Tougher entry requirements considered

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Earlier this year, we reported on China’s proposed law on the entry and exit administration of foreigners. The draft law, which seeks to update the existing law, promulgated in 1986, was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in late April for a second reading. It appears that a new visa category is under consideration, one that seeks to attract foreign talent with specialised skills or expertise.

bld_visaAs China looks to update its laws to attract overseas professionals, it is also pursuing stronger enforcement measures to fight illegal immigration. The Vice Minister of Public Security delivered a report to the Standing Committee last month and discussed measures to address the problem of foreign nationals illegally entering and working in China. Such measures include an improved visa policy, strengthening border controls, and the establishment of detention facilities for foreigners who have illegally entered or are illegally working in China.

The Vice Minister provided some key figures as the backdrop for these proposals:

  • the number of foreigners staying in China longer than six months has risen from less than 20,000 in 1980 to 600,000 in 2011;
  • the number of foreigners working in China has risen from 74,000 in 2000 to 220,000 in 2011;
  • last year, investigations were conducted into more than 20,000 cases of foreigners illegally entering, working or living in China – twice the number in 1995.

Business Law Digest is compiled with the assistance of Baker & McKenzie. Readers should not act on this information without seeking professional legal advice. You can contact Zhang Danian (Shanghai) at Baker & McKenzie by e-mail at: [email protected]