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Editor's note: A new regulation on exit and entry management for foreigners took effect on Sept 1. China Daily reporter Zhang Yan talks with Zheng Baigang, head of the Bureau of Exit and Entry Administration under the Ministry of Public Security, about key points of the regulation.
Q: The Exit and Entry Administration Law took effect on July 1 and its matched regulation took effect on Sept 1. What do you think about the introduction of the new law and the regulation?
A: The regulation details the clauses about entry and exit control of foreigners. It facilitates the implementation of the law and makes the management of exit and entry of foreigners more standard.
What are the changes in the new regulation?
First, the varieties of visas and residence permits are diversified to keep pace with the times.
Apart from the eight kinds of visas granted before, four new varieties have been added: an R visa for professionals, M visa (extracted from the existing F visa) for business and trade, Q visa (extracted from the existing L visa) for relatives and S visa (also extracted from the existing L visa) for personal affairs.
Residence permits of foreigners are now divided into five varieties — for work, study, press, reunions and personal affairs — according to their reasons for staying in China.
Secondly, the new regulation includes some measures to bring foreigners greater convenience.
The regulation says foreigners can apply to change the type of their visa after entering China if they are entitled to change their reason of stay according to the laws.
Third, the regulation further standardizes and improves the administration of entries and exits.
While the rights and obligations of foreigners in China and the units who invite and receive them are made more specific, the conditions, procedures and time limits for applying for extensions, changes, reissues of visas and short-term residence permits are also explicitly stipulated.
What are the details of the convenience the entry and exit police should offer to foreigners according to the new regulation?
First, the new regulation stipulates that foreigners who need to enter China urgently for humane reasons, who are invited to enter China for urgent business affairs, to construct emergency repairs or other urgent needs can apply for port visas.
Second, the new regulation expands the 24-hour transit-without-visa policy from airports to include land borders and seaports. The State Council is authorized in approving an over-24-hour transit-without-visa policy for certain areas. At present, foreigners already enjoy 72-hour transits without visas in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
Third, the regulation makes it clear that those who need to extend the time limit prescribed in their visa can apply to the local entry and exit police agency seven days before the time limit.
Fourth, foreign professionals or investors meeting certain requirements, or those who need to change from a temporary stay for humane reasons, can apply for residence permits.
Fifth, foreign professionals with special expertise urgently needed in China or those younger than 16 or older than 60 with mobility problems can apply for stay permits via the units or people who invite them, their relatives or special service organizations.
Sixth, those who lose their passports or international travel documents that cannot be reissued by their mother countries in China can apply to the local entry and exit administration to exit China.