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Preparation for Work Permit Renewal

The State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs announced last year that all work permit renewal applications must be submitted 30 days prior to the expiration of the current permit. Failure to do so will result in employers and work permit holders being required to restart the work authorization application process from scratch. Therefore, it is recommended to begin the renewal process of the work permit as early as possible, which is 90 days before the expiration date. The bureau will keep the original passport for 7 to 15 working days.

This impacts the employers and work permit holders in several ways:

  • Employers need to decide earlier if they want to renew the work permit for their current foreign employees.

  • Extension application must be filed at least 30 days prior to the expiry

  • If a new work permit application is required, foreign employees would not have a valid work permit and residence permit to work in China legally during the processing time meaning both the business’ needs and the foreign employee’s working schedule will need to be managed.

Here is the time frame and lost of documents one needs to prepare for work permit and work visa renewal:

Work Permit

The work permit renewal process will range from 5 to 10 working days.

The list of documents one needs to prepare:

  • Photocopy of passport information page, current work visa and the last entry stamp (one thing to note here is that the passport must be fully flipped open for the photocopies for the aforementioned pages).

  • Photocopy of the current work permit card (front and back).

  • New labor contract in Chinese including information such as: contract period, job position, job description and the time spent working in China per year.

  • The IIT report is also required for applicants in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen who are applying through the point system. For the rest of the areas in China, the IIT report is mandatory.

Work Visa

The work visa renewal process will range from 7 to 15 working days. If one holds a work visa with a validity of 2-5 years, the step can be neglected.

The list of documents one needs to prepare:

  • Application letter with employer's company seal.

  • Renewed work permit card and its QR code information.

  • Original passport with a 2-inch photo.

  • Latest temporary residence registration form for the local police station.

  • For a 2-5 years work visa, a supplementary submission of a commitment letter and a guarantee letter might be required.

Key takeaway:

Please aim to be begin the renewal process for both work permit and work visa around 3 months before they expire to be sure that you will have enough time to have it all submitted 30 days before expiry.

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