Circular of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Culture on Printing and Distributing the Relevant Handling Procedures for Foreigners Entering China for the Accomplishment of Short-term Work Assignments (for Trial Implementation)

The human resources and social security departments (bureaus), foreign affairs offices, public security departments (bureaus) and culture departments (bureaus) of all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, all Chinese embassies, consulates and commission agencies, and Chinese government offices in Hong Kong and Macao,

In order to properly implement the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Administration of Exit and Entry, the Administrative Regulations on Entry and Exit of Aliens and other laws and regulations, and further standardize the employment for foreigners in China, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Culture have jointly formulated the Relevant Handling Procedures for Foreigners Entering China for the Accomplishment of Short-term Work Assignments (for Trial Implementation) (hereinafter referred to as the "Handling Procedures") which are transmitted to you for earnest implementation.

The departments of human resources and social security, foreign affairs, public security, culture, etc. at all levels shall, according to the Handling Procedures, handle relevant formalities for foreigners who enter China for accomplishing short-term work assignments. With regard to foreigners who fail to go through relevant formalities for entry into China according to the Handling Procedures and fail to engage in short-term work based on the items as specified in their approval document of employment, the public security authorities are to investigate and punish them based on illegal employment. All the departments shall gradually improve all management systems, strengthen coordination and cooperation, intensify information exchange, and provide facilitation for foreigners who enter China for accomplishing short-term work assignments.

The Handling Procedures become effective as of January 1, 2015. All the departments are requested to promptly implement all the preparatory work in a proper manner. The electronic templates of the Approval of Short-term Employment for Foreigners Working in P.R. China (in Chinese and English versions) and the Table of Information of the Foreigners for Short-term Employment or of the Table of Information of the Foreigners for Performance are released separately.

Relevant Handling Procedures for Foreigners Entering China for the Accomplishment of Short-term Work Assignments (for Trial Implementation)

Article 1 A foreigner entering China for the accomplishment of a short-term work assignment refers to a foreigner who enters China for the following causes and stays in China for not more than 90 days:
1. accomplishing certain technical, scientific research, management or guidance work at the place of the cooperating party in China;
2. carrying out the training at a sports institution in China (including coaches and athletes);
3. shooting a film (including commercials and documentaries);
4. carrying out a fashion show (including car show models, shooting print advertisement, etc.);
5. engaging in a foreign-related commercial performance; and
6. other circumstances recognized by the relevant human resources and social security department.

Article 2 The following circumstances may not be treated as the accomplishment of a short-term work assignment:
1. purchasing the maintenance, installation, debugging, dismantlement, guidance and training that supports the machines or equipment;
2. providing guidance, supervision or inspection over a bid-winning project in China;
3. being dispatched to a branch company, subsidy company or representative office in China to accomplish short-term work;
4. participating in a sports event (including athletes, coaches, team doctors, assistants, and other relevant personnel, except for those who enter China to participate in a sports game by presenting their registration cards upon approval by the competent department of China according to the requirement by an international sports organization);
5. entering China to engage in unpaid work or to serve as a voluntary worker or volunteer whose pay is provided by an overseas institution; and
6. the relevant competent culture department does not indicate the words "foreign-related commercial performance" in the approval document.
A foreigner shall apply for M visa if he or she is under the circumstance specified in Item 1, 2, 3 or 4 hereof and stays for not more than 90 days, or shall apply for F visa if he or she is under the circumstance specified in Item 5 or 6 hereof and stays for not more than 90 days.

Article 3 Where any person as specified in the above Article 1 or Item 1, 2, 3, or 5 of Article 2 stays for more than 90 days for each entry into China, such person shall apply for going through relevant formalities according to the Regulations on the Management of the Employment of Foreigners in China. In the event of entering China for engaging in seasonal or short-term labor services, relevant provisions apply.

Article 4 A foreign group or individual of art performance that enters China for a short-term commercial performance shall possess an approval document issued by the relevant competent culture department and an approval of short-term employment in China (hereinafter referred to as the "Employment Approval"). If a foreign group or individual of art performance enters China for accomplishing other short-term work assignment, such group or individual shall possess the employment permit for foreigners (hereinafter referred to as the "Employment Permit") and the Employment Approval issued bythe relevant competent culture department and an approval of short-term employment in China (hereinafter referred to as the "Employment Approval"). If a foreign group or individual of art performance enters China for accomplishing other short-term work assignment, such group or individual shall possess the employment permit for foreigners (hereinafter referred to as the "Employment Permit") and the Employment Approval issued by the relevant human resources and social security department.
The registration items of the Employment Approval include: the  the holder's nationality and name, the description, place and duration of the work, issuing date, etc.

