How to Hire Foreign Employees in China?

In this article, we will focus on how to hire foreign employees in Chin associated with basic requirement, working visa and labor contract.

  • Basic requirement                                           
  • Work permit application
  • Labor contract

Hire foreign employees

It is very common to find foreign enterprises which are interested in employing foreign staff directly in China for their business operation and management. The increasing globalization leads the companies worldwide to entering markets far from their headquarters. Hereby you will find a helpful employment guide for employment in China. 

According to law of the People’s Republic of China, a foreigner is a person without Chinese nationality. The term “foreigners working in China” provided by law as the act of engaging in labor and receiving remuneration by foreigners who have not obtained permanent resident status in China.


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Basic requirements

An employee who intends to work in China shall meet the following requirements:

  1. Be over the age of 18 and be in a good health condition;
  2. Have the professional skills and corresponding work experience to fill the relevant vacancy;
  3. Have no criminal record;
  4. Have a specific employer;
  5. Hold a valid passport and/or any other required international travel certificate.

Work permit application

Employer shall collect the required documents and submit them to the issuing local authority to obtain the employment license for the foreigner within 15 days after the hired foreigner enters China. The employment license is valid only in the area prescribed by the issuing authority.

A foreigner who intends to work in China shall hold an employment visa before he/she enters the country. After entering in China, foreigners shall apply and obtain the work permit and after obtaining the work permit, they shall apply for the residence permit. Foreigners who; a) hold a work permit, but they do not hold a residence permit, or b) dependents of foreigners who hold a work permit, or c) foreigners who study or perform internships, cannot obtain employment permits.

To employ a foreigner in China, the employer shall submit the application to the local bureau along with the following documents:

  1. Employee’s Resume;
  2. Letter of intent;
  3. A letter for Reason for hiring a foreigner;
  4. Employment Certificate;
  5. Health status Certificate;
  6. Other documents required by Chinese laws and regulations.

Foreigners who fulfill one of the following conditions may not be required to hold employment permit and employment license:

  1. Foreigners employed by the government or state organizations as senior technical and management employees and holding “foreign expert certificates” issued by Foreign Experts bureau;
  2. Foreigners who hold the work permit of working in offshore oil operations in China engaged in offshore oil operations, with special skills and do not need to go ashore;
  3. Foreigners who hold a license of Temporary Commercial Performances approved by the Ministry of Culture.

The following foreigners may not be required to hold employment license. However, they shall apply for employment permit based on their employment visa and relevant certificates:

  1. Foreigners employed in China under agreements signed between China and foreign governments and international intergovernmental organizations in order to implement Chinese-foreign cooperation and exchange programs.
  2. The chief representative and representative of representative offices of foreign enterprises in China.

Labor contract

The foreign employee and the employer must sign a labor contract and the duration of the contract shall not exceed 5 years. The contract may be renewed in accordance with law of the People’s Republic of China.

Let us explain this to you taking an example of a case that took place in China involving Illegal employment of foreign employees. It was noticed that an employer company in China illegally employed foreign workers and engaged them in language training. The employer did not comply with the relevant policies and provided employment and residency to foreign workers illegally. The employer also signed labor contract privately with foreigners.

As a consequence, the local authorities terminated the illegal employment and imposed a fine of 8,000 RMB to both the employer and foreign employees. At the same time, foreign employees who failed to get the work permit and residence permit were given time limited visas.

According to the Exit- Entry administration law of the People’s Republic of China, foreigners obtaining employment illegally, a fine of not less than 5,000 yuan but not more than 20,000 yuan shall be imposed; if the circumstances are serious, he or she shall be detained for not less than 5 days and not more than 15 days and a fine of not less than 5,000 yuan and not more than 20,000 yuan shall be imposed.


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2019-01-31T01:36:50+00:00December 14th, 2017|Employment Insight|