China – Work Permits Issued in Beijing May Now Be Granted for up to Three Years

What has changed

The Labor Bureau in Beijing has announced it can now issue work permits for up to three (3) years, rather than the usual one (1) year validity.


Who is affected?
What to expect

  • Work Permits issued in Beijing may now be granted for up to three (3) years on behalf of foreign employees of Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprises, branch offices of foreign companies, and ventures or co-operative ventures between Chinese and non-Chinese companies.

The requirements for obtaining the three (3) year work permit in Beijing are stringent and issuance will still be at the discretion of the authorities in China.  Applicants will need to provide the authorities proof that the passport, labor contract, and the sponsoring entity’s business license are valid for at least three years.

This change will not impact the validity of the corresponding Residence Permit in China. Renewals of the Residence Permits will still be required annually.


Other Important Updates
Short Term Work Permits

As an update from our alert on December 19, 2015 China has in fact introduced Short Term Work Permits for a period of up to ninety (90) days for the following circumstances.

  • Visiting a business partner to accomplish certain technical, scientific, research or guidance work in China.
  • Training for sporting-related purposes
  • Shooting a film, including both documentaries and commercials
  • Participating in a fashion show as a model
  • Giving a commercial performance
  • Other activities at the discretion of authorities

All other activities involving short term assignments in China can still be completed by utilizing a China (M) or (F) Business Visa.

The application procedures for short-term work permits will involve acquiring an Employment License and “Approval for Short-Term Employment for Foreigners working in China” from the Ministry of Labor. These approvals will then allow for issuance of an Invitation Letter. These items in turn support an application for an Employment (Z) visa from a Consulate or Embassy of China.

Following entry, the holder of the Z visa may either use that visa to work for a period of up to thirty  (30) days or, if their period of employment is longer, they must acquire a Residence Permit for up to ninety (90) days.

This change will not impact the validity of the corresponding Residence Permit in China. Renewals of the Residence Permits will still be required annually.


What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Long Term Work Permits – Emigra Worldwide will seek three (3) year work permits in Beijing for clients where all of the described conditions are met.
  • Short Term Work Permits – Emigra Worldwide will assess individual situations and determine feasibility and applicability for short term assignments to China.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your clients.

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.