China’s employment and immigration sector has seen a high level of development and change over the past year. This article, the fourth of a four-part series, outlines key developments in the immigration sector in China. For the first three articles in the series, see “Annual review of China’s employment and immigration sector: end of covid-19 era“, “Annual review of China’s employment and immigration sector: progress with workplace gender equality” and “Annual review of China’s employment and immigration sector: cross-border data transfers“.
PU letter ends
As of June 2022, it is no longer required to obtain the official invitation (PU) letter to qualify business (M/F) visa and work (Z) visa applications.
Visa applications resumed
Also in June 2022, various visa applications previously prohibited for personal affairs (S), reunion (Q), expert (R) and study (X) were gradually resumed. The level of requirements for visa applications were reinstated just before covid-19. However, tourist (L) visa application and valid visas issued to foreigners before 28 March 2020 are still suspended.
APEC cards resumed
Effective from 24 August 2022, foreigners who hold valid Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation business travel cards can enter China without applying for a new visa.
Quarantine-free and 48 hour PCR test for entering China
The Chinese government announced on 26 December 2022 that, from 8 January 2023, centralised quarantine and mass polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests will no longer be required for inbound international travellers entering China. Visitors to China are required to provide one negative PCR test report within 48 hours before boarding, and to fill out a Customs Health Declaration via:
- WeChat mini-program; or
- an app run by China Custom.
Effective from 12 January 2023, the National Immigration Administration of China has suspended the issuance of port visas to citizens of South Korea and Japan. The policies allow 72/144-hour visa-free transit for both counties.
The suspension is regarded as temporary measure, and it is expected to be readjusted as soon as the circumstances surrounding covid-19 preventative measures are eased. in these countries.