November 27, 2013

With the implementation of the new Exit and Entry Administrative Law on September 1, 2013 and the related introduction of the new S1 and S2 visa categories for dependents of work permit holders, the Purpose of Residence for dependents of foreign work permit holders has been changed from DEPENDENT to PERSONAL MATTERS. What might look like just an administrative detail has some relevant consequences for dependents who want to work in China.

Previously it was possible for dependents who found a job in China after their move to convert their dependent Z visa into a work Z visa in country. However, the reclassification of the Purpose of Residence as personal matters has rendered this change of status option no longer possible. Dependents will now need to obtain an Invitation Letter and leave the country to apply for their own Z work visa once the Employment License has been obtained.

Procedurally, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The Z visa application does not necessarily need to be filed in the applicant’s home country. Thus, it may be possible to file the application at the Chinese consulate in Hong Kong; however, this option is not available to all nationalities.
  • Dependents who underwent a medical examination for their initial process do not need to undergo a new medical exam.