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Laws and Regulations

Updated: 2012-11-20

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Law of PRC on Control of the Entry and Exit of Aliens

(Adopted at the 13th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Sixth National People's Congress, promulgated by Order No. 31 of the President of the People's Republic of China on November 22, 1985, and effective as of February 1, 1986)

Contents

Chapter I General Provisions

Chapter II Entry into the Country

Chapter III Residence

Chapter IV Travel

Chapter V Exit from the Country

Chapter VI Administrative Organs

Chapter VII Penalties

Chapter VIII Supplementary Provisions

Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1

This Law is formulated with a view to safeguarding the sovereignty of the People's Republic of China, maintaining its security and public order and facilitating international exchange. This Law is applicable to aliens entering, leaving and transiting the territory of the People's Republic of China and to those residing and travelling in China.

Article 2

Aliens must obtain the permission of the competent authorities of the Chinese Government in order to enter, transit or reside in China.

Article 3

For entry, exit and transit, aliens must pass through ports open to aliens or other designated ports and must be subject to inspection by the frontier inspection offices. For entry, exit and transit, foreign-owned means of transport must pass through ports open to aliens or other designated ports and must be subject to inspection and supervision by the frontier inspection offices.

Article 4

The Chinese Government shall protect the lawful rights and interests of aliens on Chinese territory.Freedom of the person of aliens is inviolable. No alien may be arrested except with the approval or by decision of a people's procuratorate or by decision of a people's court, and arrest must be made by a public security organ or state security organ.

Article 5

Aliens in China must abide by Chinese laws and may not endanger the state security of China, harm public interests or disrupt public order.

Chapter II Entry into the Country

Article 6

For entry into China, aliens shall apply for visas from Chinese diplomatic missions, consular offices or other resident agencies abroad authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In specific situations aliens may, in compliance with the provisions of the State Council, apply for visas to visa-granting offices at ports designated by the competent authorities of the Chinese Government. The entry of nationals from countries having visa agreements with the Chinese Government shall be handled in accordance with those agreements. In cases where another country has special provisions for Chinese citizens entering and transiting that country, the competent authorities of the

Chinese Government may adopt reciprocal measures contingent on the circumstances. Visas are not required for aliens in immediate transit on connected international flights who hold passenger tickets and stay for no more than 24 hours in China entirely within airport boundaries. Anyone desiring to leave the airport temporarily must obtain permission from the frontier inspection office.

Article 7

When applying for various kinds of visas, aliens shall present valid passports and, if necessary, provide pertinent evidence.

Article 8

Aliens who have been invited or hired to work in China shall, when applying for visas, produce evidence of the invitation or employment.

Article 9

Aliens desiring to reside permanently in China shall, when applying for visas, present status-of-residence identification forms. Applicants may obtain such forms from public security organs at the place where they intend to reside.

Article 10

The competent authorities of the Chinese Government shall issue appropriate visas to aliens according to the purposes stated in their entry applications.

Article 11

When an aircraft or a vessel navigating international routes arrives at a Chinese port, the captain or his agent must submit a passenger name list to the frontier inspection office; a foreign aircraft or vessel must also provide a name list of its crew members.

Article 12

Aliens who are considered a possible threat to China's state security and public order shall not be permitted to enter China.

Chapter III Residence

Article 13

For residence in China, aliens must possess identification papers or residence certificates issued by the competent authorizes of the Chinese Government. The term of validity of identification papers or residence certificates shall be determined according to the purposes of entry. Aliens residing in China shall submit their certificates to the local public security organs for examination within the prescribed period of time.

Article 14

Aliens who, in compliance with Chinese laws, find it necessary to establish prolonged residence in China for the purpose of investing in China or engaging in cooperative projects with Chinese enterprises or institutions in the economic, scientific, technological and cultural fields, or for other purposes, are eligible for prolonged or permanent residence in China upon approval by the competent authorities of the Chinese Government.

Article 15

Aliens who seek asylum for political reasons shall be permitted to reside in China upon approval by the competent authorities of the Chinese Government.

