China’s new visa law has not meaningfully addressed visa policy concerns of EU Chamber of Commerce member companies, according to the organization’s 2013/14 Position Paper.
What’s most striking about the Position Paper’s recommendations on visa policy is that they are virtually the same as listed in the organization’s 2012/13 Position Paper, which was drafted before the new Exit-Entry Administration Law was enacted. The recommendations are:
1. Implement consistent and transparent visa practices across all regions of China. (It strikes me that the recent crop of local requirements on “certificates of no conviction” is another example of the lack of consistency.)
2. Clarify the immigration situation of, or create a specific visa for, foreign interns and other young talents (e.g., post-graduate trainees) with fewer than two years’ work experience, and experts over 60 years of age. (On this point, the new law clarified the eligibility for work authorization of student visa holders in China but threw into greater obscurity eligibility of foreign students and recent graduates to come to China for internships).
3. Develop immigration solutions for foreigners staying in China long-term as well as their family members (e.g. ease the requirements for long-term and permanent residence permits/green cards).
4. Provide a basis for spouses of expatriates working in China to also legally work in China, including working part-time.
5. Create a more reasonable basis for expatriate children 18 years of age and older to obtain residence permits in China for the purpose of staying with their family.
The visa policy concerns are included in the Position Paper’s chapter on human resources.