A new visa policy applies to expatriates who wish to work for a foreign NGO. A legal framework is being put in place, but the control of the authorities is increasing.
As reported in Global Times, a daily newspaper affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party, China is changing the rules for granting work permits to expatriates who are employed by foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The authorities want to simplify the procedure to allow more foreigners to work legally in China, without resorting to tourist visas or ghost companies.
Foreign expert Duan Jianqiang believes that the new rules are indicative of progress since it shows that his agency, the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, and the Ministry of Public Security, can open doors for foreign employees and NGOs in China.
Different Attribution Methods
The position that will be occupied by the worker in a foreign NGO in China will be the basis for the method that will be applied in the issuance of a visa.
An NGO can nominate up to four delegates to become part of its organizational structure. Leaders of organizations referred to as Chief Delegates may obtain work visas for up to five years, on the recommendation of the authorized personnel. The other delegates will go through the normal Chinese visa procedure, where foreigners are ranked according to their level of education, professional experience, and potential.
One of the major features brought about by the reform to the visa policy is the provision of temporary work visas to non-delegated employees who were previously prohibited from working in China. The visas that will be issued to them will be based on the duration of their activity.
Rules for Foreign NGOs in China
The new law imposed on foreigners working in NGOs in China was officially adopted 1 January 2017. Each applicant for the new visa is required to register with the Ministry of Public Security. However, while government officials view this policy as a way forward, the measure is considered repressive by the defenders of the Chinese civil society. This was specifically highlighted in a research made by William Nee of Amnesty International.