China – New Work Permit Card

What has changed

The Alien Employment Permit and Foreign Expert Certificate will be consolidated into a single Work Permit Card. Foreign individuals currently holding the Alien Employment Permit or Foreign Expert Certificate have the choice of retaining their current permit until its validity period has expired, or they can choose to replace it with the new Work Permit Card.

This change is effective from November 1, 2016 in pilot cities in China, namely Anhui, Beijing, Guangdong, Heibei, Ningxia, Shandong, Sichuan, Shanghai and Tianjin. Starting April 2017, it will be implemented nationwide.

Who is affected?

  • Employers who are operating in China and individuals who are either looking to work or already working in China will be impacted directly by this change.

What to expect

The new system will be points-based, categorizing foreign nationals into three (3) groups: A, B, and C. The State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) will be the approving authority for the change, assessing eligibility of foreign nationals. The points-based criteria include salary, educational background, the length of time services are provided, Chinese language proficiency, age and work experience. If the criteria are met, foreign applicants will then be sorted into one of the three (3) groups, classifying the holder as high-end personnel, professional personnel, or temporary and seasonal personnel.

Previously, SAFEA and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Services (MOHRSS) were the approving authorities for foreign workers coming to China. While SAFEA was in charge of the Foreign Expert Certificate, granted to workers who are highly skilled, the MOHRSS was liable for the Alien Employment Permits, granted to other foreign employees.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Employers should assess their current mobility strategy to ensure that it complies with the changes being implemented in China. Necessary actions should be taken to ensure that alternative solutions are available in order for business processes to be carried out without any hindrances.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.