CHINA: Changes to Immigration Laws

April 15, 2013

Further changes to Chinese immigration laws have been announced by the government.  Currently, the new regulations only apply in Beijing and we have been advised that the implementation plan for these changes is still under discussion, but they are expected to take effect from the 1st July 2013.

The proposed changes can be summarised as follows:

  • The “Stay Visa” – this visa is designed for non-Chinese nationals visiting China who need to stay longer than the allowed visa-free period, foreign shipmen and their accompanying family members who stay in China and need to leave the port city, or foreign nationals who need to stay under other circumstances.
  • Time limits for visa extension applications – visa extension applications must be submitted to the local Municipal Public Security office at least 7 days before the date of expiration.  Residence license permit holders who reside in China and want to apply for an extension must submit their applications a minimum of 30 days before the expiry date.
  • Limits on the duration of an extension of stay – when granting visa extension applications, the duration of an extension cannot be greater than the original duration of stay.  For example, the initial grant of an F-visa is 30 days duration.  Therefore, the maximum grant of an F-visa extension cannot be greater than 30 days.
  • Biometric information required – applicants for residence permits must submit their finger prints when applying.
  • Amended time limits for newborn registration and death reporting – Work permit holders must submit Stay/Residence Visa applications on behalf of any children that are born to them whilst living in China, within 60 days from the date of birth.  In respect of deaths of work permit holders, their family members or guardians in China must report to the local Public Security office for cancellation of the Residence Permit within 60 days of the death.
  • New rules for unmarried and same-sex partners – the new regulations will allow unmarried partners to apply for the dependent resident permit by providing a cohabitation certificate issued by the Embassy of the applicants” home country (among other documents).  Same sex partners can also apply for the dependent residence through providing certain documents including a marriage or cohabitation certificate.
  • Increased processing time for Residence Permit – the Public Security Bureau will now take 15 days to issue a Residence Permit compared to the current 5 working days.

We hope this summary has proved useful.  For more information on the immigration processes in China or any other country, call us on +44(0)207 001 2121 or email us.