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15 July 2015

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Four Highlights of China's New Exit-Entry Administration Law

On June 30, the 11th Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, concluded its 27th meeting and passed a new Exit-Entry Administration Law. Chinese President signed the presidential decree No. 57 to promulgate the decision.

The new law includes targeted provisions concerning new situations and problems facing exit-entry administration. It is a distinct improvement on the old one, and has four highlights.

Highlight 1: Harsher punishments for foreigners who illegally enter, reside, or work in China.

The new law contains tougher provisions for illegal immigration, residence, or employment of foreigners.

A stricter visa issuance system will be adopted to prevent illegal immigration, residence, or employment of foreigners at its source. Employers or individuals should send invitation letters to foreigners according to the new law, and be responsible for the authenticity of the information in the letters. Applicants who provide fake documents or who cannot afford their stay in China will be denied a visa.

The management of foreigners living in China will be enhanced. Foreigners’ application for residence certificates and inspection of their residence certificates will be standardized. Citizens, companies, and other organizations should report clues about foreigners who illegally enter, live, or work in China to local police departments in a timely fashion.

The management of foreigners working in China will be enhanced. Foreigners must obtain work and residence permits to work in China. The new law defines illegal employment as foreign nationals working without a work or residential permit or working beyond the scope of the work permit, and foreign students working beyond the scope or time limit of their permit.

The new law specifies which agencies have the right to investigate and deport foreigners who illegally enter, live, or work in China. Police departments above the county level or exit-entry frontier inspection stations can legally question and detain foreigners suspected of illegally entering, living, or working in China.

Foreigners who illegally enter, live, or work in China are subject to fines or detention, and may also be ordered to leave China within a certain period of time. Those who fail to leave within that period of time may be deported and prohibited from entering the country again for one to five years.

Highlight 2: A new "talent introduction" visa category has been introduced in ordinary visas

The special visa is conducive to better attract the high-caliber talented individuals from overseas to assistant in the development of China and create a good environment of soliciting foreign investment and talent.

Highlight 3: Administrative departments will share the information platform

Currently, both the public security and foreign affairs departments have their own information system of the exit and entry management. However, judging from the current development tendency, China should establish a unified information platform of exit and entry management in order to facilitate the information sharing between various departments. Therefore, the Exit and Entry Administration Law has provided to a unified information platform of exit and entry management, realizing the information sharing between various departments.

Highlight 4: Concrete provisions have reflected the principle of paying equal attention to management and service

The exit and entry management is necessary to safeguard national security, sovereignty and social order of a state and it also service the economic and social development. Therefore, the exit and Entry management should be strengthened in the sense of service and pay equal attention to management and service. To this end, the Exit and Entry Administrative Law has explicitly provided in its general rules that the departments and institutions in charge of exit and entry management should take practical measures to continuously improve their service and management level, impartial law enforcement and convenience and efficiency to maintain a safe and convenient order of exit and entry.

The specific provisions also reflected this principle. For example, the eligible ports and exit and entry frontier inspection authorities shall provide dedicated lanes and other facilitation measures for Chinese citizens; Chinese people residing abroad can handle financial and other affairs with their passports; the special talents, investors and foreigners who do need to reside in China due to some reasons including humanitarian spirit can apply for a residence certificate for aliens.