Article 16

Aliens who fail to abide by Chinese laws may have their period of stay in China curtailed or their status of residence in China annulled by the competent authorities of the Chinese Government.

Article 17

For a temporary overnight stay in China, aliens shall complete registration procedures pursuant to the relevant provisions.

Article 18

Aliens holding residence certificates who wish to change their place of residence in China must complete removal formalities pursuant to the relevant provisions.

Article 19

Aliens who have not acquired residence certificates or who are on a study programme in China may not seek employment in China without permission of the competent authorities of the Chinese Government.

Chapter IV Travel

Article 20

Aliens who hold valid visas or residence certificates may travel to places open to aliens as designated by the Chinese Government.

Article 21

Aliens desiring to travel to places closed to aliens must apply to local public security organs for travel permits.

Chapter V Exit from the Country

Article 22

For exit from China, aliens shall present their valid passports or other valid certificates.

Article 23

Aliens belonging to any of the following categories shall not be allowed to leave China:

(1) defendants in criminal cases or criminal suspects confirmed by a public security organ, a people's procuratorate or a people's court;

(2) persons who, as notified by a people's court, shall be denied exit owing to involvement in unresolved civil cases; and

(3) persons who have committed other acts in violation of Chinese law who have not been dealt with and against whom the competent authorities consider it necessary to institute prosecution.

Article 24

Frontier inspection offices shall have the power to stop aliens belonging to any of the following categories from leaving the country and to deal with them according to law:

(1) holders of invalid exit certificates;

(2) holders of exit certificates other than their own; and

(3) holders of forged or altered exit certificates.

Chapter VI Administrative Organs

Article 25

China's diplomatic missions, consular offices and other resident agencies abroad authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall be the Chinese Government's agencies abroad to handle aliens' applications for entry and transit.

The Ministry of Public Security, its authorized local public security organs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its authorized local foreign affairs departments shall be the Chinese Government's agencies in China to handle aliens' applications for entry, transit, residence and travel.

Article 26

The authorities handling aliens' applications for entry, transit, residence and travel shall have the power to refuse to issue visas and certificates or to cancel visas and certificates already issued or declare them invalid.

The Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs may,when necessary, alter decisions made by their respectively authorized agencies.

Article 27

An alien who enters or resides in China illegally may be detained for examination or be subjected to residential surveillance or deportation by a public security organ at or above the county level.

Article 28

While performing their duties, foreign affairs police of the public security organs at or above the county level shall have the power to examine the passports and other certificates of aliens. When conducting such examinations, the foreign affairs police shall produce their own service certificates, and relevant organizations or individuals shall have the duty to offer them assistance.

Chapter VII Penalties

Article 29

If a person, in violation of the provisions of this Law, enters or leaves China illegally, establishes illegal residence or makes an illegal stopover in China, travels to places closed to aliens without a valid travel document, forges or alters an entry or exit certificate, uses another person's certificate as his own or transfers his certificate, he may be penalized by a public security organ at or above the county level with a warning, a fine or detention for not more than ten days. If the circumstances of the case are serious enough to constitute a crime,criminal responsibility shall be investigated in accordance with the law.

If an alien subject to a fine or detention by a public security organ refuses to accept the penalty, he may, within 15 days of receiving notification, appeal to the public security organ at the next higher level, which shall make the final decision; he may also directly file suit in the local people's court.

Article 30

In cases where a person commits any of the acts stated in Article 29 of this Law, if the circumstances are serious, the Ministry of Public

Security may impose a penalty by ordering him to leave the country within a certain time or may expel him from the country.

Chapter VIII Supplementary Provisions

Article 31

For the purposes of this Law the term "alien" means any person not holding Chinese nationality according to the Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China.

Article 32

Transistory entry into and exit from China by aliens who are nationals of a country adjacent to China and who reside in areas bordering on China shall be handled according to any relevant agreements between the two countries or, in the absence of such agreements, according to the relevant provisions of the Chinese Government.

