Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

2 Jul, 2013

China Issues New Visa Category to Attract Talent

By Hu Min

July 01, 2013, (Shanghai Daily) – New exit and entry regulations which take effect from today promise more convenience for foreigners coming to China to work with the introduction of a “talent introduction visa.” But the revised Entry-Exit Administration Law is also aimed at cracking down on foreigners who work or stay in the country illegally.

The “talent introduction visa” is expected to play an active role in attracting high-caliber talented individuals from overseas, officials said.

“We will increase the eligibility quota for green cards and consider extending the applicable scope for duty-free entry and multiple-entry visas in order to make China more competitive in soliciting foreign investment and talent,” Xinhua news agency quoted Yang Huanning, vice minister of public security, as saying.

The visa joins those already available for travel, work, study, visiting relatives and business. The new measures also include a temporary entry system for the first time, available to foreigners who need to enter the country due to unforeseen circumstances or emergencies.

The law also stipulates that foreigners who make “outstanding contributions” or meet other requirements can apply for permanent residence. But foreign employees entering, staying or working in the country illegally, and their employers, are to face harsher punishments under the new rules.

They state that foreigners must obtain a work permit and residence certificate before they are allowed to work in China. Foreign students are banned from working without authorization and other foreigners will be fined from 5,000 yuan (US$814) to 20,000 yuan found working illegally. They can be detained for up to 15 days in serious cases and deported.

Foreigners who illegally stay in the country will be given a warning to leave and face fines of up to 5,000 yuan. In serious cases, they can be fined up to 10,000 yuan or be detained for five to 15 days and then deported.

Employers will be fined 10,000 yuan for every foreigner they illegally employ up to a maximum of 100,000 yuan. Any illegal gains resulting from such employment will also be confiscated. “The number of foreigners entering China has been increasing by 10 percent annually since 2000. Their identities and goals are more diverse than ever, and their activities are wide-ranging and complicated,” Yang was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

The new law states that the minimum stay for foreigners holding work permits will be 90 days, while the period of validity for a residence permit will range from 180 days to five years. Foreigners who commit “severe violations” that do not constitute crimes may be deported and not allowed to enter the country again for 10 years.

It also rules that exit-entry authorities must set up passages exclusively for Chinese citizens and promulgates regulations to collect fingerprints or other biometric data from people entering and exiting the country.

It is common practice elsewhere to collect fingerprints or other biometric data, which can identify people exiting and entering the country and improve efficiency, officials said.

Foreigners applying for residence permits will be required to have their fingerprints or other biometric data collected, according to the rules. China had two exit-entry laws, one for foreigners and one for Chinese nationals. Both were adopted in 1985. They were deemed out of date to some extent, with little mention of the illegal employment of foreigners for example, according to Xinhua news agency.

Last year, 54.35 million foreigners entered and exited China, 37 times the figure in 1980.