China: Unified Work Authorization Policy Implementation Causing Processing Delays

Due to the implementation of the Unified Work Authorization Policy, foreign nationals and employers should expect longer processing times than under the previous immigration policy at Chinese embassies, consulates, and other locations for Notification Letters of Work Permit, Work Permit and Z Visa applications.

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Nov 01, 2017
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The situation
Longer processing times for certain immigration applications than under the previous immigration policy

A closer look
As China implements the Unified Work Authorization application, foreign nationals and employers should expect longer processing times for certain immigration applications at Chinese embassies, consulates, and other locations. The below are factors for the delays:

  • Document requirements. Additional document requirements, including the legalization of police clearance certificates and degree certificates, prolong the document preparation process by at least one to two months.
  • Notification letters applications. Delays in processing for Notification Letters for Work Permits may be caused by authorities requesting additional information and documents after an online submission assessment.
  • Z Visa applications. Fingerprint collection requests, which are increasingly common, and consulate requests for applicants to provide their previous passports if their current one was issued recently, may delay Z Visa application processing.
  • Work Permit applications. The current Work Permit application processing time has increased to 15 business days from five business days under the new policy. Frequent requests for additional documents or information by local officers at the Expert Bureau are also causing processing delays.

Looking ahead
Employers and foreign nationals should plan with their immigration professionals to prepare documents and file applications well ahead of start dates in anticipation of the longer processing times. Fragomen will closely monitor the situation and provide updates once available.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to CNInitiations@fragomen.com.

Fragomen in China is Fragomen (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., operating exclusively as an immigration consultancy and not as a law firm in China.

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