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15 July 2015

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What are the penalties for unauthorized employment?

The National People’s Congress’ overriding policy in enacting the law was to more harshly punish foreigners who illegally enter, live, or work in China. For a foreigner who engages in ”unauthorized employment” (非法就业), a fine of 5000 to 20,000 RMB will be imposed. In serious circumstances, detention of five to 15 days may also be imposed. (EEAL, art. 80). Prior rules allowed fines not exceeding 1000 RMB but not detention. (Implementing Rules for the Foreigner Entry-Exit Administration Law, promulgated by the Ministries of Public Security and Foreign Affairs, April 24, 2010 art. 44.)


Persons or companies that illegally employ foreigners may  be fined 10,000 RMB  per foreigner, not to exceed a total of 100,000 RMB. Any illegal gains may be confiscated. (EEAL, art. 80). Prior rules allowed for fines not exceeding 50,000 RMB. (2010 Implementing Rules, art. 44). On a related note, if a foreign entity uses a foreign national (or a PRC citizen) to establish a representative office or conduct business activities of a representative office without registration, the registration authority may order it to suspend activities and impose a penalty of RMB 50,000 to 200,000. (Administrative Regulations on the Registration of Resident Representative offices of Foreign Enterprises, art. 35).


Persons or companies who introduce jobs to ineligible foreigners may be fined 5,000 RMB per job, not to exceed a total of 50,000 RMB for a person or 100,000 RMB for a company. Any illegal gains may be confiscated. (EEAL, art. 80).


Foreigners who have violated the immigration law may be given a deadline to depart voluntarily, if appropriate, or deported. A person who has been deported is not allowed to reenter for one to five, or 10 years in the case of ”severe” violations. (EEAL, arts. 62 and 81). A foreign national is responsible to pay the costs related to his or her own deportation. If the foreigner is unable to afford the expenses and engaged in illegal employment, the work unit or individual employing the alien is responsible. (State Council regs, art. 32).