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Rules for the Administration of Employment of Foreigners in China

General Provisions

Article 1 These Rules are formulated in accordance with the provisions of the relevant laws and decrees for the purpose of strengthening the administration of employment of foreigners in China.

Article 2 The term "foreigners" in these Rules refers to the persons, who under the Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China, do not have Chinese nationality.

The term "employment of foreigners in China" in these Rules refers to acts of foreigners without permanent residence status to engage in remunerative work within Chinese territory in accordance with it laws.

Article 3 These Rules shall apply to employed foreigners within Chinese territory and their employers.

These Rules shall not apply to foreigner who enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities employed by foreign embassies or consulates, or the offices of the United Nations and other international organizations in China.

Article 4 The labor administrative authorities of the people's government of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government and those at the prefecture and city level with their authorization are responsible for the administration of employment of foreigners in China.

Employment License

Article 5 The employer shall apply for the employment permission if it intends to employ foreigners and may do so after obtaining approval and the People's Republic of China Employment License for Foreigners (hereinafter referred to as the "Employment License")

Article 6 The post to be filled by the foreigner recruited by the employer shall be the post of special need, a post that cannot be filled by any domestic candidates for the time being but violates no government regulations.

No employer shall employ foreigners to engage in commercialized entertaining performance, except for the persons qualified under Article 9 (3) of these Rules.

Article 7 Any foreigner seeking employment in China shall meet the following conditions:

(1) 18 years of age or older and in good health;
(2) with professional skills and job experience required for the work of intended employment;
(3) with no criminal record;
(4) a clearly-defined employer;
(5) with valid passport or other international travel document in lieu of the passport (hereinafter referred to as the "Travel Document")

Article 8 Foreigner seeking employment in China shall hold the Employment Visas for their entry (In case of agreement for mutual exemption of visas, the agreement shall prevail.), and may work within Chinese territory only after they obtain the Employment Permit for Foreigner (hereinafter referred to as the "Employment Permit") and the foreigner residence certificate.

Foreigners who have not been issued residence certificate (i.e. holders of F, L, C or G type visas), and those who are under study or interim programs in China and the families of holders of Employment Visas shall not work in China. In special cases, employment may be allowed when the foreigner changes his status at the public security organs with the Employment License secured by his employer in accordance with the clearance procedures, under these Rules foreigners changes his status at the public security organs with the Employment License and receives his Employment Permit and residence certificate.

The employment in China of the spouses of the personnel of foreign embassies, consulates, representative offices of the United Nations System and other international organization in China shall follow the Provisions of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China Concerning the Employment of the Spouses of the Personnel of Foreign Embassies, Consulates and the Representative Offices of the United Nations System in China and be handled in accordance with the clearance procedures provided for in the second paragraph of this article.

The Employment License and the Employment Permit shall be designed and prepared exclusively by the Ministry of Labour.

Article 9 Foreigners may be exempted from the Employment License and Employment Permit when they meet any of the following conditions:

(1) foreign professional technical and managerial personnel employed directly by the Chinese government or those with senior technical titles or credentials of special skills recognized by their home or international technical authorities or professional associations to be employed by Chinese government organs and institutions and foreigners holding Foreign Expert Certificate issued by China's Bureau of Foreign Expert Affairs;

(2) foreign workers with special skills who work in offshore petroleum operations without the need to go ashore for employment and hold "Work Permit for Foreign Personnel Engaged in the Offshore Petroleum Operations in the People's Republic of China";

(3) foreigner who conduct commercialized entertaining performance with the approval of the Ministry of Culture and hold "Permit for Temporary Commercialized Performance".

Article 10 Foreigners may be exempted from the Employment License and may apply directly for the Employment Permit by presenting their Employment Visas and relevant papers after their entry when they meet any of the following conditions:

(1) foreigners employed in China under agreements or accords entered into by the Chinese government with foreign governments or international organizations for the implementation of Sino-foreign projects of cooperation and exchange;

(2) chief representatives and representative of the permanent offices of foreign enterprises in China.

Application and Approval

Article 11 The employer when intending to employ a foreigner, stall fill out the Application Form for the Employment for Foreigners (hereinafter referred to as the "Application Form") and submit it to its competent trade authorities at the same level as the labor administrative authorities together with the following documentation:

(1) the curriculum vitae of the foreigner to be employed;
(2) the letter of intention for employment;
(3) the report of reasons for employment;
(4) the credentials of the foreigner required for the performance of the job;
(5) the health certificate of the foreigner to be employed;
(6) other documents required by regulations.

The competent trade authorities shall examine and approve the application in accordance with Articles 6 and 7 of these Rules and relevant laws and decrees.

Article 12 After the approval by the competent trade authorities, the employer shall take the Application Form to the labor administrative authorities of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government or the labor administrative authorities at the prefecture and city level where the said employer is located for examination and clearance. The labor administration authorities described above shall designate a special body (hereinafter referred to as the "Certificate Office") to take up the responsibility of issuing the Employment License. The Certificate Office should take into consideration of the opinions of the competent trade authorities and the demand and supply of labor market, and issue the Employment License to the employer after examination and clearance.

Article 13 Employers at the central level or those without the competent trade authorities may submit their application directly to the Certificate Office of the labor administrative authorities for the Employment Permit.

The examination and approval by the competent trade authorities is not required for foreign-funded enterprises to employ foreigners, and such enterprise may submit their applications directly to the Certificate Office of the labor administrative authorities for the Employment License, bringing with them the contract, articles of association, certificate of approval, business license and the documentation referred to in Article 11 of these Rules.

Article 14 Employers with permission to employ foreigners shall not send the Employment License nor the letter of visa notification directly to the foreigners to be employed, and they must be sent by the authorized unit.

Article 15 Foreigner with permission to work in China should apply for Employment Visas at the Chinese embassies, consulates and visa offices, bringing with them the Employment License issued by the Ministry of Labor, the letter or telex of visa notification sent by the authorized unit and the valid passport or Travel Document.

Personnel referred to in Article 9 (1) of these Rules should apply for the Employment Visas by presenting their letter or telex of visa notification by authorized unit; personnel referred to in Article 9 (2) should apply for the Employment Visas by presenting their letter or telex of visa notification issued by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation; personnel referred to in Article 9 (3) should apply for the Employment Visas by presenting their letter or telex of visa notification issued by the foreign affairs office under the people's government of provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities directly under the Central Government and the relevant documents of approval of the Ministry of Culture (addressed to the Chinese embassies, consulates or visa offices).

Personnel referred to in Article 10 (1) of these Rules should apply for the Employment Visas by presenting their letter or telex of visa notification by authorized unit and the documentation on projects of cooperation and exchange; personnel refereed to in Article 10 (2) should apply for the Employment Visas by presenting their letter or telex of visa notification by the authorized unit and the registration certification issued by the administrative authorities of industry and commerce.

Article 16 The employer should, within fifteen days after the entry of the employed foreigner, take to the original Certificate Office the Employment License, the labor contract with the said foreigner and his passport or Travel Document to receive his Employment Permit while filling out the Foreigner Employment Registration Form.

The Employment Permit shall be effective only within the area specified by the Certificate Office.

Article 17 Foreigners who received their Employment Permit should, within thirty days after their entry, apply for the residence certificate with the public security organs bringing with them their Employment Permit. The term of validity of the residence certificate may be determined in accordance with the term of validity of the Employment Permit.