New visa policies for foreigners now in effect — what you need to know     09/04/2013 09:32

Some of the biggest changes to China’s visa policy since the 1980s came into effect on Sunday, September 1.  The idea behind the changes is apparently to provide more flexibility for foreigners, which is why the number of visa categories has increased from eight to 12.

Furthermore, Shenzhen Daily notes that when China last updated the immigration rules in 1986, there wasn’t much consideration that foreigners would move to China and stay forever, let alone bring family along with them.  But times have changed.

By the end of 2011, 4,752 foreigners were granted permanent residency in China. This is a minuscule number compared with other countries — and even Hong Kong — yet shows that some laowai really are staying for the longest of hauls.  Meanwhile, the number of foreigners entering or leaving China topped 54 million last year, the Shenzhen Daily said. With this kind of traffic, the old visa rules just weren’t cutting it.

China Briefing has a good outline of the changes.  Among them, three new types of visas are being introduced:

The R Visa — For highly-skilled and in-demand senior executives and high-level talents
The Q Visa — For overseas Chinese returning for family reunion purposes
The S Visa — For the families of foreigners who wish to come to China for family reunion purposes.

Below is a list of the other visa categories, from China Briefing: 

C Visa
Applicable to train attendants, air crew members and seamen operating international services, and to their accompanying family members 

D Visa
Applicable to foreigners who are to reside permanently in China 

F Visa
Applicable to foreigners who come to China for exchanges, visits and inspections 

G Visa
Applicable to foreigners who transit through China 

来源:The Nanfang     Editor:谭晶