What is the change? Foreign nationals who hold an electronic passport and a residence permit valid for at least six months are now eligible for self-service entry at Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals who are eligible for the program will save significant time when entering China through Pudong Airport.

  • Implementation time frame: The change took effect Aug. 19.
  • Who is affected:Foreign nationals who hold an electronic passport and a residence permit valid for at least six months. 
  • Business impact: Business travelers are among those who will benefit from the program.
  • Next steps: Upon their first entry into China, eligible foreign nationals will be required to submit fingerprints and a facial image. On subsequent trips, they will be able to proceed directly through self-service entry channels, avoiding lines and saving time.

Background: Self-service entry was previously only available to flight crews with permanent residence in China. Officials hope that eligible travelers will use the broadened service to save time entering the country. For the time being, the program is only available at Pudong Airport, Shanghai’s main airport for international flights.

BAL Analysis: Travelers who are eligible will not have to wait in line to have their passports and residence permits inspected manually.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in China. For additional information, please contact

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact

Follow us on Twitter: @BAL_Immigration

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from seven offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP