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CHINA: A number of major cities in China have imposed new requirements for work and residence permit applications

Chinese immigration laws differ from region to region, and policies vary locally. They also change according to shifts in political or social circumstances. For example, the recent World Expo in Shanghai impacted visa issuance, as did the Olympics in Beijing before it.

A number of major cities in China have imposed new requirements for work and residence permit applications:

Beijing: With the exception of children under age 18, applicants for new or amended residence permits (for change of employer) must now file their applications personally with the Public Security Bureau. Pakistani nationals must appear in person for any changes, including changes of address.

Shanghai: Applicants seeking employment authorization in Shanghai can still apply for "Z" entry visas outside their country of citizenship or authorized residence. Invitation letters, necessary for the "Z" visas, will also be granted by Shanghai authorities to applicants applying outside of their countries of citizenship or valid residency.

When foreign national employees leave Shanghai, whether to another city in China or to leave the country altogether, their sponsoring employers must de-register their employment permits by submitting an employment permit cancellation form with the Shanghai Labor Bureau within 10 working days of the departing employee's last day of work or expiration of his or her employment permit, whichever occurs first. This form must be signed by the exiting employee and stamped with the company's seal. This process replaces the employment release letter formerly used by employers, which did not require an employee's signature.

Taiwanese nationals who have special residence and re-entry permits, called Marked Multiple Residence Endorsements, must now submit a copy of their Temporary Residence Registration Form issued by hotels or local police (when staying in private lodgings) as proof of their long-term residence in China.

Guangzhou and Shenzhen: All residence permit applications for dependents must be accompanied by marriage and birth certificates that have been authorized by a Chinese diplomatic post in the country where the certificates were issued. Additionally, certain applicants for employment permits must first submit a police clearance certificate from their country of nationality. These countries include India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

In Shenzhen, as in Shanghai, Taiwanese nationals must submit copies of their Temporary Residence Registration Forms as proof of their long-term residence in China.

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