China visas: a tightening of rules?



I went to a travel agency in Ipoh, arranged for them to get my application done, and within a week, got everything back. Total cost: RM90.

It looks as if this will not be possible from next year.


China Daily Mail

News and Opinions From Inside China

China’s new visa laws target expats

On July 1st 2013, China introduced new visa laws for foreigners, supposedly targeting illegal workers, but in reality targeting all expats in China (read the laws here).

Mostly it seems about being able to control and punish foreigners more, which is to be expected to deflect from the crashing economy. They will also be able to impose more severe financial penalties, which will probably become increasingly common.

The first of the laws are increases in fines and jail time for unauthorised work and overstays on visas. They are quite precise about what the penalties are, and how they will be imposed.

The laws also seem to be a little fairer, in that they allow the expat to decide whether to leave willingly, or risk deportation. That would seem to save the Chinese courts a lot of time and money getting rid of undesirables. But things aren’t always what they seem.

The laws go on to say that  expats cannot leave if they owe employers money, or if any civil action is pending…

The hardest hit could be the expat English Teacher. The standard clause in contracts between schools and teachers is that a breach penalty of 3-10 months salary must be paid by whichever party breaches the contract causing termination.

Schools can now claim that the teacher breached the contract, and demand 10 months salary as compensation. In the past, teachers could just pack up and go home, but the new law means they have to stay until matter is resolved. The choice is to pay the money, or go to court to dispute the amount.

The court decision can be delayed indefinitely, during which time the teacher is not allowed to work. The only real recourse is to pay the money to the school.

As if that isn’t enough, the school can also report it’s own teacher as being an illegal worker, a requirement under the law. It is not clear if the school would be liable for any penalty in this case, but they could simply state they had been duped by the foreigner, and were acting to rectify their honest mistake.

So what effect does that have on the teacher? Under the new laws, the teacher can be detained for 30 days, 60 days or even longer on suspicion of being any criminal act that the school might accuse the teacher of. That means two months detention without the charge being proven, and even longer if it is deemed to be a “complicated” matter. It is not beyond the realms of possibility for schools to make unfounded charges against teachers who don’t submit to unreasonable demands.

There will also be stricter restrictions on where foreigners can live or travel, and where foreign businesses can be established.

Overall, the new visa laws seem very intrusive, and open to abuse from those that would seek to gain unethical and unfair financial advantage over foreign workers.

The official Chinese report of the new visa laws can be read here

Editor’s Note: We have had reports that the illegal China Foreign Teacher’s Union is again trying to scam unsuspecting expats, Chinese schools and agents using the new visa laws. Please read our report about this organisation at China Foreign Teachers Union is just another scam

Also Read: China targets foreigners through expat websites


Wednesday August 14, 2013 MYT 7:16:22 AM

New rules for obtaining visa to visit China

GEORGE TOWN: Those wishing to apply for a visa to visit China will have to present themselves at the Chinese Embassy from next year, reported Sin Chew Daily.

According to its report, they will be required to provide biometric data, such as fingerprints and photographs, as part of their application process.

However, a spokesman at the embassy in Kuala Lumpur said that it was still working on the technical aspects of such a requirement, adding that no date had been fixed for its implementation.

Malaysian Insider

Side Views

China’s new visa measures a cause for concern – Lim Mun Fah

August 18, 2013
Latest Update: August 18, 2013 05:56 pm

China is going to implement new visa measures starting from 2014, that includes requiring visa applicants to provide fingerprints scans and photographs before they can enter the country.

Although China is not the first country to implement such measures, the announcement has raised many concerns in Malaysia, especially among those with Chinese ancestry.

The main difference between the old and new visa application procedure, is that now applicants have to provide fingerprint scans. Malaysian media recently reported that besides going to the Chinese embassy’s visa application service centre in Kuala Lumpur, travel agencies have also been authorised to collect fingerprint scans.

This would make applying for a visa a lot more convenient for those living outside Kuala Lumpur.

However, many are still confused over the “ordinary visa categories and requirements”. For instance, is it now a requirement for those applying for the Q-visa to show a letter of invitation written by relatives in China?

The Q-visa is for relatives of Chinese nationals and permanent residents who wish to enter the country for short visits or to attend family reunions.

I believe that many Malaysians are concerned over this matter, as they have relatives in China who they want to visit regularly.

Showing a letter as proof of invitation used to be a requirement for visa application in the past, but this was later abolished. Would not re-implementing this measure be a step backwards for China?

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

I believe that China’s tightening of rules to Malaysian visitors is simply a “diplomatic response” to our long-time harassment attitude towards their nationals. Therefore, it is high time that the ministry and Immigration Department wake up and stop the bias. Either treat all visitors equally bad or just buck up and welcome visitors equally. – August 18, 2013.

Malaysian Insider

Our Immigration’s bias toward Chinese nationals – Leong Chee Peng

August 18, 2013
Latest Update: August 18, 2013 01:13 pm

I am writing in response to Lim Mun Fah’s “China’s new visa measures a cause for concern” published today.

I am sure many Malaysians share the writer’s concern. But, before we point our fingers at China, we irrevocably should look at our own front yard.

Let’s put in perspective about what Chinese visitors (tourists, family members and business community) go through before they enter Malaysian soil. I enter KLIA and LCCT regularly and constantly observe behind Immigration counters at the arrival area.

First, the usual visa applications and approval processes by our embassies in China…

BUT, in the case of Chinese nationals, our Immigration Department appears to be intensely critical and biased. The first question asked to the visitor is “Return ticket, show!”. The exclamation mark is clearly emphasised by each officer to every Chinese visitor.

How would the recipient of this “greeting” feel? How would you feel if China’s Immigration officer says this to you, a Malaysian? How would I feel? I believe most, if not all of us will certainly feel unwelcome.

The visitor is only able to show a piece of A4 paper with ticket booking. It is not a verifiable proof of authentic air ticket. Thus, the inspection /entry criteria is flawed and completely pointless, useless, plain stupid.

Strangely, this “rude greeting” is only applied towards Chinese visitors, regardless of gender. Our Immigration Department takes orders from ministry. There used to be a bias that China women arrive and overstay, some abuse their social visit visas and engage in illegal activities.

Now let us take an economic look. Chinese visitors ranked as one of the highest contributors to the our tourism industry. Whether in terms of shopping, accommodation, food, transport, entertainment, they are a spending force indeed.

Already several airports in Thailand have put up signboards in English, Chinese, Russian, German, Japanese to welcome tourists. Thailand, a single race country has embraced the global community. Malaysia, as a multi-racial country, shall we improve and be better?

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.


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2 Responses to China visas: a tightening of rules?

  1. Pingback: Visiting China, the land of my ancestors… | weehingthong

  2. sextreffs says:

    A fascinating disfussion is worth comment.
    I believe that you should write more on this issue,
    it might not be a taboo matter but typically folks don’t
    speak about such subjects. To the next! Best wishes!!

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