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People’s Republic of China – Foreigner Entry Visas and Residence Permits Suspended

PRC–Foreigner Entry Visas & Residence Permits Suspended

In response to the recent global rebound in COVID-19 cases, the Chinese government published a “Notice on the Suspension of Entry into China by Non-Chinese Nationals Holding Valid Chinese Visas or Residence Permits,” effective from 4 November 2020, on the websites of Chinese embassies in the UK, France, Belgium, Italy, Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Russia, Ukraine and other jurisdictions.

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As of 6 November 2020, several People’s Republic of China embassies have issued notices suspending entry of foreigners holding Chinese visas, residence permits, and certain other valid visas.

WHY THIS MATTERS

This re-imposition of the restrictions put in place in March may adversely affect foreign businesses that had only recently been in the process of restoring their China operations. (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-438 (23 October 2020).) 

Background

In response to the recent global rebound in COVID-19 cases, the Chinese government has implemented several temporary measures to contain the spread of the epidemic. To this end, the “Notice on Suspension of Partially Valid Chinese Visas,” effective from 4 November 2020, was published on the websites of Chinese embassies in the U.K., France, Belgium, Italy, Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Russia, Ukraine and other jurisdictions.1

Key Contents and Updates

Who Will Be Affected?

The following foreign individuals will no longer be able to use the indicated visa/permits to enter China.

  • Those holding a valid Chinese visa, work-type, personal affairs or family reunion residence permits issued on
  • or before 3 November 2020. This applies to those foreign individuals who are currently located in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Italy, Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Russia, Ukraine and other countries.

Who Will Not Be Affected?

Foreign individuals are still be able to use these visas to enter China if they hold:

  • a valid diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas; or
  • a valid visa issued after 3 November 2020.

Chinese embassies in several countries have airline boarding conditions that require passengers of Chinese and foreign nationalities to have in their possession a “Double Negative Certificate” for nucleic acid and IgM anti-body tests. Specifically, passengers boarding a China-inbound aircraft are required to obtain:

  • Double Negative Certificate for results within 48 hours before boarding; and
  • “Green” Health Code with “HS” remark or certified Declaration of Health status before boarding.

KPMG NOTE

With the rebound of COVID-19 in many countries, Chinese policymakers may implement further immigration control measures. This also means that in the coming period, international business and personal travel could likely face a new round of challenges. Foreign individuals who have travel plans to come to China are advised to consider the following issues and seek professional assistance where necessary:

  • A question arises in relation to countries for which the local Chinese embassy is yet to issue a suspension notice. For foreign individuals who have obtained a visa to come to China on or before 3 November 2020, or who hold a valid residence permit, how should they deal with potential China entry issues?
  • Are Chinese visa application centers in overseas countries still operating as normal during the rebound of the pandemic?
  • In order to avoid a failure to apply for a Health Code or Health Commitment in a transit country which might result in obstruction and retention, foreign individuals should confirm the relevant policy in a timely manner and make an appointment in advance to arrange for Nucleic Acid and IgM anti-body tests in the transit country.
  • How might organisations act proactively by suspending international assignments to contain the spread, and review the associated relevant risks, initiate contingency plan to reduce risks and costs?

The KPMG International member firm in the People’s Republic of China will continue to follow policy and practice updates announced by the national and local immigration authorities, and inform our clients accordingly. Please contact your qualified immigration counsel or global mobility professional or a member of the KPMG Immigration Practice for appropriate advice.

* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.

 

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in the People’s Republic of China. 

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Flash Alert is an Global Mobility Services publication of KPMG LLPs Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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