Below you can find the translated English version of the Notice on Strengthening Administration of Employment of Foreigners in China issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security on December 7th, 1998.
To: All Labor / (Labor and Social Security) General Offices/ Bureaus in various provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government.
Thanks to the nationwide implementation of the Regulations on the Administration of the Employment of Foreigners in China on 1 May 1996(“Regulations”) and the hard work and intensive cooperation of all regions and departments, the administration and law relating to the employment of foreigners in China is steadily developing, to positive effect. The following Notice is hereby given to further improve the administration of the employment of foreigners in China:
- Foreign investors who invest in China and are not directly involved in the operation and management of enterprises shall not be classified as working in China, and their employment visas shall not be required. Foreign investors who participate directly in the operation and management of enterprises, and take charge of management positions in said enterprises, shall complete the relevant employment formalities in accordance with the Regulations.
- The Chief Representatives and Representatives of foreign enterprise resident representative offices, who entered China without holding an employment visa, shall apply for employment visas and alien employment permits (“Employment Permit”) based on the Certificate of Registration of Foreign Enterprise Resident Representative Office and Employee’s Card of Foreign Enterprise Resident Representative Office.
Foreign investors, legal representatives and higher management (referring to the general manager, deputy general manager, factory director or deputy factory director of foreign nationality) of a foreign invested enterprise who entered China without holding employment visas, but who are required to reside in China to participate in the operation and management of the enterprises, shall apply for employment visas and Employment Permits based on the Approval Certificate of the enterprise, copy of the Business License and License for the Employment of Foreigners (“Employment License”).
- Foreigners from countries that are exempted from applying for a visa to enter China shall, in principle, apply for employment visas and complete the employment and residence formalities by presenting their passport, visa notification letter and the Employment License. Foreigners who hold passports exempted from visa requirements, such as service passports and ordinary passports for official purpose, and are to be employed in China shall apply for Employment Permits based on the Employment Licenses.
- Foreigners who have been already employed in China and are assigned to work in a branch of the same employer at another location, and whose Employment Permit has not expired, shall complete the formalities for changing the Employment Permit at the labor and social security department at the place of issuance of the original pass and re-apply for an Employment Permit at their new appointed location, providing the Certificate of Changes to Employment Permit issued by the local labor and social security department. The original Employment Permit shall be withdrawn, and the application for Employment License is not required. Foreigners with expired Employment Permits shall complete the formalities for the termination of employment at the labor and social security department at the place of issuance of the original permit and complete the formalities for employment at their new appointed place, in accordance with the Regulations.
- Foreigners who are to enter the territory of China and be employed in resident representative offices of a foreign tourism authority shall complete the formalities for employment and residence in accordance with the Regulations. Among such foreigners, the native personnel of the foreign tourism authority shall apply to the China Embassy or Consulate in their home countries for an employment visa based on the visa notification letter and confirmation of representative status issued by the China National Tourism Administration. After entering China, said personnel shall apply to the local labor and social security department for an Employment Permit, presenting the representative pass and employment visa.
- For the employment of foreigners in foreign chambers of commerce, said chamber shall apply to the labor and social security department for an Employment License to employ foreign personnel based on the letter of intent for employment, Articles of Association of the chamber and the Certificate of Registration of Social Organizations of the People ‘s Republic of China issued by the Ministry of Civil Affairs as well as the approval documents for the employment of said foreign personnel issued by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation and Ministry of Civil Affairs. Thereafter, said foreign personnel shall apply to the China Embassy or Consulate in their home countries for an employment visa in accordance with the Regulations based on the Employment License and visa notification letter. After entering China, said foreign personnel shall make similar applications in accordance with the Regulations.
- The Employment License for Employment of Foreigners, Employment Permit for Foreigners and Employment Permit for natives of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau shall be replaced by new licenses and permits on 1 January 1999, and the original licenses and permits shall become void. Serial numbers of the new licenses and permits shall be issued by the various provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government.