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China Labor Law- Foreign employees

Time:2014-03-13 Hit:186


China Labor Law- Foreign employees


   A foreigner can only commence work in China after an application has been approved and a Foreigner Employment Permit and a Residence Certificate have been obtained. A labor contract must be concluded between the employer and its foreign employees. The maximum term of such a labor contract is five years.

   Issues relating to foreign employees in China are governed by the Administrative Regulations on the Employment of Foreigners in China; the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of China Public Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and MOFTEC jointly promulgate the regulation on January 22, 1996. The Regulation covers issues of conditions for a foreigner to be eligible to work in China, application procedures and labor administration. The Regulation applies to foreigners employed in China and the units that employ foreigners.


  1. The following conditions shall be meet for a foreigner seeks employment in China:1. At least 18 years old and in good health
  2. Have the necessary professional skills and job experience required for the intended position
  3. Without criminal record
  4. A confirmed employer
  5. With a valid passport or other international travel documents in lieu of passport;
  6. Be qualified for the position for which a special need must exist and for which no suitable Chinese citizen is available.


Application procedures:

   An Application Form must be filed for an employer intending to recruit a foreigner. The Application Form shall be submitted to the responsible authority of the profession at the same level as the employer's relevant labor administrative department, together with other documents.

   Upon examination and verification, an employment license will be issued to the employer. However, a foreign investment enterprise is required to obtain approval from the competent vocational authority to recruit a foreigner. Foreign investment enterprises may apply directly to the labor administrative department for the issue of an employment license, by presenting their contract, article of association, certificate of approval, business license, and other required documents. Upon receiving the approval to work in China, the foreigner must apply to a Chinese embassy for a work visa by presenting the Employment License issued by the Ministry of Labor, the letter or telex of visa notification sent by the authorized unit and a valid passport or travel document from his own country.

   Registered representative offices of a foreign company in China shall not hire an individual on a private basis. All local Chinese staff shall be employed only from Chinese organizations authorized by the government to provide services to foreign enterprises. 

Author: Shanghai Lawyer



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