Immigration rules in China are changing significantly. Foreigners working in the mainland of the People’s Republic of China are classified nationwide in categories A, B, or C from April 1, 2017 (pilot trial from November 1, 2016 in some cities and provinces). The new rules do not apply to the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions, as well as to Taiwan, which all have their own legal systems.

The respective categories can either be achieved based on (i) general qualification of the Chinese employer/position, and/or individual qualification of the foreign employee, or (ii) for category A and B through a positive result under a new scoring system.

Click here to view table.

If you would like to check the score in an individual case under the new scoring system, spend 1 minute and try the Taylor Wessing China Expat Calculator.

Further changes concern the application process, involved authorities and the issued permits. In some locations like e.g. Shanghai, subject to certain preconditions, foreigners may enjoy certain simplified immigration processes (e.g. work (Z) visa no longer being required for the first entry), in case a work permit notice has already been issued. Under certain preconditions, Z-visa may also be issued upon arrival.