This Article is written mainly for Human Resources of the companies who want to hire alien workers. We uses pictures and examples of different certificates to illustrate the detailed legal process for companies to hire Alien Workers.

Step One   Employer shall obtain authorization to hire alien workers.

Employer shall submit the Application for Recruiting Foreign Workers to relevant authorities. The authority differs depending on the business scope of the employer. For instance, the authority for a company with sales business shall be the Commercial committee, while the authority for the school shall be the Educational Committee, and Hospital the Health & Safety. This Application shall include information on the employer as well as the alien workers’.

Generally, the number of work visas issued depends on the employer’s registered capital. For employer with around RMB 100,000 as capital, only one visa may be supported; for register capital between RMB100,000 to 300,000, 2-4 visas may be possibly supported, but for WFOEs, maybe up to 5-7 visas; for employers with register capital more than one million RMB, 20-30 visas maybe supported.

Step Two   Obtain the Work Permit for Alien Workers from the Bureau of Social Security.

After being authorized, the employer shall obtain approval and then the Work Permit for Alien Workers from the Municipal-Level Bureau of Human Resource and Social Security. The Work Permit for Alien Workers will include personal information of the candidate employee

Step Three   Obtain the Visa Application Notification Letter from the Authorized Employer.

The Employer shall bring the Work Permit for Alien Workers along with the employer’s business license to Municipal level Commercial Committee or the Foreign Committee (varies based on different areas), apply for the Visa Application Notification Letter from the Authorized Employer

Step Four   Deliver the Visa Application Notification Letter from the Authorized Employer and the Work Permit for Alien Workers to Candidate alien employee, who may apply for work visa from Chinese embassy or consulate.

Step Five   The Alien Worker shall apply for the Alien Employment Permit after entering into China.

Within 15 days of arriving China, the alien worker shall bring the Work Permit for Alien Workers, the Employment Contract and copies of the employer’s business license to the relevant authority which issued the Work Permit for Alien Workers and to fill out the form of Employment Registration of Foreigners in China. Then the Alien Worker may apply for the Alien Employment Permit.

Step Six   The Alien Worker shall apply for the Residence Permit for Foreigners after entering into China.

If the alien worker resides in a hotel, then the worker shall request the Registration Form for Temporary Residence for Visitors from the hotel; otherwise the employee shall request such form from local police station.

Within 30 days after the Alien Workers enters into China, the worker shall bring the Registration Form of Temporary Residence for Visitors, as well as Alien Employment Permit, passport, etc. to the local bureau of public security, and to fill out the Visa and Residence Permit Application Form, in order to obtain the Residence Permit for Foreigners.

Step Seven    After having obtained both the Alien Employment Permit and the Residence Permit, finally our foreign friend could legally work and reside in China.

The Work Permit for Foreign Experts

The Work Permit for Foreign Experts is a special form of Work Permit for Foreigners, and Foreign Expert Certificate a special form of Alien Employment Permit. For employers who want to hire foreign experts, it has to obtain approval from the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs. For private schools, it has to operate for more than one year in order to be qualified to hire foreign expert teachers.

Foreign experts shall be (1) Bachelor's degree and above, and (2) Minimum five years relevant working experience (two years for language teachers).

Then the employer shall apply for the Work Permit for Foreign Expert (or the Work Permit for Foreign Culture/Education Expert for foreigner teachers) at the local bureau of foreign experts’ affairs.

After arrival, the foreigner expert shall apply for the Foreign Experts Certificate the same way as the Alien Employment Permit as discussed above.