Non-Criminal Record Certificate Required for Beijing Employment License Applications

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Aug. 21 – With the aim to strictly enforce the rules and regulations related to the examination and approval of employment licenses, foreigners who wish to work in Beijing are required to submit a non-criminal record certificate issued by their place of residence for the application of an employment license and expert work permit starting from July 1, 2013.

According to the Beijing Human Resource and Social Security Bureau (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Bureau’), the new rule also applies to foreign employees transferring to Beijing from other locations in China. The non-criminal record certificate submitted to the Bureau shall be one of the following:

  • A non-criminal record certificate issued by the public security authorities or judicial authorities in the applicant’s place of residence (with a translation provided by a professional translation company in Beijing); or
  • A non-criminal record authenticated by a Chinese Consulate.

However, the new rule does not apply to applicants holding Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Macao passports, and submission of the non-criminal record certificate is only required in applications for employment licenses and expert work permits. For other situations such as renewing or amending work permits, or changing employers within Beijing with a valid visa, such certificates are not required.

As the time taken for issuing a non-criminal record certificate varies largely from country to country (from weeks to months), the new requirement will add to the time needed to prepare for the employment license application in Beijing. Therefore, foreign employers are advised to plan ahead and try to obtain such certificates prior to beginning the application process. However, there have been instances where the validity of non-criminal record certificates only lasts for two months from the date of issuance, so foreign employers should contact their agent ahead of time for detailed information to make sure their application and all supporting materials are submitted within the required time-frame.

Beijing is not the first city in the country to implement such requirements, and other cities such as Suzhou and Nanjing already have similar rules in place. However, as the country’s newest Exit-Entry Law does not explicitly require local governments to implement such requirements, it is not clear whether other large cities such as Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou will follow Beijing’s lead and require the submission of such certificates.

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