China Immigration Trends
China Immigration Trends
China Tax Alert - Issue 38, December 2019
The Shanghai Municipal Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SHAFEA), The National Immigration Administration and The Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of Shanghai Public Security Bureau have progressively promulgated new policies since September 2019, aiming to attract more foreign talents and simplify entry and exit procedures for foreigners.
Introducing foreign talent pilot program in Lin-gang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone
The Lin-gang Special Area (LGSA) of the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone (Shanghai Pilot FTZ) will be upgraded to a foreign talent pilot zone. Specific measures to attract foreign talent specialising in innovative activities include:
- Foreign talents employed by scientific institutions and high-tech enterprises in the LGSA, foreign talents urgently needed for industrial development, and those who invest in the LGSA or engage in new innovative businesses will be subject to relaxed rules pertaining to age, education background and work experience requirements for their preliminary PRC work permit applications;
- Talents and their foreign team members pioneering in the high-tech industry will be entitled to simplified PRC work permits application procedures via the "Green Channel";
- Foreigners holding senior managerial or highly-technical positions in companies which are covered by "Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Occupations" list are entitled to simplified PRC work permit applications;
- Employers in the LGSA will have access to platforms established by Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Commission and SHAFEA to identify and source foreign talents. At the same time, LGSA will also provide support relating to onboarding training, legal consultation, cultural exchange and settle-in for foreign talents.
China 144-hour visa-free transit program expanded to cover 27 ports
Effective 1 December 2019, eligible foreigners enter from air ports in Chongqing and Xi’an can transit and stay in China for up to 144-hour without a visa. Those who enter from air ports in Ningbo can also visit Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang Province during the 144-hour visa-free transit. Furthermore, air ports in Chengdu have been expanded to Chengdu, Leshan, Deyang, Suining, Meishan, Ya'an, Ziyang, Neijiang, Zigong, Luzhou and Yibin.
Following the expansion of the program, 30 border ports in 23 cities across 18 provinces in China will implement the 144-hour and 72-hour visa exemption program for foreigners from 53 countries.
Max length of stay
Pre – December 1, 2019
Post December 1, 2019 (*Newly added border ports)
Beijing,Tianjin,Shijiazhuang,Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shenyang, Dalian, Qingdao, Chengdu, Xiamen, Kunming, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Jieyang
Chongqing*, Xi’an*, Ningbo*
Chongqing, Xi’an, Changsha, Guilin, Ha’erbin
Changsha, Guilin, Ha’erbin
Self-assisted (online) registration for temporary residence
The Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of Shanghai Public Security Bureau has officially launched an online platform which enables foreigners to complete registration for temporary residence online.
- Applicant can scan a QR code and subscribe to the wechat public account or log in to the system on a PC;
- Minimal details of the applicant is required for completing the registration (e.g. applicant’s residential address and arrival/departure dates);
- Platform automatically verifies and confirms completion of registration on timely basis;
- Completed “Temporary Residence Registration Form” can be downloaded and printed for record-keeping.
Launch of “Single Window” in Shanghai for Foreigners’ Work and Residence Permits applications
The Shanghai Public Security Bureau (PSB) and SHAFEA launched a "Single Window” for processing Foreigners’ Work and Residence Permits applications. Foreign talents who qualify for Category A work permit can now submit work permit and residence permit applications simultaneously to the "single window" and obtain both permits at the same time upon approval, and the entire process should be completed within 7 business days.
Companies should proactively evaluate feasibility of applying new immigration policy and practice to its own foreign employees and aligning its deployment strategy and corresponding policies accordingly.
KPMG team is closely following updates from various authorities, and will keep you informed by way of future alerts and/or consultations as required.