New Immigration Law/Process for China

Old Jul 26th 2013, 9:23 am
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Default New Immigration Law/Process for China

Our offices in China have informed us of the following Immigration Law and Process affecting foreign nationals working/living in China in effect since 1st July 2013.

The full details and regulations have not been finalized as of yet, however from 1st July, any foreigner wishing to stay in China for more than 180 days will need a residence permit. In addition, foreigners or visitors on a Visit (tourist) visas will only be extended once by a maximum of 30 days.

There will be the introduction of several new categories of visa listed below including R visas - for highly skilled specialists working or visiting China. A new family Q visa issued for children of Chinese citizens or permanent residence. Last but not least, the addition of the M visa, which is a new
business visa for individuals dealing with trade and business activities.
  • F - non-commercial visit
  • C - For Aircrew, train crew and ship crew with their accompanying family members engaged in cross-border transport
  • D - Permanently reside in China
  • L - tourist
  • G - transit visa
  • J1 - Journalist on long term basis
  • J2 - Journalist on short term basis
  • Z1 - work in China over 90 days
  • Z2 - work in China less than 90 days
  • X1 - long term study
  • X2 - short term study
  • M - commercial or trade activity
  • Q1 - family reunion
  • Q2 - short visit visa
  • R1 - highly skilled specialists residing in China
  • R2 - Highly skilled specialists (less than 180 days)
  • S - Personal reasons such as marriage, adoption, inheritance
A note that the alphabetic category indicates the type of visa while the numeric number 1 represents long-term and number 2 represent short-term.

Family members of visa holders J1, R1, R2, X1, Z1 can apply for dependant visas and are shown by adding “Y” to the applicant’s visa category.

Please note that the following current visa categories have been modified to include duration changes.
  • Work visas (Z visas) will be divided into Z1 (over 90 days) and Z2 (under 90 days), with Z1 visa holders likely to need a residence permit as well.
  • The previous business visa, F visa; is now modified to be issued for non-business activities such as education, sports and cultural exchange and visits.
  • Rules for F visas may also change, with business/commercial visitors required to apply for a new “M” visa category - however please note that details of the difference between F and M types have not yet been finalized.
  • Visa holders of C, G, L and Z2 visas who due to unforeseen humanitarian, force majeure reasons need to extend their stay beyond their stay allowed on their visas may apply to the county-level above local public security Exit and Entry Bureau to extend their duration of stay.
  • There are also changes in the processing time of application for the employment license and residence permit from 5 working days to 15 working days.
  • F and L visas application must be submitted and accepted for processing by the authorities at least 7 days prior to expiration with the
  • processing time of 7 working days.
With the new changes in immigration taking place throughout China, there is a certain degree of standardized requirements throughout China; however there still exists City specific changes in China. An example is in Beijing, L or F visa holders cannot convert visa into a residence permit unlike the
practice in Shanghai. Beijing also requires a notarized non criminal record document from the assignee’s home country. Another example is in Shenzhen, a dual medical examination is required (one prior to the submission of employment license and one prior to the submission of work permit) unlike the practice in Shanghai.

We hope to be able to continue to provide you with up to date information once the finalized changes are available.
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