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On 3 August 2018, the PRC State Council announced the Decision of the State Council to Cancel a Group of Administrative Licensing Items (State Council Announcement), under which the requirement of work permits for Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan (HMT) residents who work in Mainland China (PRC) is abolished. This measure is considered a milestone for HMT employees to enjoy Chinese citizens’ benefits in the PRC.
The existing system
Since 2005, the PRC government has implemented the employment pre-approval system, which requires PRC enterprises to register work permits for their HMT staff at the local labour protection administrative authorities. Upon approval of the application for work permits, the employees shall complete the registration of the work permits at the relevant authorities. The validity of the work permits is also subject to annual review. Besides, if an enterprise dismisses HMT staff, it shall apply to the issuing authority for the cancellation of the relevant work permit. The aforementioned procedural requirements are administrative burdens on PRC enterprises who employ HMT personnel.
Implementation of the State Council Announcement
Pursuant to the State Council Announcement, after the abolition of the employment pre-approval system by the PRC State Council, local governments shall announce the ancillary measures within 20 working days after the issuance date (i.e. on or before 30 August) in order to ensure the due implementation of the State Council Announcement. The State Council Announcement does not expressly outline the ancillary measures for the abolition of PRC work permits for HMT personnel. Instead, local governments and relevant authorities may exercise discretion in drawing up the policies and measures applicable in the local context.
After the issuance of the State Council Announcement, the relevant authorities of many provinces and cities have started to put in place various ancillary measures. For example, Beijing and Guangzhou have waived the requirement of PRC work permits for HMT personnel, and Shenzhen and Qingdao no longer accept PRC work permit applications by these personnel.
Impact on PRC enterprises
Notes to human resources personnel
We recommend that human resources personnel should:
If there are new developments on this topic, we will keep you updated.
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