State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs announces rule change for expatriates renewing work permits in China

On 7 December, the China State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) announced that from February 28, 2018, onwards, all foreigners holding a valid work permit (Z visa) will need to apply for their China work permit renewal 30 days before their current permit expires. Failing to do so will result in individuals having to begin the permit application process all over again, which means returning one’s home country to re-apply for an entirely new work permit/visa.

According to SAFEA, you can apply for renewal 30 days prior to your permit’s expiration deadline but no more than 90 days. If your work permit expiration date is approaching, you should also note that this year’s Chinese Spring Festival holiday will comprise seven consecutive official days off from 15-21 February 2018. Furthermore, according to the SAFE announcement, the new policy requires that work permit extension applications be submitted to its online system, which may not be in operation during the CNY holiday.

Maintaining a proper visa is serious business in China. So, be smart and apply for your work permit extension in a timely manner.

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