June 19, 2012

The Chinese Government has made a recent public announcement of initiating a “100-Day Campaign” whereby local Public Security Bureaus in major cities across China may carry out random checks of all foreign national’s immigration documents. These are designed as surprise spot checks to ensure foreign nationals are carrying appropriate documentation and are properly registered for working and residing in China.

What is the “100-Day Campaign”?

The Beijing Public Security Bureau’s official Weibo micro-blog website (equivalent to Twitter) announced the need to enforce existing laws to monitor foreign nationals. According to China’s largest English language newspaper, China Daily, a police official with Beijing’s Exit and Entry Bureau advised that there are “major problems” with having illegal immigrants in China.

According to the article, the officer, Lin Song, has advised that all foreign nationals must carry passports and accommodation registration documents at all times in line with Chinese regulations. According to Mr. Song, “We will enforce the rule and make sure that every foreigner knows that. We’ll check passports and accommodation registrations in areas where foreigners gather in the capital.”

Presently, random immigration document inspections are occurring in Beijing and Shanghai. There are also wire reports that other major Chinese municipalities such as Chengdu (Sichuan Province) and Yanblan (Jilin Province) may also begin random immigration document checks.

What’s Changed?

According to Chinese immigration law, technically, all foreign nationals are required to carry their original passports and police registration at all times. However, according to the national news reports, this campaign is designed for police to more closely inspect foreign national’s immigration documents on a wider scale versus the customary sporadic enforcement.

Typically, foreign nationals should expect to be questioned by the police when in public gathering places, especially those districts or venues popular with the expatriate community. While unusual, it is possible that the police may conduct random home visits.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

As stated above, it is a requirement that all foreign nationals carry at all times their original passports and police registration documents.

To comply with enforcement, it is recommended that between now and end of August, assignees and all accompanying family members at least have available the following documents: clear, color photocopy of passport identification page (to include the photo page); clear photocopy of the visa page and clear photocopy of their Police Temporary Residence Registration Form. It is also recommended to make this a practice whenever outside of the home or hotel while in China.

As carrying an original passport while in public presents an opportunity for passport theft (particularly in areas with night life or large crowds), foreign nationals should secure their original passports on their person.

If there are any amendments to an assignee’s or accompanying family member’s passport or visa, an update of their Temporary Residence Registration Form is required within 24 hours with the local Police Station.

For Chinese companies, it is recommended to maintain updated work and residence permit records of all foreign national workers should a company audit be performed by the local Public Security Bureau. Workers should also have copies of their aforementioned personal immigration documents while at work.

This news alert was prepared by Glenn Faulk, Senior Manager, Knowledge Management and in coordination with our Pro-Link GLOBAL China office.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This content is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or final guidance for any immigration matter. Readers are reminded that a country’s immigration laws and requirements may change with little to no advance public notice. Questions regarding specific immigration matters should be addressed to your Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist.