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Visa & Immigration Update: A Guide to China's New Foreign Work Permit Application Process

by Sophia Hu

Effective Date: 1 April, 2017
Impacted Area: China

China initiated a new program on April 1, 2017 that integrates the Foreigner Employment License and Foreign Expert License into a single Foreign Work Permit. Employers and assignees will now be able to complete and submit the application electronically. SIRVA breaks down the process into a simple guide to help you understand the new procedures and requirements.  

Stage Process Working Days Authority Applicant Remarks
Preliminary Medical Examination 7-10 Public Hospital Assignee Medical examination should be completed in country of origin.

Alternatively, it can also be done during the look-and-see trip to China.

The medical examination must be valid for six months from the date of issue.
Legalization of Police Clearance Certificate and Highest Degree Certificate 30-37 Chinese Embassy Assignee Time frame is dependent on Chinese Embassy in the country of origin and schools.
Pre-Entry Medical Examination Verification 5-7 Chinese Quarantine Bureau SIRVA All medical documents issued by overseas hospitals have to be delivered to SIRVA China for verification through the local quarantine bureau.

A medical check-up certificate will be issued when all documents are verified.
Documents Preparation 2-3 Expert Bureau SIRVA SIRVA will prepare documents in Chinese to apply for the Online Notification Letter.
Some documents will be required for endorsements by both employee and company.
Online Foreign Work Permit Notification Letter Application  5-15 Expert Bureau  SIRVA SIRVA will submit the application on Expert Bureau website.
Notification Letter Counter Submission 5-10 China Counter of Authority SIRVA SIRVA will submit the application to the China Country of Authority once the Notification Letter is issued by the Expert Bureau.

A scan copy of the application will be emailed to the employee.
Z-Visa Application 5-7 Chinese Embassy Assignee Application needs to be completed by employee at the Chinese Embassy of the country of origin.

From the date of issuance of the Z-Visa, employee is given 3 months to enter China and is only permitted a single entry and up to 30 days of stay.
Upon Arrival Temporary Residence Registration  1-2 Chinese Police station in the district/service apartment or hotel Assignee Registration must be completed within 24 hours upon arrival in China with the Z-Visa.
Online Foreign Work Permit Card Application 5-15 Expert Bureau SIRVA Done online
Foreign Work Permit Counter Submission  5-10 China Counter of Authority SIRVA SIRVA will submit the application to the China Counter of Authority
Residence Permit Application 8 Public Security Bureau SIRVA and Assignee Sirva will arrange an appointment with the employee to submit the application at the Public Security Bureau together.

Assignee's passport must be surrendered to the Public Security Bureau for 8 working days. During this time, assignee is restricted to only travel within China with a travel slip issued by the authority.
Note: Because this is a new process, SIRVA will work with the employees and our clients to address changes, corrections and other challenges that may arise as the government implements this new program. In addition, the Chinese authorities have the discretion to request for additional supporting documents throughout the process as each application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and SIRVA will work with the employee/HR of company to address of any such requirements.

For more information, please reach out to our SIRVA Immigration Specialists in China:
Beijing - Assalli Xu | T 8610-58700866  Ext 119 | E
Shanghai - Ada Su | T 8621-63323322  Ext 209 | E
China - Sophia Hu | T 8621-633233 22 Ext 206 | E