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PRC Labour Law - Bitesize

13 November 2013
Mayer Brown JSM Newsletter

Employment of Foreigners (Including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Residents) in China (Cont'd)

Can a foreigner employed in China freely travel to other cities in China?

Yes, as long as the relevant procedures (see our Bitesize of 30 October 2013 for details) for legal employment and residence of a foreigner in China are completed, the foreigner can travel with a valid passport and the appropriate visa.

Can a foreigner employed in China change his/her place of work, e.g., be seconded to work in a branch company of his/her PRC employer in a locality other than that in which his/her PRC employer is located?

Yes, as long as the foreigner's work permit and work certificate are updated accordingly.

Subject to local rules, the relevant procedure is generally as follows:

  1. The foreigner's current PRC employer files an application regarding the change of workplace of such foreigner with the local Human Resources and Social Security Bureau from which the foreigner obtained his or her work permit and work certificate, returns the foreigner's work certificate and obtains a certificate of alteration.
  2. The branch company of his or her current PRC employer is then considered the new employer of the foreigner. The branch company, holding the said certificate of alteration, needs to file the relevant application with the local Human Resources and Social Security Bureau in the city in which such branch company is located for the new work certificate (a new work permit is not required in this case) for the relevant foreigner.

If the foreigner relocates to the locality in which the branch company is located, his or her residence permit must be updated as well.

Can a foreigner's family (e.g., spouse, children) accompany him/her during the period of his/her work in the PRC?

Yes, as long as the relevant family member enters the PRC with a valid passport and visa, and obtains a residence permit from the local public security bureau within 30 days of entering the PRC.

Must the foreigner's family obtain a Z visa in order to accompany him/her during the period of his/her work in the PRC?

Generally, no. Subject to the period of residence in the PRC, members of the foreigner's family may enter the PRC with an S1 visa (valid for more than 180 days) or an S2 visa (valid for up to 180 days).

"Immediate family members" (i.e., spouse, parents, sons or daughters under the age of 18, parents-in-law) can apply for the S1 visa; while "family members" (i.e., spouse, parents, sons and daughters, spouses of sons or daughters, brothers and sisters, grandparents, grandsons, granddaughters and parents-in-law) can apply for the S2 visa.

Is any special document required for a family member to accompany the foreigner during the period of his/her work in the PRC?

Yes, subject to different local practice, the following documents are generally required:

  1. An invitation letter from the inviting individual (i.e., the foreigner who is staying or residing in China for work or studies), containing:
          • information relating to the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)
          • information relating to the visit (purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates, place of intended residence, relationship between the applicant and the inviting individual, source of finances for expenditure, etc.).
  1. Information relating to the inviting individual (e.g., full name, contact number, address, signature, etc.).
  2. A photocopy of the inviting individual's passport and residence permit.
  3. Original and photocopy of certification (e.g., marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by the Public Security Bureau, or notarised certificate of kinship) showing the relationship of the relevant family member(s) to the inviting individual (and to any other family members applying).

Can a member of the foreigner's family be employed in the PRC when accompanying the foreigner during the period of his/her work in the PRC?

No, not unless the foreigner's family member has completed the relevant application procedures and obtained his or her work permit and work certificate from the local labour bureau. The foreigner's family member must also update his or her residence permit with the local public security bureau.

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