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How to Apply for Chinese Work and Business Visa

By EU SME Centre | Guidelines      21.11.2018     Tags: Other

In 2017 the Chinese government published new regulations and rules for granting work permits to foreign employees and foreign experts. This guideline aims to help you understand the main types of work and business visa for China, the application procedure and the required documents. 

In general, obtaining a Chinese visa is a bureaucratic journey that requires patience and knowledge of the rules – which sometimes may not be explicitly written. 

For a foreigner it is important to be well informed about the criteria for classification of foreigners for work purpose, to find a reliable employer and to have sufficient time for collecting supporting documents for the visa and the work permit application. 

It is also important to remember to renew in time (well in advance) all permits (work, residence etc.) since the consequences of not doing so might be serious and complicate future entries and stays in China. In the case of large employers, one could rely on their HR department who will take care of all procedures. However, in the case of smaller employers which rely on external HR consulting companies, it is advised to supervise the procedure carefully. 

Please note that the EU SME Centre's free publications are only accessible for European SMEs and European intermediary organisations. If your organisation fits these types, please register or log in to download the guideline.

Key Contents

Visa Types

Documents for All Visa Types and Application Procedure

  •  List of Documents Needed for All Visa Types

M Visa for Commercial Purposes and F visa for Non-commercial Purposes

  • M “Business” Visa
  • F “Visitor”  Visa

R Visa (Talent Visa人才签证)

Z Visa (working visa工作签证)

Notification Letter of Foreigner’s Work Permit (外国人工作许可通知)

  • For Long Term Z Visa Holders Working in China for Over 90 days
  • For Short Term Z Visa Holders Working in China for Up to 90 Days
  • For Foreign High-end Talents Staying in China for Up to 90 Days

Work Permit

 “Encourage the Top, Control the Middle, Limit the Bottom”

Residence Permit and Accommodation Registration for Foreign Workers

  • Residence Permit
  • Accommodation Registration

Sequence of Applications for Various Scenarios

Renewals and Changes of Work and Residence Permits, and Penalties

  • Renewals and Changes
  • Penalty

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