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China: Work permit revisions for Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan residents

China: Work permit revisions

Authorities in China over the summer updated the “work permit” requirements for residents of Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan to work in mainland China. Beginning 1 September 2018, residents of Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan residing in mainland China for a minimum of six months and that satisfy certain requirements can apply for a “residence permit.”


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In summary, the new rules provide that residents of Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are no longer required to apply for a work permit to engage in work in the mainland, effective 28 July 2018. Existing work permits issued to residents of Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan will be valid through 31 December 2018, and will no longer be valid beginning 1 January 2019.

Effective 1 January 2019, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan residents employed in mainland China can use a valid “personal identity document” (such as a mainland residence permit issued to residents of Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, or a mainland travel permit issued to Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan residents for matters relating to human resources and social security). An industrial and commercial business license, labour contract, proof of salary payment, and proof of social security contribution payment also may serve as proof of employment in the mainland for residents of Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

Residence permit

Beginning 1 September 2018, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan residents residing in mainland China for half a year or longer and that satisfy one of the following conditions can apply for a residence permit:

  • The individual is engaged in legal and stable employment in mainland China.
  • The individual maintains a legal and stable residence in mainland China.
  • The individual is engaged in continuous study in mainland China.

Applications for residence permits are to be submitted to the local public security bureau and will require a valid mainland travel permit for Hong Kong and Macau residents, and a five-year mainland travel permit for residents of Taiwan. The public security bureau will be expected to issue a residence permit within 20 business days upon acceptance of the application.

Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan residents who hold residence permits would be allowed to engage in employment in mainland China and to participate in certain mainland social security programs and housing provident fund programs. They would be also entitled to basic public services—including free education and other social welfare programs.


Read a September 2018 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in China

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