Article 33

The Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall,pursuant to this Law, formulate rules for its implementation, which shall go into effect after being submitted to and approved by the State Council.

Article 34

Affairs concerning members of foreign diplomatic missions and consular offices in the People's Republic of China and other aliens who enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities, after their entry into China, shall be administered in accordance with the relevant provisions of the State Council and its competent departments.

Article 35

This Law shall go into effect on February 1, 1986.

 

Regulations on Examination and Approval of Permanent Residence of Aliens in China

(Approved by the State Council on 13 December, 2003 and promulgated by virtue of Decree No.74 of the Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 15 August, 2004)

Article 1. This set of regulations is formulated in line with the related provisions of the Law of the Peoples Republic of China on the Administration of Entry and Exit of Foreigners and its rules of implementation to standardize the examination and approval of permanent residence of foreigners in China.

Article 2. The permanent residence of foreigners in China refers to that the period of foreigners' stay in China is not limited.

Article 3. Certificate of Permanent Residence of Aliens is the legitimate identity card of aliens having obtained permanent residence in China and may be used independently.

Article 4. Aliens having obtained permanent residence in China enter and leave China on the strength of their valid passports and the Certificate of Permanent Residence of Aliens.

Article 5. Authority for handling application of aliens for permanent residence in China is the public security administration of municipal people's government having districts under its administration, and the branch public security bureau or county level public security bureau of municipalities directly under the Central Government. The authority for examining and verifying the applications filed by aliens for permanent residence in China is the public security administrations of various provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities directly under the Central Government. The authority for the examination and approval of the applications filed by aliens for permanent residence in China is the Ministry of Public Security.

Article 6. Aliens applying for permanent residence in China shall abide by Chinese laws, be healthy, have no criminal record and conform to any of the following terms and conditions:

1. having direct investment in China, stable investment in China for three years in a row, and having a sound taxation record;

2. having assumed the posts of deputy general manager or deputy director of plants or higher level posts or posts of associate professors or associate research fellows and similar posts for more than four years in a row, and the period of stay in accumulation being no shorter than three years and having sound taxation record;

3. having major and outstanding contributions to China or needed urgently by China;

4. spouses and unmarried children aged under 18 years old of persons mentioned in items 1 to 3 of this article;

5. spouses of Chinese citizens or of aliens having obtained permanent residence in China, whose marriage has lasted for five years, and who have lived in China for five years in a row, the annual stay in China being no shorter than nine months, and who have stable and secured living status and place to live;

6. unmarried children aged under 18 years old who come to China to live with their parents;

7. persons having no direct relatives abroad entering China to live with direct relatives in China, who are over 60 years old, have lived in China for five years in a row, whose annual stay in China being no shorter than nine months and have stable and secured living status and places to live.

Time period of year mentioned in this article refers to the continuous period of time prior to the day of application.

Article 7. The registered capital actually paid for investment in China by aliens mentioned in item 1 of paragraph 1 of article 6 of this set of regulations should meet any of the following terms and conditions :

1. having made investment of over USD 500,000 in industries of encouraged type as specified in the Catalogue of Industries of Foreign Investment released by the State;

2. having made total investment of over USD 500,000 in counties in the western part of the country or in counties which are major targets of poverty relief work undertaken by the State;

3. having total investment of over USD 1 million in the central part of the country;

4. having total investment of over USD 2 million in China.

Article 8. For aliens mentioned in item 2 of paragraph 1 of article 6 of this set of regulations, the units where they work should meet any of the following terms and conditions:

1. institutions subordinate to the various ministries under the State Council or to the provincial level people's governments;

2. major higher learning schools;

3. enterprises or institutions executing major engineering projects or major scientific projects of the State;

4. high-tech enterprises, foreign invested enterprises in encouraged type, foreign invested advanced technology enterprises or foreign invested export-oriented enterprises.

