As of 1 January 2015, with the implementation of
the new interim regulations issued by China's Ministry of Human
Resources and Social Security ("MHRSS"), China has
further tightened immigration requirements for foreigners coming to
China for short term work tasks.
The interim regulations are contained in the Circular Renshebufa
 No. 78 issued by MHRSS (the "Circular") and
concern the visa/permit requiements and application procedures for
foreigners' short-term work tasks. Under the rules of the
Circular, if a foreigner comes to China for one of the following
tasks for a period of up to 90 days (the "Short-Term
Task"), he/she must obtain a work visa (i.e., Z visa) and
other permits, instead of a business visa (i.e., M or F visa):
Performing tasks including those involving technology,
scientific research, management and general guidance with a China
Conducting training or trials at a Chinese sports institution
(this applies to both coaches and athletes);
Filming (including advertisements and documentary films);
Performing in fashion shows (including car exhibitions, photo
Participating in foreign-related commercial practices; and
Other tasks as identified by MHRSS.
The visa and permit application procedures for the above
situations are summarized as follows:
Step 1: Applying for an employment license and
work certificate in China Step 2: Applying for a visa invitation letter in
China Step 3: Applying for a work visa (Z visa) through
a Chinese embassy/consulate Step 4: Applying for a residence permit (if
staying in China for a period exceeding 30 days but no more than 90
In respect of the above Step 1 and 2, the China partner (e.g.,
the business partner, the institution, the event organizer) will
have to submit the application. The above procedures are estimated
to easily take one month to complete.
If a foreigner stays in China to perform a Short-term Task for a
period of more than 90 days after a respective entry, depending on
the specific tasks to be performed, he/she must obtain different
permits through a more complex process.
The Circular does not consider the following tasks to fall under
the definition of a Short-term Task and an M or F visa is
sufficient, provided that the recipient does not stay in China for
a period of more than 90 days after each respective entry:
providing maintenance, installation, commissioning,
disassembly, guidance or training services related to the purchase
of machines and equipment;
guiding, supervising and inspecting a Chinese project won
performing short-term work at a Chinese branch, subsidiary or
representative office established by a foreign company;
participating in sports competitions (This applies to athletes,
coaches, doctors, assistants and other related personnel. However,
such competitions does not include those which require a
participant to have a registration card issued following approval
of the compentent Chiense authorities in accordance with
requirements issued by the relevant international sports
performing work as a volunteer without pay or where payment is
made by a foreign entity;
participating in commercial performances which are not
identified by the competent cultural authority as
"foreign-related commercial performances".
If, however, a foreigner comes to China to perform an above
mentioned task and stays in China for more than 90 days, an M or F
visa will not be sufficient and depending on the specific tasks to
be performed he/she must obtain different permits through a more
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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