August 09, 2012

China’s national Ministry of Public Security has announced that, effective July 25, 2012, Domestic Endorsements issued to Taiwanese nationals bearing valid Tai Bao Zheng travel documents will be increased to two years from one year.

What are “Domestic Endorsement”, Tai Bao Zheng” & “Residence Endorsement”?

On a diplomatic level, the Government of the People’s Republic of China (“PRC” or also known as “mainland China”) does not officially recognize Taiwan (Republic of China or “ROC”) as a sovereign state. The PRC Government officially refers to Taiwan as “Chinese Taiwan” and considers Taiwan to be its 23rd province that also happens to be seeking status as an independent country.

As the PRC does not recognize an ROC passport, all Taiwanese traveling from Taiwan to mainland China are required to obtain a special travel document ( a “Tai Bao Zheng”) that is similar to a traditional passport.

A “Domestic Endorsement” can be treated as a multi-entry tourist/ business visa to mainland China. It can be easily applied for when presenting a valid Tai Bao Zheng at the departure airport in Taiwan or as a visa on arrival when arriving at international airports in mainland China (e.g., at a specific counter in Shanghai International Airport upon landing and prior to clearing the Shanghai Airport’s immigration control.)

Taiwanese nationals who intend to work and reside in mainland China will be required to obtain a work permit and be issued a long-term “Residence Endorsement” in their Tai Bao Zheng.

What’s Changed?

Effective July 25, 2012, the PRC Government has increased the validity of a Domestic Endorsement to two years from one year, provided that an entrant’s Tai Bao Zheng is valid for at least two years from date of application to enter China. Tai Bao Zheng with validity of less than two years will result in reduced validity of the Domestic Endorsement.

Please note that provided all conditions are met for entry and holders observe the conditions of their stay, Domestic Endorsement holders may remain in mainland China for up to two years in visitor status. However, this status does not extend formal work or residence authorization.

All visitors to China are reminded that they must register their presence within 24 hours of arrival with either their hotel of stay or with a local Public Security Bureau (PSB) office. If there is no change to a Domestic Endorsement holder’s visa or residence information, there is no need to re-register for subsequent entry to China.

For extension of Domestic Endorsement, it can be applied either at a PSB in mainland China or upon subsequent re-entry into China.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

With the January 2012 re-election of Taiwan’s President, Ma Ying-jeou, there have been reports of President Ma opening more dialogue between the ROC and attempts to ease diplomatic relations with the PRC. The marked increase in the validity of Domestic Endorsements seems to support this supposition.

Taiwanese national business visitors can now enjoy an extended period of visit for up to two years. Companies are advised that the validity of stay is determined at the time a Taiwanese national enters mainland China.

Glenn Faulk, Senior Manager, Knowledge Management, has written this alert 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.