Recently, several Chinese embassies and consulates in the United Kingdom, France, and the United States have issued notices allowing entry into the People’s Republic of China (“China”) of foreign nationals with valid Chinese residence permits. Entry by these individuals had been suspended since November 2020. (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-462, 18 November 2020.)
WHY THIS MATTERS
This cancelation of the restrictions put in place last year affects foreign nationals with appropriate visas and residence permits and businesses with operations China.
In view of the global situation of the epidemic, on 5 November 2020, China suspended the entry of foreign nationals holding valid Chinese visas and residence permits for work, private affairs, and family reunion. Foreign nationals had to apply for a new visa to enter the country.
Starting from September 2021, the websites of the Chinese Embassies in the United Kingdom, France, and the United States began announcing the adjustment of visa requirements for foreign nationals entering China, and the cancellation of the notice of “the temporary suspension of holding valid China’s visa and residence permit entry.”1
Key Contents and Updates
Who Will Be Affected?
Starting from 2 September 2021, the following foreign individuals holding a valid work-type, personal affairs, and reunion residence permit can enter into China without applying for a new visa:
- French nationals entering into China from France, the U.K., and the US cities of San Francisco and Seattle.
Note that although China's immigration policy for foreign nationals has been relaxed, the following necessary procedures before boarding a China-inbound aircraft are still required:
- Certificate of negative coronavirus test results within 48 hours before boarding for nucleic acid and IgM anti-body tests (Double Negative Certificate); and
- “Green” Health Code or certified declaration of health status before boarding.
With the relaxation of China’s immigration policy, China has implemented the inbound policy adjustment based on the current situation. This also means that in the coming months, more Chinese consulates abroad are expected to resume the re-entry policy for those foreign individuals who are holding a valid work-type, personal affairs and reunion residence permit.
The organisations and the individuals that 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 re- entry notice. For foreign individuals who hold a valid residence permit, how should they deal with potential China entry issues?
- In order to avoid a failure to obtain a Health Code or Health Commitment in a transit country which might interrupt work and travel, foreign individuals should confirm the relevant policy in a timely manner and make an appointment in advance for nucleic acid and IgM anti-body tests in the transit country.
- In view of the relaxation of China’s in-bound policy, organisations should consider acting proactively to manage international assignments, reviewing the associated relevant risks, and initiating contingency plan to reduce risks and costs.
1 See the following:
See (in Chinese) Ambassade de la Republique Populaire de Chine en la Republique Francaise: http://www.amb-chine.fr/chn/zgzfg/zgsg/lsb/202109/t20210902_9037401.htm.
See (in Chinese) Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: http://www.chinese-embassy.org.uk/chn/qzfw/202111/t20211102_10439129.htm.
See (in Chinese) Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in San Francisco: http://www.chinaconsulatesf.org/zytz/202109/t20210903_8994336.htm.
* 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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