Draft Rules on Business Immigration Issued
Jeffrey Wilson, Jun He Labor Law Offices, Shanghai, China
Daft regulations governing the entry, employment, and residence of foreign nationals in China were issued by the State Council on May 3, 2013.
The draft regulations, entitled Foreigner Entry-Exit Administration Regulations, implement the Exit-Entry Administration Law, which takes effect July 1, 2013. A period of public comment on the draft regulations ends on June 3, 2013. The draft regulations are expected to be effective by July 1, 2013. The draft regulations would replace immigration regulations governing foreign nationals that originally became effective in 1986.
Among the highlights of the draft regulations:are the following:
- A new "M" visa will be available for commercial and trade activities (i.e., a business visa). The F visa, which currently covers such activities, will be limited to scientific, educational, cultural, health, athletic, and other non-commercial activities.
- A new "foreign talent" visa ("R" visa) will available for senior-level and professionals in short supply. Long-term R1 visas allowing residency up to five year will be available. An R2 visa would allow stays of up to six months. Applicants will require approval at the central or provincial level. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security is expected to issue a list of eligible positions that are considered to be in short supply. The draft regulations do not explicitly state whether holders of R visas can work in China.
- "Illegal employment" by foreign nationals includes working for PRC entities that are not the sponsors of their work permits and/or working in "areas" other than those authorized in their work permits. "Areas" in this context is understood to mean the cities where the sponsors are registered.
- The draft regulations confirm provisions in the Exit-Entry Administration Law that "illegal employment" also includes working without a work permit or resident permit.
- The minimum age for mandatory medical exams for foreign nationals seeking resident permits will be lowered from 18 to 16.