Article 9. Applicants should fill in the Application Form of Aliens for Permanent Residence in China according to the facts and submit the following materials:

1. valid foreign passports or identification capable of substituting passports;

2. certificate of health issued by sanitation and inspection and quarantine agencies appointed by the Chinese government or issued by foreign sanitation and medical agencies accredited by Chinese embassies or consulate offices;

3. proof of no criminal record abroad recognized by Chinese embassies or consulate offices;

4. four sets of latest two-inch front hat-free color photos;

5. other related materials specified by this set of measures.

Article 10. Persons mentioned in item 1 of paragraph 1 of article 6 of this set of measures should, at the time of filing applications, submit their certificates of approval of foreign funded enterprises, certificate of registration, proof of combined annual inspection, report of assets valuation, and proof of personal tax payment.

In case of foreign funded enterprises of encouraged type, letter of confirmation of the foreign invested projects which the State encourages should also be provided.

Article 11. Persons mentioned in item 2 of paragraph 1 of article 6 of this set of measures should submit the following materials at the time of application:

1. proof of post or title of the persons issued by the units where they work;

2. certificates of foreign experts or certificates of employment of aliens;

3. registration certificate, annual inspection proof and personal tax payment proof of the units where they work; whereas the units are foreign funded enterprises, the certificate of approval of foreign funded enterprises and proof of combined annual inspection should also be provided;

4. persons of enterprises or institutions executing major engineering projects or scientific projects of the State should provide testifying documents for the projects issued by the competent authorities of the provincial level people's governments or ministries; persons working for high-tech enterprises should provide certificates of high-tech enterprises; persons working for encouraged type foreign funded enterprises, foreign invested advanced technology enterprises or foreign invested export-oriented enterprises should provide letter of confirmation of the encouraged type foreign invested projects, or letter of confirmation of foreign invested advanced technology enterprises or letter of confirmation of foreign invested export-oriented enterprises.

Article 12. Persons mentioned in item three of paragraph one of article 6 of this set of measures should submit letter of recommendation and related proofs issued by the competent authority of the Chinese government in filing applications.

Article 13. Persons mentioned in item 4 of paragraph 1 of article 6 of this set of measures should provide marriage certificate in filing applications if they are spouses. Whereas they are unmarried children under 18 years old, they should provide their personal birth certificates or proof of parenthood. In case of adoption, certificate of adoption should be provided.

Certificates or proof issued by relevant agencies abroad should be recognized by Chinese embassies or consulate offices in that country or region.

Article 14. Persons mentioned in item 5 of paragraph 1 of article 6 of this set of measures should, at the time of application, provide proof of household registration of their Chinese spouses or the Certificate of Permanent Residence of aliens of their spouses of foreign nationality, marriage certificates, proof of secured living status and certificate of house leasing or property right of the house which have been notarized. The above-mentioned proof issued by related agencies abroad should be attested by the Chinese embassies or consulate offices in the countries or regions.

Article 15. Persons mentioned in item 6 of paragraph 1 of article 6 of this set of measures should, at the time of filing applications, provide the certificate of household registration of their Chinese parents or Certificate of Permanent Residence of aliens of their foreign nationality parents, personal birth certificates or certificates of parenthood; in case of adoption, the certificate of adoption should also be provided. The above-mentioned proof issued by related agencies abroad should be attested by the Chinese embassies or consulate offices in the countries or regions.

Article 16. Persons mentioned in item 7 of paragraph 1 of article 6 of this set of measures should, at the time of filing applications, provide the certificates of household registration of the Chinese citizens with whom they come to live or Certificate of Permanent Residence of aliens of foreigners, notarized proof of relations of relatives and proof testifying that the incoming persons having no direct relatives abroad, notarized proof of the sources of incomes of the incoming persons or the proof of economic guarantee of the persons with whom the incoming persons live, notarized proof of house leasing or property right of houses of the incoming persons or persons with whom the incoming persons live. The above-mentioned proof issued by related agencies abroad should be attested by the Chinese embassies or consulate offices in the countries or regions.

