Notice Regarding Procedural Guidelines for Foreigners with Short-term Employment in China (Trial)

On 6 November 2014, a notice was jointly issued by the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Culture to provide procedural guidelines on the immigration requirements for foreigners who have short-term employment in China (RenSheBuFa 2014 No. 78). The notice will come into force on 1 January 2015.

Foreigners who perform one of the following activities in China for less than 90 days will be considered as having short-term employment in China and are required to obtain a short-term employment permit:

  1. Technical, R&D, management and provide guidance etc. work for the cooperative entity in China
  2. Conduct training as requested by any sports association in China (including coaches and athletes)
  3. Film production (including advertisement and documentary)
  4. Fashion shows (including car model, shooting plane advertisement etc)
  5. Foreign commercial performance or shows
  6. Other activities as determined by the Human Resources and Social Security Department

The following activities in China are not considered as short-term employment. If the duration is less than 90 days, only business visa is required to be obtained for their visits to China

  1. Providing maintenance, installation, testing, disassembly, coaching and training etc. to customers relating to the sales of machine or equipment
  2. Conducting coaching, inspection and investigation for the project in China
  3. Performing short-term work activities for subsidiaries, branches, or representative offices in China
  4. Participating in sports events/tournaments/games (including coaches, athletes, doctors, assistants and related staff), excluding those who holds the register card requested by the international sports organization and approved by the relevant authority in China
  5. Providing volunteer work in China without remuneration or remuneration is paid by overseas organization
  6. Any performance/show that is not specified on the approval document by the in-charge Cultural Authority as “foreign commercial performance or show”

    Foreigners who perform activities 1) to 4) listed above and the duration in China is less than 90 days will be required to obtain an M visa, while F visa is required for those foreigners who perform activities 5) and 6).

Foreigners who conduct activities listed in 1 and 2 above except item 2 4) and 2 6) for more than 90 days in China are required to go through the standard process to get the normal work authorization in China.

Foreigners with short-term employment will generally need to obtain an employment permit and work certificate from the Human Resources and Social Security Bureau. For those foreigners who will conduct a foreign cultural performance or show in China, the organizing unit shall get approval from the local Cultural Bureau.

Application process for short-term employment of foreigners in China

Foreigners who are considered to have short-term employment in China will need to go through the following procedures before they can carry out the approved activities in China:

  1. Application of employment permit and work certificate
  2. Application of Letter of Invitation
  3. Application of single entry Z visa
  4. Application of work type residence permit

Foreigners who expect to work in China for less than 30 days can reside and work in China based on the valid period indicated on the work certificate and single entry Z visa. For those foreigners who will work in China more than 30 days but less than 90 days, they shall apply for a “90 days” work type residence permit from the local Public Security Bureau.

Other matters

Foreigners are not allowed to continue their work in China once the approved period indicated on the work certificate is expired. If foreigners need to continue their employment with the local entities in China, they shall go through the standard work authorization application process in China provided that the work type residence permit is still valid.