Human Resources & Payroll

Transit Visa Exemptions in China: 24 Hour, 72 Hour, and 144 Hour Options

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By Dezan Shira & Associates

China Visas

Foreign travelers transiting through China have several options for transit visa exemptions. These transit visa exemptions allow eligible foreign travelers a visa free visit for 24, 72, or 144 hours.

Although requirements for each transit visa exemption are different, each transit visa exemption stipulates that foreign travelers are only eligible when traveling through China between two different countries. Further, onward travel must occur within 24, 72, or 144 hours of arrival.

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China Visas Explained

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editors: Ramya Bodupalli and Alexander Chipman Koty

Foreign nationals visiting China generally need to acquire a visa before entering the country, except for special circumstances allowing for visa-free entry. China issues several different types of visa for various purposes.

Chinese visas fall into two categories: ordinary and diplomatic visas. The ordinary visa consists of several types, which are respectively marked as L, F, M, Z, X1, X2, C, J1, J2. G, D, Q1, Q2, S1, S2, and R. The Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau have separate immigration and visa procedures.

Here, we provide details on all of the different types of visas and their applications and permitted uses. Summaries of the Z Visa, China’s main work visa, and the M Visa, China’s business visa, and the required supporting documentation for both are also provided.

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China’s 2018 Holiday Schedule

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By Dezan Shira & Associates

On November 30, China’s General Office of the State Council released the “Notification of Holiday Arrangements in 2018 (Guobanfamingdian [2017] No.12)”, which lays out the official national holiday schedule for 2018.

As always, China’s holiday schedule features two major week-long holidays: the Spring Festival (also known as Chinese New Year) and National Day. In 2018, the Spring Festival falls between February 15 and 21, and the National Day holiday between October 1 and 7.

Employers should take note that China’s holiday schedule often includes additional official work days that fall on Saturdays and Sundays to compensate for long holidays. For example, Sunday, February 11 and Saturday, February 24 are official work days designed to partially offset the seven days off in between for the Spring Festival.

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A Complete Guide to 2017 Minimum Wage Levels Across China

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By Alexander Chipman Koty and Zhou Qian

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Labor costs in China continue to rise – 20 regions have increased their minimum wages so far in 2017.

Regional authorities in Beijing, Fujian, Guizhou, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanghai, Shanxi, Shenzhen, Tianjin, and Zhejiang have all raised their minimum wages in 2017. In total, these 20 regions are more than the nine that increased wages in 2016 and the 19 in 2015, but less than the 24 in 2014.

While the growth rate of minimum wages is lower than that of much of the last decade, wages are growing from a higher base than before, and wage increases continue to outstrip increases in productivity.

Minimum wages in parts of China – such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen – are now higher than certain areas in the EU, namely Bulgaria. However, at their lowest levels – like in parts of Anhui, Guangxi, and Hainan – wages are more comparable to countries such as India and Vietnam.

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IT Solutions: Improving Efficiency, Accuracy and Transparency in Payroll Processing in China

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Alexander Chipman Koty

The digitization of business functions is not a new phenomenon, particularly in developed economies. However, the adoption of technology for HR and payroll processes in developing countries such as China is far less common. Arguably, it is in these countries where such IT solutions are the most needed, and could have the greatest transformative effect on business operations.

Although China is rapidly developing into a mature economy, the HR and payroll processes of many companies operating in the country are still paper-based or recorded on rudimentary Excel spreadsheets.

This leads to inefficient use of time by HR professionals, and makes record-keeping a challenge. Such HR and payroll processes also have low levels of transparency, which often hurts overseas managers who are unfamiliar with the Chinese language and unable to physically access relevant documents.

IT solutions are a popular way to manage these challenges in developed countries, but foreign companies should consider local conditions in China as well as their company’s structure and needs before implementing a similar system in China. Some IT solutions have a very specific and targeted purpose, while others are comprehensive and wide-ranging, affecting virtually all business functions. Ultimately, the optimal solution rests on a company’s current requirements combined with its long-term growth strategy.

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Same Sex Couple Wins Visa Ruling in Hong Kong

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By Melissa Cyrill

Last month, Hong Kong’s Court of Appeal ruled in favor of granting a dependent spousal visa for a British woman who identifies as LGBT.

The unanimous approval by the Court was welcomed by the international business and banking community in Hong Kong, and could open up the same-sex debate in the region and spur further policy reform. The ruling also has implications for multinational companies (MNCs) looking to relocate their overseas LGBT staff to Hong Kong.

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China as a Payroll Processing Center for MNCs in Asia

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Jake Liddle

As Asia’s largest economy, China has an established history of serving as the main operational center for many multinational companies’ (MNCs) operations in Asia. Since its economic reform and opening up in the late 1970s, the country started to operate and compete on free market principles, and consequently, more and more MNCs have been able to use China as an operations base.

Since then, the country has continued to liberalize and has developed its infrastructure significantly, easing and facilitating more trade and commerce as a result. With this, China has shifted its focus from being largely dependent on manufacturing, to a more service-based economy.

This means that China’s labor force is becoming more service-oriented, and education levels have followed suit. As of 2015, there was an estimated 32,000 university graduates who specialized in HR management.

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Social Security in China: Exemptions for Some Foreigners

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By Gidon Gautel 

Social insurance exemption for foreigners can be a valuable asset for employers and foreign employees to save on unnecessary costs. However, many companies hiring eligible employees are not aware of the benefits available to them, while those who do are often unsure as to how to go about applying.

China’s social security system consists of five different types of insurance, plus one mandatory housing fund. The five “insurances” are pension, medical, work-related injury, unemployment, and maternity insurances, while housing fund contributions are included because the costs come from both the employer and the employee.

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Dezan Shira & Associates

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