Transfer of residence and work permit to a new employer

Transfer of residence and work permit to a new employer

This article focuses on the different possible scenarios a foreign employee may face when trying to change job in China and what to do if such situation is to occur: transfer of residence and work permit.

1.  Work permit is cancelled but residence permit is not

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This is usually the most common scenario (at least in Shanghai). The employee when deciding to change employer requests a release letter and a work permit cancellation letter from the current employer and submits those documents to the new employer. You will then have 10 days (from the issue date of the release letter) to apply for a new work permit and then the residence permit immediately following.

If you are past the ten days, then technically this is not allowed. For example, if someone quit his job on April 1, 2018, and received the release letter and the work permit cancellation receipt. He is no longer working and is living on his valid residence permit in China. The residence permit expires on June 1, 2018 and he found a job on May 1, 2018.

He may be considered an overstay situation as he did not move to the new company within the ten days deadline and he was staying on a residence permit that is supposed to be tied with a certain company, but he was actually not working in that company.

Note: With regards to the new foreign work permit card, we have heard that it took longer than 15 days for some of the people and with that in the process of cancellation you couldn’t apply within 10 days from the last working day in previous company, we have heard of many cases that it was accepted (with resident permit still valid).

In practice, often times, the new employer can still process the new work permit in this situation. In some cities, it is accepted that even if you missed 10 days’ time line and couldn’t start application, but your resident permit is still valid. With such applications, SAFEA required additional document as PCC (Police Clearance Certificate)/NCR (No Criminal Record)

If the applicant’s work permit and residence permit is still in progress and the ten days is up, then he or she can request a humanitarian visa for up to thirty days to complete the process, but he will have to continue the application from his or her home country or a third country where he holds the residence permit.

 

2. Work permit and residence permit are both cancelled

If both the work and residence permit have been cancelled, then you would need to apply for humanitarian visa (M0 visa) that allows a stay for up to 30 days to start at least the work permit process.

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If within those 30 days, you could not complete the process then you will have to leave China and continue the process with your employer from abroad.

Again, you would need to apply from your home country for the Z-visa.

Additional to this point, we have heard of some cases where with the help of Receipt of FWP application process, one can extend stay up to another 1 month. So if you are in this situation, better visit PSB with your employer and ask for extension.

 

3.   Change of jobs title to a different (higher or lower) position

If you are changing job title from say a teacher to a Business Development Manager, then SAFEA would request that you show at least 2 years of experience in that role in your past work experience otherwise the candidate would be deemed as unqualified and hence the work permit request would be denied. This means if your job title changes you have to show at least two years of experience in that area.

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4.    Change of city/province

This is very city specific, so we would suggest that you consult with the local SAFEA. For example, in the case of transfer to Shanghai from another city in China, as long as the residence permit still valid and only the work permit has been cancelled (case 1 stated above) then you can go the change within China. Other cities may require going back to home country and get a new Z-visa then convert it to local residence permit within 30 days of entering China. In some cities even if the transfer can be done in China, it requires more documents than a renewal (PCC/NCR is generally asked in here).

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5.  Issues with employer (e.g. unwilling to provide release letter or cancel work permit, etc)

This is very common especially in the education sector where the school, out of spite, will refuse to issue a release letter or cancel the work permit.

In this case, you either:

– Have to work out via an intermediate to help resolve the situation (say help the school find a replacement in exchange of getting the papers) so that you can do the change of jobs in China without having to leave.

–   If the school stands by its position then the only way that was reported working was to leave China, go back home country to apply new passport then work with the new employer to get new a work visa. The key point is that a new passport number is issued. With this said, going forward this may not be a solution in the future.

 

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if you need any help with Company Registration, Startup in China or Work Visa. Kudosbay is a Government supported company located in the economic zone of Shanghai, China. 

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