China announced on Thursday measures to make it easier for people to enter and leave the country to support epidemic control work and the resumption of work and production.
Foreigners in China for innovation, entrepreneurship and scientific research during the epidemic will have their visa and residence permits automatically extended for two months if their certificates expire during the period. No extension procedure is required, and they can legally stay in China or leave the country during the extended period, according to the National Immigration Administration.
Foreigners who need to come to China for urgent reasons such as investment, a business start-up or trade can apply at their port of entry for a visa or temporary entry permit with invitation letters.
For people involved in medical aid, drug research and development, academic exchanges or other anti-epidemic work, 24-hour, urgent certification service will be provided, according to the administration.
The duration of foreign anti-epidemic workers' residence permits will depend on their work. Applications for Chinese permanent residence will be prioritized for those who have made important contributions to anti-epidemic work.
Full-time exit and entry services have been provided to speed movement of anti-epidemic materials, international import and export commodities and fresh agricultural products, the administration said.
The administration said these measures are to support the resumption of work and production and promote the employment, foreign investment and trade.
Differentiated services will be offered according to the local epidemic situation. Immigration authorities will immediately resume counter service in low-risk areas, gradually resume counter service in mediumrisk areas and offer emergency reservation services to accept and approve applications for urgent cases in highrisk areas.
Both Chinese and foreigners can access online applications. Mainland residents can submit applications for entry and exit documents online, while foreigners can submit applications for visas, residence certificates or permanent residence. Those who need online services should consult with local immigration authorities.