During Epidemic Period, How to Deal With Work Permit?

During Epidemic Period, How to Deal With Work Permit?

Abstract  In order to strengthen the prevention and control of the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, the National Immigration Administration, the National Science and Technology Commission, and the Exit-Entry Administration of the Public Security Bureau in the People’s Republic of China (“China” or “PRC”) have recently issued new measures to facilitate swift online immigration, work permit, and residence permit applications and help reduce cross-border movements.


The measures highlight the Chinese government’s efforts to reduce certain administrative burdens for organisations and individuals during the epidemic.

Those requiring work permits or planning for employee moves in/out of China in the near future should take note of the renewed administrative requirements in certain key cities.  China residents planning to travel abroad should also plan ahead in light of special border measures taken by certain countries.

Frequently Asked Questions and Our Analysis

Exit-Entry Concerns for Foreigners


How should foreigners currently staying in China apply for a visa or residence permit during the epidemic?

According to the relevant instructions of the National Immigration Bureau, local immigration authorities will take the following actions:

  • Continue to provide foreigners with visa extension and residence permit processing services
  • Provide a fast-track service for certain urgent cases
  • Arrange appointment services or application submissions and passport collections based on local circumstances


How should foreigners staying in China deal with expired visa or residence permits due to the epidemic?

For foreigners who are unable to leave the country in time and cannot apply for visas and residence permits in a timely manner, local immigration authorities may reduce or waive the overdue residence penalties in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.


Based on the current situation in China, can foreigners enter and leave China as usual?

As of this newsletter’s publication, with the exception of the closure of the Wuhan-China exit channel at Wuhan Port, border authorities at all ports in China are still functioning normally.  
The visa exemption policy for foreigners has not been adjusted for the outbreak.  Land, sea, and air ports remain open, and foreigners can cross the border normally with valid exit and entry documents.
In addition, in order to prevent and control the spread of the disease, some countries and regions have implemented corresponding entry control measures. 
It is recommended that foreigners who intend to leave China become familiar with any special border measures in the destination country or region to avoid unnecessary delays or financial costs.
Summary of Current Special Local Guidance

Exit-Entry Concerns for Local Residents in China

At the same time, in light of the recent special immigration measures adopted by some countries or regions, local residents who have business or holiday travel plans in the near future should also pay close attention to the latest immigration policies of their destinations.

The latest travel information is available via the official website of the National Immigration Bureau (www.nia.gov.cn) and its official WeChat account (NIANEWS).


During the coronavirus outbreak, while the in-charge authorities are promoting online applications in order to foster efficiency, employers and individuals should:

  • closely follow policy updates and seek professional advice on policy interpretation and practical guidance;
  • plan applications in advance and make use of available fast-tracks to avoid over-stay
  • familiarise themselves with the latest special border measures in other countries and regions), and appropriately arrange travel plans to avoid unnecessary delays and financial costs
  • make sure that the application materials/documents are authentic and valid – the authorities will continue to take measures against fraudulent applications


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