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Residents of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau will not require work permits when they are hired by enterprises on the Chinese mainland potentially as soon as September 2018

10 August 2018

On 3 August the State Council in China made an announcement to the effect that residents of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau will not be obliged to apply for work permits in order to be employed by enterprises on the Chinese mainland, under a new proposal set to operate from September 2018.

Currently the implementation has not taken place at city level in Beijing and Shanghai and local labour authorities expect that the new policy will come into effect later in the year following a transition period for city-level authorities to implement the arrangement and relevant supervision rules.

Previously enterprises on the mainland had to apply for work permits to employ individuals from the three locations. This involved significant documentary requirements and a fairly arbitrary approach across the autonomous regions of China. The permit also had to be applied for at least every two years.

As a result of the proposal to waive the work permit requirements the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security has been instructed to strengthen its compliance oversight and to formulate new rules around employment services, social security, unemployment registration and labour rights protection for this group of employees.

The State Council notice indicates that the authorities in control of the new policy proposal should publish relevant supervision rules within 20 working days after the notice was announced. Together with the likely transition period we expect to see a more formal notice later in the year, in or after September. We will provide relevant updates.

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