China’s Visa Reform

1309_ChinaOn 1st of September the new Law on the Administration of Exit and Entry of the Peoples Republic of China came into effect forming a unified entry and exit law for Chinese citizens and foreigners. The new law replaced the previous laws which dealt with Chinese and foreigners separately.
The new Law also introduced four new visa categories and reformed some of the existing to be more specific. The major changes are summarized below:

R Visa:

The new Exit and Entry Law introduces the R Visa. In accordance with China’s effort to attract more qualified foreign talent to the country, the R Visa was designed for foreign professionals who are highly skilled or whose skills are urgently required in China.

M Visa:

The M Visa is another one of the four new categories but was previously included in the F Visa which was applicable to foreigners entering China for commercial and non-commercial purposes. The new Law separates the F Visa for non-commercial purposes and specifies the M Visa to be applicable for commercial visits.

L-, Q-, S Visa:

Under the new Law the L Visa is now limited to tourism purpose. The Q Visa applies to overseas Chinese who are visiting relatives in China. The S Visa satisfies the same purpose of the Q Visa but will be issued to relatives of foreign nationals residing in China.
4.Several other visas will be split in two classes which can be distinguished based on the length of stay. Long-term generally refers to stays of more, and short-term for stays less than 180 days.
We have tabularized the new visa regime below: