10 FAQs about Work Permit

By labourxi • August 25th, 2010

10 FAQs about Work Permit 

1. Q: My current employer has completed the procedures of employment and residence for foreigners, and promised me certain payment and welfare. However, the factual payment or welfare is not as much as the commitment says. In this case, what shall I do to strive for my legitimate rights?

A: When employment occurs between you and a certain employer, it is recommended that both parties validate each other’s rights and responsibilities in written form. In case of legitimate rights infringed, you may apply for an arbitration of labour disputes at labour arbitration committee, provided that you hold a valid Employment Permit registered under that employer’s name. Other wise, labour arbitration committee is not able to accept your application for arbitration even your legitimate rights is infringed. That is to say, your legitimate rights will not be protected.

2. Q: I’ve been working in a local company for years, being a holder of a valid Employment Permit. Can I left for another company or have a part time job with this Employment Permit if there is an offer?

A: No. According to relevant regulations, a foreigner can only work for the employer registered on the Employment Permit. The state of being employed by a second employer is illegitimate unless those employers are invested by a same investor. Therefore, the correct procedure of changing employer shall be as follows: (1) you shall resign from your employer according to the terms mentioned in your labour contract, and get agreed by the employer; (2) the new employer shall apply for the amendment of your Employment Permit and residence permit with relevant documents; (3) then you can start working for the new employer.

3. Q: I entered China with an L or F visa, and can I start working within the validity of this visa if there is a company intends to employ me for a short period of time?

A: No. F visa can only be used for business trip or visiting, while L visa for tourism. So no matter how long will you work in china, the employer has to go through formalities for employment procedures if it intends to employ you.

4. Q: My spouse is permitted to work in Shanghai and I also live in Shanghai with a residence permit for dependents. Being a holder of valid residence permit, can I work for a company if it intends to employ me?

A: No, you cannot work for any employer as long as you reside in China as a dependent. The state of being employed is not legitimate until employer obtains your Employment License and Employment Permit at relevant authorities, and changes your purpose of residence from dependents to employment.

5. Q: I’m a foreign student, decide to stay and work in Shanghai due to the great impressions she has been giving me. As a holder of valid residence permit for students, can I apply for Employment Permit directly if some employer offers me a job?

A: Since the holder of residence permit for students stays in China for studying, you cannot apply for Employment Permit even if there is an employer who intends to employ you. You can only go through formalities for employment procedures after finishing your study and obtaining relevant certificates or diplomas.

6. Q: I am going to be assigned by overseas headquarter to work for a foreign invested enterprise in Shanghai, and I sign my contract with the overseas headquarter that pays me salary. In this situation, is it necessary for me to go through formalities for employment certificates?

A: If the remuneration of assigned foreigner is paid abroad, he or she may be exempted from the Employment License and Employment Permit –provided he or she has worked less than 3 months in Chinese territory. However, if he or she has worked in Chinese territory for more than 3 months in a year, application for Employment License and Employment Permit has to be made.

7. Q: I’ve been told that foreigner who intends to work in China shall apply for employment permission, obtain Employment License, and then apply for Employment Permit. How to apply for those two certificates? Can I start working for my employer after receiving my Employment License?

A: If employment is going to occur between the employer in Shanghai and a foreigner, the employer shall apply to the Labour Bureau of Shanghai for the Employment License before the entry of the foreigner. After the application is approved, Employment License of the foreigner shall be granted to the employer. Then the employer shall visit authorized organizations (Shanghai Municipality Commission of Commerce or Foreign affairs Office of Pudong District) and go through formalities for the Z visa (employment Visa) notification. After the entry of the foreigner with Z visa (employment Visa), the employer shall apply to the Human Resources and Social Security Bureau of Shanghai for the Employment Permit with relevant documents such as the Employment License, then apply to the entry-exit administration department for the residence permit by presenting the Employment Permit. Only on finishing these procedures can the foreigner work and reside in Shanghai legally. Employment between holder of a mere Employment License and employer is illegitimate.

8. Q: Does Chinese government have any certain regulations on what situations employers can recruit foreigners in?

A: In order to release the pressure of internal employment situation for normal vacancies, Chinese government put internal labour force in preferential consideration. The post to be filled by the foreigner recruited by the employer shall be: (1) the post of special need; (2) the post that cannot be filled by any domestic candidates for the time being; (3) but violates no government regulations.

9. Q: What kinds of foreigners are most needed in China?

A: China is a developing country that needs to bring in many foreign capitals during our developing. We also have much to learn from foreign advanced administrative theories and scientific technology. So Chinese government encourages foreign investment, especially in high-level technology and other advanced fields. Based on that fact, Chinese government welcomes those foreign investors, high-level administrators and technical staff to work in China.

10. Q: I’m a foreigner, and many of us want to go to China to work, so we want to know if there are any prerequisites and what kind of policies does Chinese government have.

A: According to the governmental regulations, any foreigner seeking employment in China shall meet the following conditions: (1) between the age of 18 and 60 for male, and between 18 and 55 for female; (2) in good health; (3) with professional skills and job experience required for the work of intended employment; (4) with no criminal record; (5) with a clearly-defined employer; (6) with valid passport or other international travel document in lieu of the passport.


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