- New Customs and Border Protection App Released
- New Permits Required for Short-Term Work in China
New Customs and Border Protection App Released
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a press release earlier this month announcing the launch of its “Border Wait Time” mobile application to help travelers better plan for crossing the border and to hopefully reduce crossing wait times. Among its features, the app provides estimated wait times and open lane statuses at U.S. land ports of entry. Wait times for pedestrian as well as passenger and commercial vehicle crossings are broken down by lane type (e.g., standard, SENTRI, NEXUS, FAST, Ready Lane, etc.). The app allows users to compare wait times at the ports of entry closest to their location and thus determine the fastest route for crossing.
The app can be downloaded for free from Apple’s App Store and Google Play. The app does not require individuals to register or provide any personal information, nor does it collect or store any personal data.
New Permits Required for Short-Term Work in China
Beginning January 1, 2015, China will implement new procedures requiring foreign nationals entering China for the purpose of performing short-term work to obtain work permits. Previously, foreign nationals with business visitor status were authorized to work in China for up to 90 days without having to obtain a work permit.
Activities Requiring Short-Term Work Permits
Under the new procedures, foreign nationals engaged in the following activities are now required to apply for a work permit:
- Completing specific work for a business partner in China in connection with technology, scientific research, management, or guidance;
- Physical training in a sports institute (applicable to both athletes and coaches);
- Shooting a film (including advertisements and documentaries);
- Participating in a fashion show (including runway and print advertising models);
- Participating in a commercial performance; and
- Other activities as defined by the immigration authority.
Activities Not Requiring Short-Term Work Permits
Under the new procedures, foreign nationals engaged in the following activities for less than 90 days are not required to apply for a work permit:
- Providing maintenance, assembly, dis-assembly, testing, guidance, or training for equipment and machinery purchased;
- Providing guidance, supervision, or inspection of a project;
- Short-term assignment of a subsidiary, branch office, or representative office; and
- Volunteers without pay, or those `paid by overseas organizations.
Procedures to Obtain Work Permits
The procedures for obtaining the short-term work permit are as follows:
- The host entity must obtain an employment license and approval for short-term employment at the local labor bureau and then apply for a Z visa invitation letter.
- The foreign national must then apply for a Z visa to enter China.
- Foreign nationals working more than 30 days will receive a Z visa and a note to apply for a 90-day short-term work permit upon entry.
- Foreign nationals working less than 30 days will receive a Z visa for 30 days with a note stating that they are allowed to work only within the period of time indicated in the approval.
- The new short-term work authorizations are valid for the approved period and cannot be renewed.
Failure to comply with the new procedures could result in penalties for both the foreign worker and Chinese entity, including a fine of up to RMB 20,000, and in severe cases, detention for up to 15 days.