What is the change? A proposal has been submitted to the National People’s Congress to establish a new immigration bureau to manage immigration, border control, foreign residency, international migration agreements, entry and exit, and other matters concerning legal and illegal immigration.

What does the change mean? The bureau is intended to centralize immigration policy in light of the increasing number of foreign visitors and expatriate residents in China and is intended to promote policies to attract high-skilled foreign talent. The plan is expected to be approved this week.

The new bureau will be responsible for the following:

  • Drafting and implementing immigration policy.
  • Entry-exit and border inspections.
  • Managing foreign residence and permanent residence.
  • Coordinating management of the “three illegal” category (illegal entry, illegal residence, illegal work) and repatriation of undocumented immigrants.
  • Entry-exit of Chinese nationals.
  • Managing citizenship and naturalization.
  • Working on international cooperation agreements.

BAL Analysis: The introduction of a centralized immigration bureau signals that the central government will take a leading role in setting policy, specifically to target certain foreign skills that are in demand, although provincial authorities will likely implement their own individual procedures.

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

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