December 27, 2012

China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) recently announced a longer duration “Global Expert” certificate and residence permit in addition to announcing an expansion of benefits for foreign nationals receiving permanent residence status in China.

What’s Changed?

Since the introduction of China’s new Exit and Entry Administration Law in June 2013, the MOHRSS will gradually introduce changes to for specific categories of work and residence authorization for full implementation of a new border and immigration control policy in July 2013.

On December 13, 2012, the MOHRSS announced expand benefits for foreign nationals receiving permanent residence in addition to clarifying the duration of stay for foreign nationals applying for work authorization under the Recruitment Program of Global Experts.

“Global Expert” Certificate and Residence Permit Permit

The Recruitment Program of Global Experts was implanted in 2008 as a plan to introduce talents from overseas to support the development of leading industry of key technology and to attract scientists and leader of high technology to begin business in China and to also work on national interest projects (i.e., government-sponsored projects both at the federal level and provincial level).

Throughout the years, the MOHRSS has made revisions to this policy and has issued a recent announcement allowing foreign nationals qualifying under the Global Expert scheme to receive long-duration, multi-entry work and residence visas valid between two to five years versus traditional one-year permits.

The Chinese version of the MOHRSS announcement can be found at the following:

http://www.mohrss.gov.cn/page.do?pa=402880202405002801240882b84702d7&guid=4ce219fec2cd41f289d78d5d880a5079&og=4028802023db8cc00123dfaeb60b0354

Expanded Benefits for Permanent Residents

On September 28, 2012, the MOHRSS’ new announcement on “Foreigners Permanent Residence in China Enjoy the Relevant Treatment Measures” became effective and was officially published December 13th.

The Chinese version of the MOHRSS announcement can be found at the following:

http://www.mohrss.gov.cn/page.do?pa=402880202405002801240882b84702d7&guid=fc8c2ff9eabe412a8d4836c4386907f3&og=4028802023db8cc00123dfaeb60b0354

Since 2004, permanent residence has only been available to foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Chinese nationals, senior-executive employees, foreign nationals who have “made important and outstanding contribution to China and China national special needs” (i.e., contributed significant benefit to the Chinese economy) and overseas investors.

In addition to qualifying in one of the aforementioned categories, applicants must also confirm they will abide by the laws of China and provide evidence of good health and absence of Chinese and international criminal record.

Prior to the December 13th, obtaining permanent residence in China by foreign nationals and overseas Chinese (Chinese nationals who have relinquished their Chinese citizenship) was very difficult. Under the new Law on the Exit and Entry Administration, this announcement indicates a lowering of threshold for foreign nationals and overseas Chinese to apply for permanent residence status.

The new announcement also indicates that permanent residents may now apply to participate in public access programs such as the public school education for children, qualifying for national health and social insurance benefits and work-age permanent residents having unrestricted ability to work for any Chinese employer.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

The promulgation of China’s new Exit and Entry Administration Law is slowly being implemented into final policies and procedures by the various federal and provincial government agencies throughout China. It is expected the comprehensive new law will be fully implemented by July 2013.

The MOHRSS changes above indicate China’s willingness to align its work and residence policies more closely with those of other Asia Pacific economies. Specific application requirements for the Global Expert and permanent residence status should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by Pro-Link GLOBAL’s China office.

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.