Article 5 An application for entry into China filed by a person who engages in short-term work shall be handled according to the following procedures:
1. Applying for employment permits
(1) Applying for the Employment Permit and Employment Approval from a human resources and social security department
Where the cooperating party in China intends to invite a foreigner to enter China for engaging in short-term work, such party shall file an application with the provincial-level human resources and social security department or its authorized prefecture-level human resources and social security department and submit the following certification materials:
(a) the registration certification and organization code of the cooperating party in China (which both are photocopies);
(b) the cooperation agreement and project contract, etc. of both Chinese and foreign parties;
(c) the resume of the person who intends to enter China;
(d) the valid passport or other international travel certificate (photocopy);
(e) a foreigner who applies for a professional or technical work assignment shall provide the documents showing his or her relevant diploma or technical (vocational) qualification; and
(f) other certification materials specified by the relevant examination and approval authority.
The human resources and social security department issues the Employment Permit and the Employment Approval to the foreigner who has a specific, complete and reasonable cause for entering China for the accomplishment of short-term work and does not violate the laws and regulations of the State.
Where the place at which a foreigner enters China for accomplishing a work assignment involves two or more provincial-level areas, such foreigner shall file an application for going through relevant formalities with the human resources and social security department at the place where the cooperating party in China is located.
All the provincial-level human resources and social security departments shall, before foreigners enter China, submit the Table of Information of the Foreigners for Short-term Employment in the form of electronic document to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

(2) Applying for an approval document and the Employment Approval from a competent culture department
Where a foreign group or individual of art performance intends to enter China for carrying out a commercial performance, the sponsor of such performance shall file an application with the competent culture department at the place where the performance is hosted for the first time, and the competent culture department shall, according to the Administrative Regulations on Commercial Performances and the implementing rules thereof, render a decision within 20 days upon acceptance of the application. If the application is approved, an approval document shall be issued and the words "commercial performance" be indicated therein; or, if the application is not approved, a written notice shall be given to the applicant and a reason thereof be stated. Where a foreign group or individual of art performance that intends to enter China for carrying out a commercial performance stays in China for not more than 90 days, the competent culture department shall issue the Employment Approval thereto. Where a new place of performance is added in the Employment Approval, the competent culture department at the new place of performance shall no longer issue the Employment Approval separately.
before a foreign group or individual of art performance enters China, the competent culture department at the place of performance shall report the Table of Information of the Foreigners for Performance to the Ministry of Culture via the information notification system of examining and approving foreign-related commercial performances, and the Ministry of Culture shall send a copy thereof in the form of electronic document to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.
Where a foreign group or individual of art performance that enters China for carrying out a commercial performance intends to continue to a short-term commercial performance in China after accomplishing a short-term work assignment, the sponsor of such performance shall file a new application for the Employment Approval with the competent culture department, provided that the period of the performance shall not exceed the period of validity of the stay or residence permit. The examination and approval formalities are handled according to relevant requirements of "applying for an approval document and the Employment Approval from a competent culture department" under these Procedures.
2. Handling invitation letters or invitation confirmation letters
An employer applies for an invitation letter or invitation confirmation letter from the authorized entity at the place where it registers or it is located by presenting the Employment Permit and the Employment Approval.
The sponsor of a performance goes through the formalities for an invitation confirmation letter of the authorized entity with the foreign affairs department of the government of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government where it registers or the performance is hosted for the first time by presenting an approval document and the Employment Approval.
3. Applying for Z visas
A foreigner who is approved to enter China for accomplishing a short-term work assignment shall apply for Z visa at a Chinese embassy or consulate or other overseas agency authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (hereinafter referred to as the "Overseas Visa-Issuing Authority"). The applicant shall provide the following certification materials:
(a) the original copies and photocopies of the Employment Permit (approval document) and the Employment Approval;
(b) the invitation letter or invitation confirmation letter of the authorized entity;
(c) the original copy and photocopy of the passport or other international travel certificate of the foreigner; and
(d) other materials required by the Overseas Visa-Issuing Authority.
The Overseas Visa-Issuing Authority verifies the original copies of the Employment Permit (approval document) and the Employment Approval and keeps the photocopies thereof. Where the period of time indicated in the Employment Approval does not exceed 30 days, the Overseas Visa-Issuing Authority shall issue a visa with the duration of stay of 30 days and indicate the words "allowed to work only within the period of time indicated in the approval" and the Chinese version thereof i