China has issued a series of new directives aimed at clamping down on foreign workers.
Under new regulations, foreign employees must obtain a work permit and residence certificate before they are allowed to work in mainland China. Foreigners will be fined up to CNY20,000 (US$3,200) if they are found working illegally in the country, can be detained for up to 15 days and, in serious cases, deported. Employers meanwhile, will be fined a maximum of CNY100,000 if they are found to employ foreign workers illegally.
Foreign students will also be banned from working in the country without official authorisation.
“The number of foreigners entering China has been increasing by 10% annually since 2000. Their identities and goals are more diverse than ever, and their activities are wide-ranging and complicated,” Xinhua quoted Yang Huanning, China’s vice minister of public security as saying.
The new rules will also see increased collection of biometric data at airports. Officials said the process of collecting fingerprints was “common practice elsewhere”, and would help “improve efficiency” of people entering and exiting the country.
Meanwhile, China has also introduced a new visa aimed at attracting high-calibre talent to the country. The so-called ‘Talent Introduction Visa’ will offer multiple-entry visas to highly-skilled individuals, and could even offer permanent residence to those who make “outstanding contributions” to China.
The number of visitor arrivals to China has fallen in recent months and years. Last year, 54.35 million foreigners entered mainland China, down 1.5% compared to 2011. And the figure has fallen a further 4.1% in the first five months of 2013.