Article 17. Whereas a foreigner applies for permanent residence in China, the applicant or the parent of the applicant if unmarried and aged under 18 years old or the party accepting the trust to file applications should file applications to the public security authority of municipal people's governments with subordinate districts or branch public security bureaus or county level bureaus of municipalities directly under the Central Government at the place of principal investment or long term stay.

In case of application filed by a party accepting trust to do the applying, the power of attorney issued by the applicant should be provided. The power of attorney issued by applicants abroad should be attested by Chinese embassies or consulate offices in the countries or regions.

Article 18. The public security authority should make a decision on whether or not to approve the applications for permanent residence in China filed by aliens within six months starting from the day of receipt of the applications.

Article 19. Aliens granted permanent residence in China will be granted Certificate of Permanent Residence of Aliens by the Ministry of Public Security. Whereas the applicant is abroad, the Ministry of Public Security will issue Form of Conformation of Permanent Residence of Aliens, the applicant should go to the Chinese embassies or consulate offices to apply for D visa on the strength of the Form, and obtain Certificate of Permanent Residence of aliens within 30 days upon entry from the public security authority that has accepted the applications.

Article 20. Aliens granted permanent residence in China should stay in China for more than three months in accumulation every year. Whereas they are not able to satisfy that requirement due to certain actual needs, they should obtain approval from the public security administration of the provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities directly under the Central Government where they have the permanent residence. However, their stay in China in a period of five years should be no shorter than one year.

Article 21. The validity of Certificate of Permanent Residence of Aliens is five or ten years.

Aliens aged under 18 years old being granted permanent residence in China should be issued Certificates of Permanent Residence of Aliens of five years. Aliens aged over 18 years granted permanent residence in China should be issued Certificates of Permanent Residence of Aliens of 10 years.

Article 22. Whereas the validity of Certificate of Permanent Residence of Aliens expires, or items of Certificate of Permanent Residence of Aliens have been changed, or the Certificate of Permanent Residence of Aliens have been lost or damaged, the certificate holders should apply to the public security authority of municipal people's governments with subordinate districts or branch public security bureaus or county level bureaus of municipalities directly under the Central Government where they have permanent residence for change or renewal of certificates. Whereas the public security authority considers that the certificate holders have not lost qualifications to maintain permanent residence in China, it should change or renew the certificates within one month.

Article 23. Aliens holding Certificate of Permanent Residence of Aliens should apply for renewal of certificates one month prior to the expiration of the validity of the certificates. Whereas the content of the certificates has been changed, the holders should apply for change or renewal within one month upon the changes. In case of damage or loss of the certificates, the holders should apply for renewal or change of certificates in a timely manner.

Article 24. Aliens having permanent residence in China under any of the following circumstances will be canceled of their permanent residence in China by the Ministry of Public Security, and their Certificate of Permanent Residence of Aliens will be revoked or declared invalid:

1. likely to cause harms to the national safety and interests;

2. ordered by the people's court to be expelled from of the country;

3. obtaining permanent residence in China by way of providing falsified materials and other illegal methods;

4. accumulated stay in China in a year being less than three months or accumulated stay in China in a period five years being less than one year, without permission.

Article 25. Aliens granted permanent residence in China before the entry into force of this set of regulations should go to the public security administration of the provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities directly under the Central Government which have issued them the original permanent residence or where they have the permanent residence to obtain Certificate of Permanent Residence of Aliens within six months starting from the day of entry into force of this set of regulations.

Article 26. Relevant charging items and standards governing the application for permanent residence in China, issuing, renewing and reissuing of Certificate of Permanent Residence of Aliens should be handled in line with the related provisions of the pricing and finance ministries of the State Council.

Article 27. Terms used in this set of regulations are defined as follows:

1. direct relatives refer to parents (parents of spouses), grandparents (maternal grandparents), adult family members aged over 18 years and their spouses, adult grandchildren (maternal grandchildren) aged over 18 years and their spouses;

2. "Over'' and "including'' used includes the number mentioned.

Article 28. The Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall have the interpretation right of this set of regulations.

Article 29. This set of regulations shall enter into force as of the day of promulgation.

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