On June 30, 2012 China passed legislation specifying entry and resident requirements affecting employers and individuals.  Although the legislation is effective July 1, 2013, stricter enforcement by Chinese immigration authorities is expected between now and then.  This new legislation also includes a new visa category for highly talented foreign workers, new bio-metric screening technology, and specific registration resident processes.

Companies that have traditionally given little thought to sending workers to China on tourist visas to conduct business should rethink their strategy in the light of heavy fines and penalties that accompany violations of this new law.  China conducted a series of audits of its immigration compliance programs in selected cities around the country and found much evidence of lax enforcement.  The focus in the coming months and years will be on stricter enforcement of existing policies including examination of “invitation letters”, and registration by foreigners of their location with the local police authorities (something typically done at hotel registration).

Businesses with anticipated Chinese travel requirements or current Chinese interests are encouraged to view the entire travel requirements on the Chinese embassy website or speak with their immigration professional.