Global Alerts

China – Optional Mainland Residence Card Introduced for Residents of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan

The Chinese government recently abolished the work permit requirement for residents of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan (“HMT residents”).

Effective September 1, 2018, HMT residents can voluntarily apply for a new mainland residence card.

Abolition of Work Permit Requirement

  • On July 28, 2018, the Chinese government announced that, with immediate effect, HMT residents no longer require a work permit to work in mainland China.
  • Effective August 23, 2018, the Human Resource and Social Security Bureau in Shanghai ceased processing pending work permit applications following the enforcement of this new policy in many other cities.
  • Existing work permits held by HMT residents will continue to be valid until December 31, 2018.
  • HMT nationals must still complete temporary residence registration within 24 hours of arrival in mainland China.

Residence Card

According to a new regulation (“港澳台居民居住证申领发放办法“) published August 19, 2018 and effective September 1, 2018, HMT residents can voluntarily apply for a residence card if they are resident in mainland China for at least six months and:

  • Have legal and stable employment; or
  • Have a legal and stable residence; or
  • Are engaged in continuous study.

The residence card application must be made to the local Public Security Bureau. Residence cards, valid for five years, are expected to be issued within 20 days.

The new residence card will give the holder access to mainland social security and housing schemes and basic public services.

Action Items

  • Employers who may be affected by this change are advised to consult an immigration specialist for the latest implementation details.

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