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New entry and exit rules for expats in China

Updated: 14 Aug 2012
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The Chinese government has recently been dealing severely with foreigners who illegally entered into China or illegally live or work in China, especially in cities like Beijing and Guangzhou. On 30th June 2012, China passed the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Control of the Entry and Exit to manage domestic foreign affairs and the central government is preparing rules of implementation accordingly.

 

The Common Visa

The Common visa includes categories such as travelling, working, business and family visit visas. For application of the common visa, a foreigner needs to submit his or her passport or international travel documents to the Chinese Embassy or Consular Office, with relevant information of category of visa, times of entry, expiry date of entry and period of stay. An interview and biological information like fingerprints might be required. As a common international practice, the authority does not need to provide any reason for rejecting the application.

 

Visas can also be applied at ports of authority, and a foreigner can enter China only once with such visa through the port of application for a period no longer than 30 days. Such visas can be applied for by individuals and international travel agencies, with relevant material including passports or other international travel documents.

 

Visas are not required for foreigners who hold passenger tickets and stay for no more than 24 hours in China entirely within airport boundaries in immediate transit on connecting international flights.

 

A foreigner is allowed to stay in China without the residence visa for a period no longer than 180 days. Extension of the period shall be applied to the municipal authority of entry and exit. A foreigner can continue to stay in China only if the application is approved. The Residence Visa A foreigner shall apply for a residence visa at the local authority of entry and exit within 30 days from the entry date. The residence visa is compulsory for studying or working in China. The applicant shall submit passport or other international travel documents, biological information like fingerprints and other documents to the authority of entry and exit. The result of the application will be informed within 15 days.

 

The working resident visa is valid for a period of 90 days to five years, while a non-working resident visa is from 180 days to five years. For a foreigner staying in a hotel, the hotel shall complete registration procedures and submit the information to the local public security authority. If a foreigner stays in other places, the procedure above shall be completed by his or herself or the landlord within 24 hours of checking in. For extension of residence, a foreigner shall submit his or her application including passport and other information to the municipal authority of entry and exit within 30 days before the date of expiry of resident visa. The result will be informed within seven days. Any change of information on the resident visa shall be registered to the authority of entry and exit within 10 days of the change. Overstay of residence visa will be fined RMB 500 per day, and might result in being held in custody for a period of no more than 15 days.

 

The Residence Visa

A foreigner shall apply for a residence visa at the local authority of entry and exit within 30 days from the entry date. The residence visa is compulsory for studying or working in China. The applicant shall submit passport or other international travel documents, biological information like fingerprints and other documents to the authority of entry and exit. The result of the application will be informed within 15 days.

 

The working resident visa is valid for a period of 90 days to five years, while a non-working resident visa is from 180 days to five years. For a foreigner staying in a hotel, the hotel shall complete registration procedures and submit the information to the local public security authority. If a foreigner stays in other places, the procedure above shall be completed by his or herself or the landlord within 24 hours of checking in.

 

For extension of residence, a foreigner shall submit his or her application including passport and other information to the municipal authority of entry and exit within 30 days before the date of expiry of resident visa. The result will be informed within seven days. Any change of information on the resident visa shall be registered to the authority of entry and exit within 10 days of the change. Overstay of residence visa will be fined RMB 500 per day, and might result in being held in custody for a period of no more than 15 days.

 

The Working Visa

To work in China a foreigner needs to firstly apply for the employment permit and secondly, for the working resident visa. Working without such documents, or working outside the range of the employment permit, or taking part-time jobs beyond permission of category or hours is illegal in China.

 

For foreigners that hold the position as directors or general managers, or hold shares of foreign-invested companies, or work as chief representatives for foreign companies, the employment permit and the working resident visa is guaranteed

 

Foreigners that work without employment permit or work outside the range of the employment permit will be fined no more than RMB 20,000, and could result in being held in custody for a period of no more than 15 days.

 

The Limitations of Entry and Exit

Under certain circumstances a foreigner might not be allowed to exit China: if he or she is accused of a criminal offence or is still serving in prison, or he or she is in arrears of wages to his or her employees. Legal representatives of the companies involved in civil cases may be ordered not to leave China by the Chinese court.

 

For new laws for entry and exit, we do not know whether the Chinese government will change the visa policies. The rules in detail will be issued by the State Council soon.

 

SOURCE: Ningbo Focus 

 

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