China’s New Visa and Residence Permits - 2019

Post Date: 3 Jun 2019

China’s New Visa and Residence Permits - 2019

China’s New Visa and Residence Permits China’s National Immigration Administration has recently announced three new or updated visa documents available to foreigners. This has been done to improve efficiency in issuance and checking of visa applications, and to help prevent counterfeiting.

The three announced documents are:

  1. Foreigner Visa
  2. Group Visa
  3. Residence Permit

The announcement came with the following official statement by National Immigration Administration on May 31st, 2019:

  1. Starting June 1, 2019, the entry-exit administration departments of the national public security organs will start issuing new versions of visas for foreigners. New versions of group visas and residence permits will also be issued. Meanwhile, the current version of visas, special economic zone tourism visas, group visas and residence permits, will be discontinued from being issued. The special economic zone tourism visa will be produced and issued in the new version of a visa.

  2. The new version of foreigner visas, group visas and residence permits are sticker-type certificates designed and manufactured in accordance with the relevant standards of ICAO DOC9303 machine-readable travel document. It adopts a number of physical anti-counterfeiting technologies. Additionally, color photographs of the holder will be printed on the visa and residence permit.

  3. After the new version is released, the application conditions, channels, examination, approval procedures, standards, fees, and inspection requirements will remain unchanged. 4. Previously issued documents (visas, residence permit, etc) can continue to be used, as per usual. The new update does not affect current documents.

Here’s what the new visas and permits will look like:

Foreigner Visa

New work visa for China

Group Visa

New group visa for China

Foreigner Residence Permit

New China residence permit for foreigners


A lot of people have started to seek clarification about what these new visas mean, and how they relate to current visas and future visa applications. Some of the most common questions are covered below:

Q: Do I need to apply for a new visa?

A: No, your visa is still usable up to its expiry date.

Q: How has the application process changed?

A: The application process has not changed. The only difference is in the type of visa that will be granted at the end.

However, visa agencies, which process applications on behalf of foreigners, will need to note the following for work visas:

  • The agency must provide a power of attorney agreement between the hiring company and themselves, with official seals from both parties
  • A service agreement between the hiring company and agency must be produced with official seals from both parties.
  • The hiring company and the agency must both send a representative to the State Administration Office to submit the agency’s information on file.

As long as those three points are met, an agency will be allowed to act on your behalf for a visa application.

Please also note that agencies can only process visa applications if they have a valid HR Service certificate (issued by the Chinese government).

Q: Is the new visa and residence permit safer than the previous versions

A: Yes, the new documents and processes are designed for added security and efficiency in processing and inspection.

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