CHINA – Upcoming Change to Work Permit Renewal Deadline

The State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs (SAFEA) has announced that, effective 28 February 2018, all work permit renewal applications nationwide will have to be submitted at least 30 working days before the expiry date.

Those who fail to comply with this new deadline will be denied renewal, and will have to apply for a new work permit.

Currently, there is no national rule establishing a deadline for work permit renewal application submissions.

Work Permit Renewal

It is recommended to allow two to three months for the processing of work permit renewal applications, and to allow additional time for the preparation of required documents.

For renewal applications, non-criminal record certificates and proof of work experience are not required. Other requirements are the same as for initial applications.

Action Items

· Work permit holders and their employers are advised to note the expiry date of their work permits and other immigration documents, and to begin the renewal process two to three months before expiry.

HONG KONG – Visitor Status Now Permits Delivery of Speeches and Presentations

Effective immediately, foreign nationals entering Hong Kong as visitors are allowed to attend an event to give speeches and presentations without obtaining a separate employment permit, under certain conditions.

Conditions

· The duration of the event must be no longer than seven days.

· The visitor must not be remunerated for speaking or presenting at the event (other than reimbursement for accommodation, travel, meals and other expenses relating to the event).

· The visitor can only attend one event to deliver speeches or presentations during each permitted period of stay.

Visitor Status

Nationals of about 170 countries and territories may visit Hong Kong without a visa/entry permit for a period ranging from seven days to 180 days. Other nationals must obtain a visit visa to enter Hong Kong.

Persons in Hong Kong with visitor status may not take any paid or unpaid employment, establish or join any business or become a student.

Apart from the new permission to give speeches as above, visitors may engage in the following business-related activities:

· concluding contracts or submitting tenders;

· examining or supervising the installation/packaging of goods or equipment;

· participating in exhibitions or trade fairs (except selling goods or supplying services direct to the public, or constructing exhibition booths);

· settling compensation or other civil proceedings;

· participating in product orientation; and

· attending short-term seminars or other business meetings.

Action Item

· Companies sending employees to Hong Kong for any business-related activity should always consult an immigration specialist to confirm whether the proposed activity is allowed as a visitor, or whether an employment visa is required.


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