China: Work and Residence Permit Changes
In keeping with the passage of China's tough new Exit and Entry Administration Law, which set new visa types as well as new application requirements for employment and highly skilled worker visa and residence documents, the federal Chinese authorities and the Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai have announced procedural and document requirement changes for various aspects of the work and residence permit processes.
The following new regulations will take effect on Sept 1, 2013.
Original Business License The Beijing Government Authority recently announced that the original company Business License will be required for all residence permit applications filed at the Beijing Public Security Bureau. In the past, a copy of the Business License was sufficient; however, this new requirement will require filing agents to collect the original Business License from the Chinese sponsoring company before each Residence Permit application is filed. Most foreigners must now submit original marriage and birth certificates for dependent visa and residence permit applications in Beijing. Specifically, the rule applies to initial applications, renewals, changes and cancellations of visas and residence permits for spouses and children under the age of 18.
New Timeframe for Renewal and Change Applications for Residence Permits and Visas
On Sept. 1, 2013, the Beijing Public Security Bureau implemented new timeframes for the submission of renewal and change applications for residence permits and visas. As of this day, applications for work permit renewals or changes must be filed at least 30 days before the original permit expires. Renewals and changes for all other visa types must be filed at least seven days before the expiration date. There will be penalties for late submissions, but no details are currently available. Effective Sept. 1, Beijing is introducing a new requirement that employees with family members migrating to the city must have marriage and birth certificates legalized at a Chinese consulate before applying for residence permits. Although regulations may allow a transition period between Sept. 1, 2013, and Jan. 1, 2014, during which it would not be necessary to obtain legalization in advance, it is advised that legalization is the safest course to avoid delays or problems in processing. The new policy will only apply to initial applications; legalized documents are not required for residence permit renewals.
Effective July 1, foreigners wishing to obtain or renew a Shanghai residence card must have a foreign expert permit. Formerly, only a work permit was required. The foreign expert permit may be granted to foreigners who qualify as having exceptional skills, talent or experience in fields including teaching, healthcare, engineering, finance, sports and research, as well as foreign workers in senior roles of deputy general manager or above. The residence card confers benefits enjoyed by Chinese residents. The new requirement makes it more difficult for foreigners to acquire the Shanghai residence card.
Effective immediately, foreign residents in Shanghai who cohabitate without being married are no longer permitted to apply for residence permits as dependents. The certificate of cohabitation will not be accepted as a qualifying document to obtain a dependent residence permit. However, unmarried, cohabitating foreign couples who already have a dependent residence permit will be allowed to renew the permit. This change comes as China prepares to adopt the tough new Exit-Entry Law.
2013 has seen the advent of many regional restrictions designed to tighten immigration. Last month, the Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration announced that a foreign expert permit is now required to apply for a Shanghai residence card. Also in Shanghai, a new rule places restrictions on foreign dependents of some overseas workers. Under it, dependent family members of workers in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, as well as Chinese nationals residing overseas, will only be granted L visas for 90 days at a time. The 90-day rule applies no matter how long the principal holder's residence permit is valid.
Please contact Richard Villegas at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance with visa, work and resident permit-related matters.
References: Pro-link Global, Interconex, China Embassy, China Daily