New Rules for Work Permit Extension

As several unrelated Chinese sources recently reported (both the Foreign Affairs Office of the University of Nanjing and the Human Resources and Social Security Bureau of Shantou in Guangdong), new rules for work visa extensions will enter into force on 28 February 2018!

According to the notice, applications for work permits have to be submitted at least 30 days before the official expiry date. If the application for an extension is handed in after this date, the foreigner cannot extend the permit with the same employer but has to file a completely new application, including a new health check, graduate certificate, criminal record, etc.

The regulation refers to a notice published on 7 December 2017 by the Service System for Foreigners Working in China (SAFEA) and the Administrative License Law of the People’s Republic of China, which, in Art. 50, states that the applicant should apply for a license 30 days before the end of its validity.

ECOVIS Beijing’s take

Since many foreigners will leave China during the upcoming Christmas holidays and might even stay outside of China until the end of the Chinese Spring Festival in mid-February, employers and expats should carefully check their work permit. Applications for an extension of the work permit should be filed in time in order to avoid any difficulties. A new application can be extremely time-consuming and costly.

Although the Labor Bureau has usually needed some time to process the application, the strict adherence to the wording of the Administrative License Law is new. As of now, the notice has not been published uniformly and it seems that some regions and cities might still follow different rules. Foreign firms and expats should, therefore, consult their local labor bureaus and check whether this regulation will be applied in their respective location.

What can ECOVIS Beijing do?

ECOVIS Beijing can take of both the extension and new applications for employers and expats who already have a local employment contract. If you need assistance with your application please contact

ECOVIS Beijing is a consultancy focusing on accounting, audit, tax, legal, and FDI advisory. For more information, please visit our website or contact


 Richard2017 150x225   Richard Hoffmann

Richard Hoffmann is a partner at ECOVIS Beijing China. Richard obtained an honors degree in law and worked in Germany, the United States, and China for various prestigious law firms prior to joining ECOVIS. In addition to being a member of the board of ECOVIS International, he is Supervisor for the China business of a respected German company and shares his extensive knowledge to students by teaching commercial law in China at SRH Hochschule Heidelberg. He has published more than fifty articles in international magazines, frequently speaks at high profile events in China and abroad and is often invited as a legal expert by international TV stations. Contact:


Ecovis Beijing is the trusted tax and legal advisor to several embassies and official institutions in China. It specializes in mid-sized international companies and is focused on tax & legal advisory, accounting and auditing. If you’re interested in finding out more about tax and legal, don’t hesitate to sign up for our Newsletter, give us a call +86 (10) 6561 6609 or contact us directly via