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Immigrate to China

Immigrate to China

Foreign nationals wishing to immigrate to China must first apply for the appropriate visa. It is important to note that the applicant may authorize someone to apply for the visa, with a power of attorney. One of our Chinese lawyers can represent you on immigration issues and can tell you more about immigration to China.

 Quick Facts  
 Entry visa requirement (from EU)  (YES/NO)  YES

 Entry visa requirement (outside EU) (YES/NO)

YES, but exceptions might apply. 

 Types of visas available

 – diplomatic, services,

– tourist,

– business,

– student,

– work visas

 Time frame for obtaining work visa (approx.)   Around 4 working days
 Validity of temporary residence permit

 1 year with the possibility of an extension

 Temporary residence permit renewal requirements

– original registration form from the previous application,

– valid passport with the entry visa,

– proof of domicile in China 

 Documents for obtaining a residence permit

 – valid passport with Chinese entry visa,

– clear criminal record,

– health certificate,

– proof of domicile,

– completed standard forms offered by the authorities

 Requirement for obtaining permanent residence (approx.)

 Living in China for at least 4 years

 Investor Visa availability

EB-5 visa available for US investors 

 Start-up Visa Scheme availability  Business start-up visa available for 12 months
 Sponsorship requirement (YES/NO)


 How long does it take to obtain Chinese citizenship?

Around 5 years 

Citizenship/Residency by investment scheme availability 

– investments of at least RMB 10 million for obtaining residency in China

– Golden Passport Program for gaining citizenship 

 Taxation of foreign citizens

 Tax rates range from 3% to 45% depending on the amount of income.

 Tax benefits for expats

– special deductions for house lease,

– children’s education, etc. 

Visa types for China

There are several types of visas, depending on the needs of the applicant and the period of stay. Let’s review some of these:

  1. A tourist visa is valid for 2 years and allows entry into China without restrictions.
  2. business visa (F or M type) allows you to stay in China for 3 months.
  3. Work visa is obtained through the sponsorship of the employing company. After 30 days, applicants must obtain a temporary residence permit.
  4. A student visa for China and especially an X1 visa is required for students who intend to stay more than 6 months in this country. For less of these apply for a student visa X2 for China.

Therefore, those interested in migration to China must first find out what kind of visa is required. Discuss more details with our Chinese lawyers if you want to immigrate to China. Besides helping you with relocation, you are welcome to get a consultation from our divorce lawyers in China if you are about to dissolve your marriage. Trying to acclimatize to the changes you are making in your life may be really difficult. In this situation, an attorney can be beneficial. Our competent divorce lawyers will support you and provide you guidance to help you make wise decisions in addition to assisting you with your legal problems.

Below is an infographic with details about immigration to China:

How do I apply for temporary residence in China?

Temporary residence in China must be obtained 30 days after entering the country. Prior to this application, foreign nationals must register in the Chinese city within 24 hours of arrival at the nearest police station.

A temporary residence permit for China is valid for 5 years, and those interested can then apply for Chinese citizenship. Here are other important aspects in this regard:

  • In order to obtain this document, the Chinese authorities require a set of analyses. Chest X-ray to detect tuberculosis is one of these medical tests.
  • Applicants will be interviewed by the Department of Foreign Affairs to confirm their identity.
  • The time frame for temporary residence permits in China is between 6 and 10 weeks. All the while, applicants are advised not to leave China. Talk to us if you want to immigrate to China.

We invite you to discuss more about how to relocate to China with our immigration lawyers in China. We have specialists with experience in issues related to migration to China. You can also watch the following video presentation on this topic:

Obtaining permanent residence in China

Permanent residence permit in China is obtained under special conditions. Foreign investors, spouses of Chinese nationals, and foreigners with permanent employment can easily obtain this document.

In other cases, however, applicants must prove that they have invested in China for at least 3 years. Investments start at USD 500,000 and can exceed USD 2 million. In addition to these requirements, interested candidates must have a clean record and submit complete medical tests.

We remind you that those interested in how to immigrate to China and residence permits can turn to our immigration lawyers in China. We are at your service if you want details about emigration to China.

Immigration Law – a short history 

Before 2012, immigrants had benefited from easy access in China under the 1985 Law of Administration of Entrance and Exit of Foreigners. However, after the law’s enactment, the number of immigrants increased rapidly and, by the end of 2010, approximately 594,000 immigrants moved to China. Most immigrants came from the Republic of Korea, the United States of America, Japan, Burma, and Vietnam. 

2012 – New Immigration Law in China 

The Chinese authorities considered that the previous immigration law did not impose high standards so, in June 2012, at the National People’s Committee, a new law was passed: Exit and Entry Administration Law – in which it was stated, for the first time, that immigrants in China must have a certain level of education and occupational backgroundOur Chinese immigration attorneys can offer you more details on the eligibility process.  Besides immigration, if you need help with any other matters, our lawyers can assist you. For instance, if you are seeking legal help for trademark registration in China, the services of our lawyers are at your disposal. There is very little information available online about trademark registrations, including fees, how to register your trademark, the process, and more. So, it is important to consult any legal expert before indulging in such a matter.

“The Three Illegals Actions” of China (San Fei) 

Upon the enactment of the 2012 Law, the purpose of the Chinese government was to restrict access in the country to certain people and to combat the “Three Illegals”, namely:

  • Illegal entry in China;
  • Illegal residence in China;
  • Illegal work in China.

Illegal access means that a citizen living in China, having an expired visa, must pay RMB (Chinese yuan) 10,000; if not, the law states that the person should be imprisoned for three to 60 days. Unauthorized migrants are ineligible foreigners who provide false documents and can be fined RMB 5,000.

The household registration system (hukou) requires that within 24 hours upon their arrival, all immigrants are obliged to present at the local police station and register their new address; otherwise, a penalty of RMB 2,000 will be applied. Our law firm in China can present to you the legal framework under which Chinese immigration law functions. 

If you are interested in moving to China, our immigration lawyers in China can help you throughout the process; don’t hesitate to get in touch with our lawyers for legal representation on Chinese immigration law. 

Some statistics on migration to China

China is a popular destination for business people and foreign workers alike. There are multiple development opportunities in sectors such as manufacturing, automotive, food, and beverages, FMCG, engineering, and more.

Statistical data on migration to China revealed the following:

  • About 286 million migrant workers were registered in China in 2020 according to Statista.com.
  • In 2019, over 20% of the total population in China was represented by migrant workers.
  • Also in the same year, about 27% of migrant workers in China worked in the manufacturing sector. 19% were registered in the construction sector in China.

Want to know more about immigration to ChinaContact our law firm in China and make an appointment as soon as possible.