What is the change? The Shanghai Labor Bureau is requiring foreign employees who hold multiyear work permits to file their annual work permit inspection applications on time or their work permit will automatically be canceled.

What does the change mean? Foreign employees who fail to file the inspection application within three months after the annual inspection date will face automatic cancellation. The annual inspection date is the anniversary of the date the work permit was issued.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
  • Who is affected: Foreign employees in Shanghai holding multiple-year work permits.
  • Next steps: Foreign employees are advised to file their inspection application within the normal filing period to avoid risk of cancellation of their work permit. The normal filing period is the 90-day period before the annual inspection date.

Background: Employees who are issued multi-year work permits must file an inspection application every year, and should do so by the anniversary of the work permit issuance date (“annual inspection date”). The Shanghai Labor Bureau has now clarified that if a foreign employee has not filed within three months after that date, the work permit will automatically be invalidated.

BAL Analysis: To avoid having their work permit canceled, foreign employees in Shanghai should make sure to file for annual work permit inspections on time every year. Employees who fail to file on time will need to reapply for a new work permit in order to work legally in the country.

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

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