China: Visa and Residence Permit Requirements Removed

November 11, 2015

By Immigration Group

This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Laura Danielson is an active member.

Visa and Residence Permit Requirements Removed for Taiwan Residents

On June 14, 2015, China amended its regulations on Chinese citizens traveling to or from Taiwan to facilitate travel between mainland China and Taiwan. First and foremost, China removed the visa requirement for Taiwan residents visiting the mainland. For Taiwanese working in mainland China with a valid work permit, who previously needed a residence permit to enter and live in China, the rule also removes the need for a residence permit. The only required travel document is a travel pass, TaiBaoZheng. The travel pass has been recently upgraded to an electronic card that can be scanned, just like the Chinese ID card. There are two types of TaiBaoZheng. The short-term card is valid for three years with unlimited entries, while the long-term card is valid for five years with unlimited entries.

New Immigration Policy Measures Implemented in Shanghai

On June 9, 2015, the Ministry of Public Security of China issued several new immigration policies in Shanghai. On August 5, local authorities in Shanghai published implementing measures for the new policies. The measures list required documents and application instructions for permanent residence, the R visa, and expert certificate applications by individuals qualified as high-level foreign talent.

The measures also specify the criteria for high-level foreign experts, including: (1) recipients of prominent awards or talent selected in high-level talent programs; (2) prominent experts, scholars, extraordinary talent, or professional talent; (3) extraordinary talent or professional talent in commercial enterprises; or (4) other talent with expertise in great demand in the Shanghai municipal area.

In addition to providing implementation details for the June policies, the measures also amend the validity of the Shanghai Foreign Talent Residence Certificate (“B” Certificate) to 10 years (from one to five years previously).