youre officially eligible to join the Panda Party and spice up your life in Chengdu!
  • Lets keep the passport handy because were about to explore more residency tales in the magical lands of Tianjin and Nanjing. These cities are like different chapters in our epic journey, each with its own plot twist:
    The Tianjin Twist
    In Tianjin, if youre a native Chinese citizen with a bachelors degree or higher, youve got a fast track to permanent residency. Its like a superhero cape – its there when you need it, and youre the hero of this story! And if youve voluntarily traded in your foreign passport for Chinese citizenship, youre not just the hero – youre the star of this residency show. Were talking about privileges for you, your spouse, and the kids. Its like getting the royal treatment at the Panda Palace!
    The Nanjing Narrative
    Now, over in Nanjing, the rules are clear. If youve got a bachelors degree (and youre under 45, because we like to keep things young and lively), you can apply for permanent residency. Its like joining an exclusive club where the members are all about learning and adventure. Youre in for some academic escapades!
    Remember, these residency stories are straight from the official government websites, but if youre ready to write your own residency tale, we recommend having a chat with the local authorities. After all, every adventurer needs a map, and every residency applicant needs a guide!
  • Ah, the grand return of the globe-trotting scholars! But wait, theres more to this story than just residency – were talking perks and privileges for the scholars of the world!
    The Scholars Sweet Retreat
    Now, when you touch down on your homeland after your academic adventures abroad, theres a treasure trove of benefits waiting for you, like rewards for a swashbuckling explorer:
    Benefit #1: Tax-Free Car Shopping
    Imagine this – you, a freshly returned scholar, strolling into a car dealership, and guess what? Youre practically a tax ninja! Thats right, within a certain time frame, you can get your hands on a brand-new domestic or joint-venture car without those pesky taxes tagging along. Its like getting a golden ticket to the automotive wonderland!
    According to the policy, the automotive industry rolls out the red carpet for scholars by waving goodbye to import duties on car parts and vehicle purchase taxes. If youve been a scholar abroad for over a year and return within two years of completing your studies, youre in the tax-free car club. The discount, depending on your cars make and model, can range from a neat 0.71 to a jaw-dropping 15.21 thousand bucks! Not bad for a welcome-home gift!
    And the best part? Youve got a smorgasbord of car brands to choose from, including the fancy ones like Mercedes, BMW, and Audi. But thats not all. If youre into electric or hybrid vehicles, youre in for an even bigger treat. Not only are they tax-free, but you might also snag some sweet national or government subsidies. Its like getting the keys to an eco-friendly treasure chest!
    So, whether youre a car enthusiast or just someone looking to make the most of your homecoming, this benefit is an academic odyssey all on its own!
  • Now, its time for another chapter in the Scholars Handbook: “Perks of the Return.” Scholars, get ready to be amazed by the goodies coming your way after you set foot on your homeland!
    Benefit #2: The Entrepreneurs El Dorado
    Hold onto your thinking caps, because its not just tax breaks were talking about here. If youre bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, youre in for a treasure trove of funds and support! Its like discovering your own entrepreneurial El Dorado:
    Picture this: Youve got your brilliant business idea, and youre dreaming of making it big. Well, in Shenzhen and Shanghai, theyre rolling out the red carpet for scholars-turned-entrepreneurs. With initiatives like Shenzhens “Up-Front Subsidy for Startup Expenses” and Shanghais “Shanghai Pujiang Talent Plan,” you can score up to a whopping 500,000 yuan (thats Chinese currency, folks) in funding. These cities are so keen on bringing in overseas talent that theyre practically throwing money at you – its like being in a cash tornado!
    But its not just Shenzhen and Shanghai that are feeling generous. Cities like Guangzhou and Xiamen are dishing out subsidies as high as 10,000 yuan to fuel your entrepreneurial dreams. And if youre diving headfirst into the high-tech industry (which the country happens to adore), places like Xiamen and Xian are ready to hand you around 300,000 yuan on a silver platter. Its like a startup buffet, and youre the VIP guest!
    Benefit #3: The Academic Adventure
    But wait, not every scholar who returns wants to start a business. Some prefer to dive into academic research, and guess what? There are perks for that too. Its like being given a backstage pass to the world of academia:
    You see, there are scholars who trade the boardroom for the lecture hall, and for them, there are generous policies in place. Universities and research institutions are often more than happy to welcome them into their fold, and there are special incentives to sweeten the deal.
    So, whether youre donning the entrepreneurs cape or the academic robes, returning scholars, youve got a world of opportunities and benefits at your fingertips! Its like being in a candy store, but the candy is opportunities.
  • Alright, scholars, time to unveil another treasure chest of benefits! In this chapter, were diving into “Perks of the Repatriate.” And boy, are you in for a treat when you return to your homeland!
    Benefit #4: The Scholars Haven
    When you stride back into your homeland after your overseas adventures, the red carpet isnt just rolled out; its practically unrolled into a plush carpeted paradise for you. Hold onto your mortarboard, because its time to cash in on your hard-earned expertise.
    Now, if youve already earned some fancy titles in foreign universities, the good news is that you can level up your academic game when you return. And for those intrepid souls whove managed to snag a Ph.D. abroad and dream of donning the esteemed robes of a university lecturer, guess what? Youre not just welcome; youre the star of the show.
    But wait, theres more! If youre a specialist in a particular field, the benefits roll in faster than a tumbleweed in a desert storm. Youll get research startup funds to kickstart your intellectual journey, plus a bagful of perks in the housing department. And as for your family, the nations got a plan for them too – its like a benevolent family reunion!
    Benefit #5: Schooltime Savings for Your Scholarly Spawn
    Now, lets talk about your scholarly offspring. If youve been globe-trotting for over 5 years and youre back in town, your kids can enjoy some nifty education perks. Were talking bonus points and special advantages when it comes to school admissions. If there are international schools with foreign-language instruction in your area, your little Einsteins might just get an express pass to education excellence. But, remember, the specifics may vary depending on your location, so check with the locals.
    So there you have it, returning scholars – a smorgasbord of benefits that make your homecoming a real scholarly fiesta! Its like a rewards program designed by scholars, for scholars.


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