China Tightens Chief Representative Visa Policy
July 8 – Over the last two months, China has tightened up its visa policies, drawing widespread concern from the business communities across China and in Hong Kong. Tourist visas now require round-trip air bookings and confirmed reservations at hotels in the destination city, students are having trouble obtaining visas to study in Beijing, and investors of all types have seen their F visa status weaken as round tripping to Hong Kong for renewal is now prohibited. The latest visa procedures to receive this tightening is the chief representative visa.
In the past, it was often common practice for a chief representative to arrive in China on an F visa, and then have their documentation and visa status changed in-country. According to the Public Security Bureau, that is no longer acceptable. Chief representatives must now obtain a Z visa in their home country before coming to China if they are a planning on residing in the country.
The procedure, and approximate time, for obtaining a visa as a chief representative is as follows (please note that these procedures do not apply to those from Macau, Hong Kong, or Taiwan):
a) Approval by Division of Exit and Entry Administration Department of Public Security in the city of residence (about 7 working days)
b) Apply for a Foreigner Employment License (about 5 working days)
c) Apply for a Z Visa Notice Form with the Bureau of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (about 7 working days)
d) Apply for a Z visa with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the home country
e) Undergo a health check and apply for a temporary residence registration upon entry with Z visa (about 3 working days)
f) Take photos according to Public Security Bureau requirements
g) Apply for a Foreigner Employment Permit at Labor Bureau of the city of residence within 15 days after entry with Z visa (about 5 working days)
h) Apply for a residence permit at the Division of Exit and Entry Administration of Public Security of the city of residence and meet with an officer (about 7 working days)