The second draft of a new Law on Exit-Entry Management has been introduced in China’s National People’s Congress (NPC). The draft does not yet appear on the NPC’s website, but according to press reports, the law would cover various issues:
International talent visas: The law would add a new category of visas to attract international talent. It’s not yet clear how that category would differ from current visas for business and work.
Centralized records system: The law would create a unified records system to track information regarding foreigners in China, allowing sharing among the currently disconnected systems housed in the public security, foreign affairs, and other departments.
Defining unauthorized work: The law will clarify that work by a foreigner without a work permit and residence permit is illegal, even if the foreigner is not put on a company’s payroll (e.g., independent contracting).
The NPC’s website says that overall the bill is intended to fight the “three illegals.” (By the way, if you think my translation isn’t proper English grammar, I’m just following former Chairman Jiang Zemin’s lead. Remember the “three represents”?) The “three illegals” are illegal entry, illegal employment, and illegal residence.
It’s also not yet clear which provisions of the first draft of the law (e.g., fingerprinting of foreigners upon entering China and applying for residence permits; green card provisions; enhanced overstay and illegal employment penalties; etc.) remain in the second draft. Stay tuned.