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Working in China
For many foreigners, working in China as a foreigner is a great experience. But when it comes to employment, it quickly becomes a nightmare. Over the years, I've noticed that misunderstandings happen again and again. So I've listed a few key things that foreign employees should know.
Foreigners working in China must obtain work permit and residence permit to get employment.
At the legal level of China, foreign citizens are deemed to work illegally if they set the following conditions:
1. Working in China without obtaining work permit and residence permit for the type of work required;
2. Working in China, beyond the scope of work permit;
3. If you are an international student and work in China, you are in violation of the regulations on the management of international students.
Although many foreigners start to work after entering China on Z visa, they should wait for about a month on paper until they get the work permit and residence permit. In addition, work permits are related to specific roles they employ and are not flexible. Foreign employees are bound by position, location and employer. It is therefore illegal to have two employers or two main duty stations. The same is true for the position. If foreign employees change positions while maintaining the same employer and location, they must inform the local SAFEA Bureau and pass relevant procedures.
Foreign employees are bound by position, location and employer
Consistent with the above definition of illegal employment of foreigners, the court needs a work permit to recognize the employment relationship. This includes de facto employment and contractual employment. It is dangerous to enter China with a tourist or business visa and get a work permit. The employer may delay the work permit, during which time, if there is a dispute, foreign employees will not be able to enjoy the benefits and protection of the work. On the contrary, he will need to fight under contract law, which has much smaller benefits. Compared with the consequences of illegal work, such as fines, time in prison, deportation and a ten-year ban, the risk remains small：
1. Foreigners who are employed illegally shall be fined not less than 5,000 RMB but not more than 20,000 RMB; or if the circumstances are serious, they shall be detained for not less than five days but not more than 15 days and shall also be fined not less than 5,000 RMB but not more than 20,000 RMB.
2. Foreigners who engage in activities inconsistent with their residence or residence reasons or violate Chinese laws and administrative regulations, resulting in their continued residence or improper residence in China, may be ordered to leave China within the prescribed time limit.
3. A foreign national who has seriously violated Chinese law may be deported according to the decision of the Ministry of public security if the violation does not constitute a crime. The punishment decision of the Ministry of public security is final. Within ten years from the date of expulsion, foreign citizens who have been expelled shall be prohibited from entering China.
4. Paid internships are a considerable risk because they are seen as employment because people think compensation for labor is paid. Unpaid internships are less risky; however, I do not encourage anyone to take such risks unless through appropriate (and proven) channels.
Finally, for readers in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, this article does not apply because local people in these locations no longer need work permits.
All in all, foreign citizens should work legally or bear the consequences of breaking the law. In legal circumstances, determine whether they are employed. In other cases, employment is not allowed, which should be common sense.