CHINAJune 25, 2015

The Chinese authorities have announced two welcome changes to their immigration policies: Taiwanese residents will enjoy reduced entry requirements into mainland China and the city of Shenzhen has increased the maximum age limitation for female foreign employees. Details of each change can be found below.

Removal of Entry Requirements for Taiwanese Residents

In an effort to encourage and increase “cross-strait” exchanges between China and Taiwan, Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, announced that the entry permit requirement for Taiwanese residents will be removed. Traditionally, Taiwanese residents have been required to hold both a Taiwanese passport and what is called a Tai Bao Zheng booklet in order to visit mainland China. Each entry into mainland China then required a separate, visa-like entry permit/travel endorsement which, especially for frequent travelers, could be cumbersome to obtain.

However, effective July 1, 2015, Taiwanese residents will be able to travel to mainland China simply by holding a valid Tai Bao Zheng and will not be required to obtain the separate travel endorsement with each entry. In addition, applicants will be able to obtain one of two different Tai Bao Zheng validities: a new three-month, single-entry version (obtainable at the port of entry) or the traditional five-year, multiple-entry version (must be obtained before departure).

While Taiwanese residents will still be required to carry a Tai Bao Zheng in order to enter mainland China, the removal of the travel endorsement requirement and the implementation of a Tai Bao Zheng-on-arrival option is greatly welcomed.

In addition to the reduced travel requirements, plans to update the five-year Tai Bao Zheng booklet into card format were also announced. The timeframe for this implementation remains unknown; however, Pro-Link GLOBAL continues to monitor the situation closely and will report on any developments as they are announced.

Shenzhen – Labor Bureau Increases Maximum Age for Foreign Female Employees

One of the common challenges for corporate immigration in China is the maximum age limit put in place by the provincial Labor Bureaus throughout the country. Generally, these age limitations are set at 60-years-old for male foreign employees and 55-years-old for female foreign employees; however, the Shenzhen Labor Bureau has recently announced that it will being accepting work permit applications for female employees up to age 60.

This change is effective immediately and, as Chinese immigration is controlled at the city- and provincial-levels, the change is only applicable in Shenzhen. It remains unknown whether other Chinese cities or regions will also implement similar changes. 

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 Pro-Link GLOBAL’s Knowledge Management team.

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