2022 was a year full of changes, but we made it. In this article, we have selected important changes in visa-related policies in China this year, including inbound traveling, work visa, permanent residence, residence permit and enterprise, among others.
Part 1: Inbound traveling
1. No more vaccination required when entering China
The National Health Commission announced the latest COVID-19 policy changes, which took effect on January 8. Only a negative nucleic acid test result for COVID-19 done within 48 hours before boarding will be required to present. There is no need to apply for health codes with Chinese embassies or consulates.
2. Visa exemption resumed
The visa exemption had been temporarily cancelled since March 28, 2020, but now they are all resumed. People from visa-free countries can come to China directly without applying for a visa in advance. The 24/72/144-hour visa-free transit policy is also resumed.
3. PU letter cancelled
At the beginning of July, PU letter was cancelled to simplify applications for business visas.
Part 2: Work visa
1. Information on the past 10 years required while applying for a work permit
In Fengxian District, it's even required to fill in the information before the age of 18.
2. Tighter inspection on applicants' previous work experience
While applying for a new work visa, you must notice: consistency in work experiences, as in the same position at work.
Only employment under a work permit and a residence permit counts as work experience; if your previous work experience was in China, the old work permit and residence permit should be provided.
Work experience must be consistent with how you claimed in the previous application.
3. Foreign-owned companies must hire Chinese employee might be needed to apply for a work permit
In some cities, foreign-owned companies need to hire at least one Chinese employee to apply for visas for foreigners.
If you are a foreigner and own a company, you can't apply the work visa for yourself if you are the only employee. You'll need to hire at least one Chinese to handle your company's affairs and to prove that your company is operating properly.
4. C-type work permit for foreign students in certain areas
Starting this year, foreign undergraduate students in Shanghai can apply for a new C-type work permit within two years of graduation, after being employed by a company registered in Jiading New City, Qingpu New City, Songjiang New City, Fengxian New City, Nanhui New City; no work experience is required.
Besides the above five "new cities," company registered in Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Occupation List, China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, Zhangjiang High-tech Zone, Lingang New Area and Hongqiao Business District can also apply for C-type work permit.
Part 3: Permanent residence
1. More complicated for reunion type
For reunion type, application procedures for a Chinese Permanent Residence Card are now more complicated with stricter scrutiny of the Chinese spouse's foreign green card status.
However, for legal persons and principals of companies in "Double-Zones" and "Double Innovation" areas in Shanghai, the application is now much easier. Business operation will be the primary standard to evaluate whether you're eligible to apply, instead of personal tax payments or time spent in China.
2. Impossible to apply for PR with a penalty record
According to the latest policy launched by the Exit-Entry Administration, expats who have penalty records cannot apply for permanent residence.
This penalty refers to the administrative penalty that has been issued by the Exit-Entry Administration, which specifies overstay, illegal work and illegal entry.
These scenarios will not affect your permanent resident application:
(1) Failed to cancel your work visa within 10 days after you end your employment;
(2) Failed to transfer your visa within 10 days in the Exit-Entry Administration after you renew your passport.
Part 4: Residence permit
1. Medical examination a must when you transfer into work-type residence permit
Previously, you did not need to provide a medical certificate to transfer your residence permit. For example, if you were a student and wanted to transfer your residence permit for study to a residence permit for work, you didn't need to provide a medical certificate to do so.
However, now in some areas, such as the Pudong New Area, if you do not currently have a work permit, but a residence permit of another type, you will need to provide a medical certificate to apply for a work permit.
That is to say, the current student visa and reunion visa application may require a medical report when applying for a work visa.
2. Expedited procedures available in case of urgent needs
For example, when applying for a new residence permit, you can apply for an expedited procedure on reasonable grounds, i.e., you need to attend an important meeting overseas, and you can provide proof such as air tickets. The process can be then shortened from 7 workdays to about 4 workdays.
Part 5: Enterprise
1. Foreign-invested enterprise founded by a PR holder can be registered as a domestic company
For long, foreign-invested enterprises and domestic ones must register in different ways.
However, the situation changed in September 2022 as the new policy holds that if the foreign executive has permanent residence when they set up a tech company in Hongqiao area in Shanghai, they can go through the registration as a domestic company.
2. One-stop service: Foreign-invested enterprises can register and set up online
Shanghai has launched a one-stop service, allowing overseas investors to conduct online real-name authentication and establishing new enterprises in the city.
Real-name authentication, e-signature, e-license and seal, paying the five insurances and one housing fund for employees, applying for invoices, and making an appointment to open a bank account ... all these matters can be done remotely now.
Part 6: Others
1. Translation materials for visa application need to be stamped with the official seal of the translation company.
If the original translated documents are in English when applying for a visa, the translation materials can be stamped with only one seal, the official seal of the company or the specific translation seal of the translation company.
The translation materials other than English must be stamped with the specific translation seal of the translation company.
Take policy in Nanjing as an example. If a French client wants to transfer from a student visa to a work visa, he has to provide both seals of his company and the translation company.
2. Individuals depositing or withdrawing more than 50,000 yuan in cash must be registered
Individuals depositing or withdrawing more than 50,000 yuan in cash must be registered with their real identities, according to 《金融机构客户尽职调查和客户身份资料及交易记录保存管理办法》released by the People's Bank of China.
(The article is provided by AnyHelper.)