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Immigration News in China

China New Immigration System Comes into Effect on Nov. 1st. 2016

China has announced implementation of a new immigration system for foreign nationals recently.

10 Chinese regions on trial since Nov. 1st 2016

The new integrated system will formally replace the current system nationwide April 1st. 2017, but it will be launched on a trial basis on November 1 of this year in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Hebei, Tianjin, Anhui, Shandong, Yunnan, Sichuan, and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Those 10 regions are home to the large majority of the companies employing foreign nationals in China.

Two current permit categories into one single permit

The new system will combine the current two permit categories into a single permit with three occupation groups evaluated on a points-based system. The goal is to increase the population of highly-skilled foreign talent working in China.The former « Foreign Expert Employment License » and « Alien Employment License » are unified as the new « Work Permit Notification Letter ».The former « Foreign Expert Certificate « And » Alien Work Permit » are unified as the new « Foreign Work Permit ». The new « Work Permit » is the legal document for foreigners working in China.

A new on-line application procedure and a permanent national code

A new on-line application procedure will allow applicants to complete and submit applications for the new single permit online. A permanent national code number will then be assigned to the applicant to link the applicant’s personal information and application through the system. The expectation is that this will reduce document submission requirements and significantly decrease the time for approval.

The new system is categorized into three groups: A, B and C

A for top talents, including scientists, science and technology leaders, international entrepreneurs, special talents and other « high-tech » foreign top talents, whom are in urgent needed in China’s economic and social development.

B for professional talents, including the foreign professionals whom are much-needed in China’s economic and social development, and also in line with the guide for foreign workers and job requirements.

C for temporary and seasonal personnel in service and non-technical sectors, who are subject to the quota management.

Points-based system

Applicants in each group will then be evaluated on a points-based system, with points awarded based on salary, education, length of service, working hours in China, Chinese language proficiency, region of their workplace, age, and work experience. In evaluating work experience, the authorities will reportedly also positively consider such criteria as the influence and reputation of the company sponsoring the applicant.

One single institution

Under the new system, the current two institutions– the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security’s (MHRSS’s) and State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) will be replaced by a single authority, SAFEA.

Changes of application documents

Regarding the application documents, there are some changes:

  1. Qualification Certificate (≥2-year working experience, with signature and company seal of the employer, original copy. Before, only a photocopy is fine.)
  2. The highest diploma (≥ Bachelor, which should be authenticated by Chinese embassies or consulates in the home country, original. Before, only a photocopy is fine, no need for authentication by Chinese consulate.)
  3. Certificate of non – criminal record (authenticated by Chinese embassies or consulates in home country, original. This is a newly-added document.)
  4. Medical certificate (should be provided before entry into China, issued by an oversea health institutions recognized by Chinese embassies or consulates; before, the medical certificate is only needed after entry into China with work visa).
  5. Employment contract or Assignment letter (original copy. Before, only a photocopy is fine.)