Key Points

  • New law will alter exit-entry procedures for citizens of China and visitors
  • Foreigners working in China must obtain the proper permits  


The Exit-Entry Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China (New Law) will take effect 1 July 2013, abolishing current laws on exit-entry administration. The New Law will apply to exit and entry of both visitors to and citizens of China.  

Changes to the Current Sysytem by the New Law

Entry Visa System

  • Under current laws, an ordinary visa must be applied for if entering China for work, study, family visit, tourism and business. The New Law keeps this list and adds the additional reason “talent introduction”.
  • Chinese companies or individuals issuing invitation letters to foreigners shall be responsible for the authenticity of the invitation letter. A fine will be imposed upon the company or or individual if the invitation letter cannot be authenticated Stay and Residence System
  • Visitors holding visas with an annotation allowing a residence permit after entry should apply for this permit within 30 days of entering China. Foreigners must apply to the relevant authority located where the visa holder intends to reside and must provide finger prints.
  • There are two types of residence permit: “residence permit of work type” (valid for between 90 days and five years) and “residence permit of non-work type” (valid for 180 days to five years).
  • When visitors to China stay in hotels or similar accommodations, the accommodation provider or visitor must register with the local public security bureau within 24 hours of checking in.  

Foreigners Working in China

Foreigners working in China must have a work permit and the correct residence permit. In addition, a foreigner will be regarded as working illegally in China if he or she:

  • Works in China without obtaining both a work permit or a residence permit of the work type;
  • Works beyond the scope as specified in the work permit; or
  • Is a student and works beyond the specified scope of jobs or period in the permits.  

These laws are in place whether the work is paid or not, and a fine will be imposed on companies or individuals hiring foreigners illegally.  

Increased Punishment on “San Fei” Foreigners

The new law increases punishment on “San Fei” foreigners, who are foreigners who illegally enter, stay or work in China. Citizens, companies or other entities must report to the local public security bureau promptly once they find any San Fei foreigners.  

Final Thoughts

This New Law will bring substantial changes to the exitentry regulations in China. Though repealing the old laws, it essentially adds to and enhances them with the intention of attracting more overseas talent.