New Regulations and Visa Categories Will Take Effect Sept. 1

24 Jul 13

CHINA

On Monday, the State Council released regulations governing the Exit-Entry Administration Law. The rules, which are scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 1, lay out the new visa types and purposes as well as some of the documents required to file applications.

There are significant differences between the draft legislation that was released on May 3 and the official regulations in Order No. 637, which were published on July 22 and are scheduled to be implemented on Sept. 1. Most notably, no information was released on the division between the short-term Z-1 and long-term Z-2 employment categories that were originally proposed in the May draft regulations. Furthermore, the definition of unauthorized employment differs from the draft regulations. It remains to be determined how the new regulations will be interpreted and enforced.

The new regulations outline and define the new visa and residence certificate categories, definitions of illegal residence, reporting requirements for employers, rules regarding off-campus jobs and internships for students, fines and penalties for unauthorized employment, definitions of ineligibility, and definitions of stay and residence.

As soon as further details are released by the Exit-Entry Administration, it should become more clear how employers can remain compliant regarding day-to-day client scenarios. Currently, it is uncertain how regulations will govern situations such as short-term employment and working in a province other than that where a work permit was originally issued.

Visa Categories

According to the new regulations, applicants must provide a completed application, his or her original visa and a passport photo, as well as required documentation specific to the visa type. Below is a basic guide to the new visa types, who they apply to, and some specific documentary requirements for each category:

Visa Type Purpose of Travel Specific Required Documents
C International flight and train crews; drivers who engage in international transport of goods; and international seaman and their families Letter of guarantee from foreign transportation company, or letter of invitation from Chinese transportation company
D Permanent residents Alien Permanent Resident Status Confirmation Form issued by the Ministry of Public Security
F Persons engaging in exchanges, visits, and inspections in China Invitation letter from a party in China
G Persons transiting through China Proof of transportation onward, such as a ticket, showing confirmed date of travel and seat
J1 Foreign correspondents of foreign news agencies resident in China Per guidelines pertaining specifically to foreign journalists and permanent Chinese offices of foreign news organizations
J2 Foreign correspondents on short visits to research and report news Per guidelines pertaining specifically to foreign journalists and permanent Chinese offices of foreign news organizations
L Tourism Travel itinerary and other documents as required. Tourism groups may need to provide an invitation letter from a travel agency.
M Persons who will engage in business or commercial activities Invitation letter from Chinese company or trading partner
Q1 Residence for individuals seeking to reside with Chinese citizen or permanent resident family members, or to complete adoptions Invitation letter from Chinese resident, or power of attorney in case of adoption
Q2 Short term visit for individuals  with Chinese citizen or permanent resident family members. Invitation letter from Chinese citizen or permanent resident, or foreigner plus other evidence.
R Highly skilled foreign worker in shortage occupations Confirmation of qualifications issued by the relevant Chinese governmental department, as well as other evidence
S1 Spouse, children under 18, parents, parents-in-law, relatives, and other persons seeking to complete a long term visit with a foreign national residing in China for work, study, or other purposes. Invitation letter from relative and proof of relationship. Where purpose is “private,” other documents may be required.
S2 Short term visit by non-immediate family members and other parties with foreigners who are in China for work study, etc… Invitation letter from relative and proof of relationship. Where purpose is “private,” other documents may be required.
X1 Long-term study in China Letter of admission from the educational institution and required documents from administration departments
X2 Short-term study in China Letter of admission from the educational institution and required documents from recruitment units
Z Employment in China Work permit and related documents

Please note that “short-term” is defined by the new regulations as 180 days or less, and “long-term” is defined as more than 180 days.

Additional guidelines on the implementation of these rules will be issued by the Chinese government and regional administrations over the coming days. BAL will provide updates as more details become available.

For additional information on Chinese immigration matters, contact GlobalVisaGroup@balglobal.com.

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