CHINA – New Exit-Entry Administration Law to be Enacted 1 July 2013
China’s new Exit-Entry Administration law is due to be enacted from 1 July 2013 and brings some significant changes, including four new visa categories, increased enforcement of compliance (and penalties for non-compliance) and additional documentation required for applications.
New Visa Categories
Under the Draft Regulations, from 1 July 2013, there will be the following new visa categories:
- The current Z work visa will be divided into Z1 (for foreign nationals working in China for more than 90 days) and Z2 (for periods of up to 90 days)
- M visa to replace the current F visa for business visitors (the current F visa will remain but will be used for non-business trips, including scientific, cultural and educational exchanges)
- R1 (long term) and R2 (short term) visas for highly skilled professionals or those whose specific skills are needed urgently in China.
It is not yet clear how applicants will qualify for the R1 and R2 categories; Peregrine will provide information as soon as possible.
Increased Enforcement of Compliance and Penalties for Non-Compliance
The new Regulations define unauthorised work very clearly, as follows:
- Working in China without a valid work permit and work residence certificate, unless exempted by regulation;
- Working outside the geographic area specified in the employment permit application
- Not working at the company which sponsored the employment permit
- Overseas students working in China beyond the scope of the position or time period authorised.
To enforce compliance, the new law specifically states that visa agencies and public security exit-entry administration agencies may collect biometric information, such as fingerprints, when issuing visas and residence certificates. The law also places reporting requirements on sponsors in the following circumstances:
- If the sponsoring company or location changes, or the employment permit holder’s employment ends;
- If the employment permit holder violates the exit-entry regulations; or
- If the employment permit holder dies or has a significant accident.
The law also increases penalties for non-compliance up to 2000RMB and the costs of deportation, if ordered. Sponsoring companies will be responsible for these costs.
As a result of the new Exit-Entry Law, additional documentation may be requested in support of employment licence and permit applications, including police clearance certificates (previously requested in some cities but not Beijing or Shanghai – now to be requested in Beijing, at least, from 1 July 2013) and medical certificates for all applications aged 16 and over (previously required for applicants aged 18 or over only).
Police clearance certificates must have been issued within the 90 days prior to the application and must also be legalised for use in China – this process can take several weeks or even months and sufficient lead time must be allowed for.
- Note the new visa categories to be put in place from 1 July 2013;
- Note that legalised police clearance certificates will now be required for employment licence applications for Beijing; additional lead time of at least two weeks (or much longer in some cases, depending on the country of residence or origin of the applicant) must be allowed for;
- Note the definitions of unauthorised work in the new Regulations and the new, increased penalties for non-compliance.
NOTE The new law has not yet been enacted and more edits and changes may become apparent as it is implemented. Peregrine will issue additional news alerts if appropriate.