People’s Republic of China – Foreign Nationals May Re-enter with Valid Residence Permits
PRC– Frgn Nat'ls May Re-enter w Valid Residence Permits
Under a new policy of the People’s Republic of China, foreign nationals holding the following types of valid residence permits may enter China from 0:00 on 28 September 2020: work purposes; for the purposes of attending to personal affairs; and family reunion purposes. Certain policies announced in the National Immigration Administration’s March 2020 announcement remain in effect. Furthermore, certain visa-exempt policies remain suspended until further notice.
From 28 September 2020, the People’s Republic of China (“China” or “PRC”) will allow certain foreign nationals holding valid Chinese residence permits to (re)enter China.1
WHY THIS MATTERS
This relaxes the restrictions put in place in March and will be welcome news for foreign businesses in the process of restoring their China operations.
Background: Policies Put in Place in March 2020, New Policies Effective End September 2020
On 26 March 2020, against the backdrop of COVID-19’s spread across countries, Chinese governmental authorities announced restrictions on foreign nationals entering China, including those holding various China travel and work permits (for prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-137, 1 April 2020).
In a new announcement by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the National Immigration Administration (NIA), effective from midnight 28 September 2020, foreign nationals holding three types of valid Chinese residence permits be are permitted to enter China. Other measures in the initial announcement continue to be effective.
Key Content and Updates
Foreign nationals holding the following types of valid residence permits may enter China from 0:00 on 28 September 2020.
- Work purposes;
- For the purposes of attending to personal affairs;
- Family reunion purposes.
Where any of these residence permits expired after 0:00 on 28 March 2020, and where the purpose of residence in China remains unchanged, holders may apply for the re-entry visa with Chinese embassies or consulates.
Expired residence permits and supporting documents may be required to be presented in support of the application.
Other measures outlined in NIA’s March announcement remain in force. Specifically, foreign nationals holding the following types of valid visas can enter China:
- Diplomatic, official, courtesy, and C visas;
- Visas issued after 26 March 2020, on the grounds of:
- engaging in necessary economic, trade, science, and technology activities,
- emergency humanitarian needs.
The following visa-exempt policies remain suspended until further notice:
- Visa on arrival;
- 24/72/144 hour-transit visa-exemption policy;
- Hainan 30-day visa-exempt policy;
- 15-day visa-exempt policy for foreign nationals entering the port of Shanghai on cruise ships;
- 144-hour visa-exempt policy (for Guangdong province) for foreign nationals arriving from Hong Kong SAR or Macao SAR on cruise ships; and
- 15-day visa-exempt policy (for Guangxi province) for foreign nationals arriving with tour groups organised by ASEAN countries.
Foreign individuals are advised to consider the following and seek professional assistance where necessary:
- Those whose residence permits have expired should proactively contact the local visa centre for details on the necessary documentation and procedures to apply for a re-entry visa;
- Those with valid residence permits and who wish to return to China, should enquire with the relevant authorities for pre-travel requirements, e.g., whether nucleic acid testing is required before entry;
- Ascertain in advance the quarantine measures at the port of entry and place of residence.
- Strictly abide by China’s regulations on epidemic prevention and control;
- Companies that employ foreign individuals who meet the requirements for re-entry should proactively plan for the safe and timely return of such personnel and their family members.
The KPMG International member firm in China will continue to update readers of GMS Flash Alert on the latest developments in this regard and share our observations and insights.
This article is excerpted, with permission, from “China Allows Re-entry for Foreigners with Valid Residence Permits,” published in China Tax Alert (Issue 32, September 2020), a publication of the KPMG International member firm in the People’s Republic of China.
* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in the People’s Republic of China.
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