The Chinese government recently overhauled visa requirements for individuals traveling to China on business for a period of 90 days or less. The new regulations went into effect on Jan. 1, 2015, and they include a narrower definition of the M visa and F visa and the creation of a new short-term Z visa. Kevin Jones, the leader of Faegre Baker Daniels' labor and employment practice in China, explained the reasoning behind these developments in an article published online by the Society for Human Resource Management.
“Some individuals were working in China for extended periods on the F visa when they actually should have obtained work permits and paid individual income tax,” Jones said. “The new rules are meant to stop this practice by having a bright-line rule indicating that any foreign employee doing work-like activities in China for more than 90 days now must obtain work and residence permits.”
Though Jones notes that “the immigration requirements have become more complicated and the procedures more lengthy,” he thinks the changes will have only a minor impact on companies with business interests in China.
“The majority of employees traveling to China for trade and commercial activities remain unaffected, and will still be able to do so by obtaining an M visa,” Jones said.
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