Can a foreigner employed in China freely travel among cities in China?

Yes, as long as the relevant procedures (see the Bitesize article dated 15 July 2010 for details) for legal employment of a foreigner in China are completed, and the foreigner is travelling with his/her valid passport.

Can a foreigner employed in China change his/her place of work, e.g. be seconded to work in a branch company of his/her PRC employer in a locality other than the locality where his/her PRC employer is located?

Yes, as long as the foreigner's work permit and work certificate are updated accordingly.

The relevant procedures generally include the following:

  1. The foreigner's current PRC employer files an application regarding the change of workplace of such foreigner with the local Human Resources and Social Security Bureau from which the foreigner obtained his/her work permit and work certificate, and returns the foreigner's work certificate; and The branch company of his/her current PRC employer will then be considered as the new employer of the foreigner.
  2. The branch company then files the relevant application with the local Human Resources and Social Security Bureau in the locality where such branch company is located so as to obtain new work permit and work certificate for the relevant foreigner.

If the foreigner moves to reside in the locality where the branch company is located, his/her residence permit needs to be updated as well.