January 08, 2013

The Beijing Labor Bureau is advising that it will no longer accept Employment License applications filed by third-party agents that will also include local immigration suppliers.

What’s Changed?

Under Chinese immigration law, the Employment License application is the initial step taken by a Chinese company sponsor to petition the local Labor Bureau to employ foreign talent. Until recently, third-party agents (e.g., destination service providers, immigration suppliers) have been permitted to file Employment License applications with the Beijing Labor Bureau on behalf of the sponsoring company.

Effective February 1, 2013, the Beijing Labor Bureau will no longer permit third-party filing agents to file any Employment License applications. The new policy will also no longer allow third-party agents to represent a company or a foreign national in dealings with the bureau.

The bureau will require that a qualified Human Resources or legal representative of the sponsoring company submit an Employment License application in order to receive an official Invitation Letter permitting the foreign national to apply for an entry “Z” visa to continue the Work/Residence License application process in China.

At present, no other provincial Labor Bureaus in China are placing this rather inconvenient restriction on third-party agents filing Employment License applications.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

Prior to February 1st, Chinese companies sponsoring foreign workers are strongly advised to contact their Chinese immigration suppliers to review the appropriate protocols for a designated company representative to file Employment License applications with the Beijing Labor Bureau.

While not yet officially announced by the Labor Bureau, it is anticipated that company representatives may be requested to show their business cards, company badge and/or a Power of Attorney (POA) addressed to the reviewing Labor Bureau officer confirming the company representative’s name, position and ability to file the application. Companies are advised to prepare a standard POA template for use in quickly preparing POA’s when submitting individual license applications.

Unless otherwise directed by the Labor Bureau, Pro-Link GLOBAL Beijing office will continue to assist our clients in preparing the necessary license application forms and documents. In addition, our Beijing office will be glad to continue offering services to personally accompany company representatives appearing before the bureau.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification. This alert was prepared by Glenn Faulk, Senior Manager, Knowledge Management.