Law of the People’s Republic of China on Entry and Exit of Aliens
(Adopted by the Standing Committee of the Sixth National People’s Congress at its Thirteenth Session on 22 November 1985)
Chapter I General Provisions
Article 1 The present Law is enacted for the purpose of safeguarding the sovereignty and maintaining the security and public order of the People’s Republic of China and facilitating international exchanges.
The present Law shall apply to aliens entering, leaving or passing through the territory of the People’s Republic of China and to aliens residing or traveling in China.
Article 2 Permission must be obtained from the competent authorities of the Chinese Government by aliens for their entry, transit and residence in China.
Article 3 For entry, exit and transit, aliens shall pass through the ports open to aliens or other designated ports and shall be subject to inspection at frontier inspection offices.
For entry, exit and transit, aliens’ means of transport shall pass through the ports open to aliens or other designated ports and shall be subject to inspection and supervision at border checkposts.
Article 4 The Chinese Government protects the legitimate rights and interests of aliens within Chinese territory.
The personal freedom of aliens shall be inviolable. Aliens shall not be liable to arrest unless a warrant or decision is made by a people’s procuratorate or a decision is made by a people’s court and such a warrant or decision is executed by a public security organ or state security organ.
Article 5 Aliens in China shall abide by Chinese laws and shall not endanger the national security of China, harm its public interests or disturb its public order.
Chapter II Entry
Article 6 For entry into China, aliens shall apply for visas to the Chinese diplomatic missions or consular posts or other agencies abroad authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the P.R.C. In specific situations and in compliance with the stipulations of the State Council, aliens may also apply for visas at visa offices at the ports designated by the competent authorities of the Chinese Government.
The entry of nationals from countries having visa agreements with the Chinese Government shall be handled in accordance with the said agreements.
In cases where a country has special regulations regarding the entry and transit of Chinese citizens, the competent authorities of the Chinese Government may take corresponding measures contingent on the circumstances.
Visas are not required for aliens in immediate transit on connected international flights who hold passenger tickets and stay for no more than 24 hours within the airport in China. Permission must be obtained from the frontier inspection office for aliens desiring to leave the airport temporarily.
Article 7 In applying for various kinds of visas, aliens shall present valid passports and, if necessary, provide pertinent certificates.
Article 8 Aliens invited or employed to work in China shall, in applying for visas, produce evidence of the invitation or employment.
Article 9 Aliens wishing to reside in China permanently shall, in applying for visas, present status-of-residence forms, which may be obtained upon application from the public security organs at the intended places of residence.
Article 10 The competent authorities of the Chinese Government shall issue appropriate visas to aliens wishing to enter China according to the purposes in their entry applications.
Article 11 When an aircraft or a vessel operating international services arrives at a Chinese port, the captain or his agent must submit a passenger list to the frontier inspection office, and a foreign aircraft or vessel must provide a list of its crew members as well.
Article 12 An alien considered a possible threat to China’s national security and public order shall not be permitted to enter China.
Chapter III Residence
Article 13 For residence in China, aliens must possess identification papers or residence certificates issued by the competent authorities of the Chinese Government.
The term of validity of an identification paper or residence certificate shall be determined acording to the purpose of entry.
Aliens residing in China shall submit their certificates for examination to the local public security organs within the prescribed period of time.
Article 14 Aliens who, in compliance with Chinese laws, wish to have prolonged residence in China for the purpose of investing in China or engaging in cooperative projects with Chinese enterprises or institutions in the economic, scientific-technological and cultural fields or for other purposes may be granted the status of prelonged or permanent residence upon approval by the competent authorities of the Chinese Government.
Article 15 Aliens who seek asylum for political reasons shall be permitted to reside in China upon approval by the competent authorities of the Chinese Government.
Article 16 Aliens who fail to abide by Chinese law may have their period of stay in China curtailed or their status of residence in China annulled by the competent authorities of the Chinese Government.
Article 17 Aliens wishing to make temporary overnight stay in China shall complete registration procedures pursuant to the relevant provisions.
Article 18 Aliens holding residence certificates who wish to change places of residence in China shall complete removal formalities pursuant to the relevant provisions.
Article 19 Aliens who have not acquired residence certificates or are on a study programme in China shall not seek employment in China without permission of the competent authorities of the Chinese Government.
Chapter IV Travel
Article 20 Aliens who hold valid visas or residence certificates may travel to places declared open to aliens as designated by the Chinese Government.
Article 21 Aliens wishing to travel to places not open to aliens shall apply to the local public security organs for travel permits.
Chapter V Exit
Article 22 For exit from China, aliens shall present their valid passports or any other valid certificates.
Article 23 Aliens shall not be allowed to leave China if they come under any of the following categories:
(1) a defendant in a criminal procedure or a criminal suspect confirmed by a public security organ or people’s procuratorate or people’s court;
(2) a person notified by a people’s court to be denied exit for an unsettled civil procedure;
(3) a person who has committed other acts in violation of Chinese law and who has not been dealt with and against whom the competent authorities consider it necessary to institute prosecution.
Article 24 Frontier inspection offices have the power to withhold exit of aliens coming under any of the following categories and to subject them to rules of the law:
(1) a holder of invalid exit certificate;
(2) a holder of an exit certificate other than his own;
(3) a holder of a forged or altered exit certificate.
Chapter VI Administrative Organs
Article 25 China’s diplomatic missions, consular posts and other agencies abroad authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are the agencies of the Chinese Government abroad to handle aliens’ applications for entry and transit.
The Ministry of Public Security, its authorized local public security organs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its authorized local foreign affairs offices are the agencies of the Chinese Government at home to handle aliens’ applications for entry, transit, residence and travel.
Article 26 The authorities handling aliens’ applications for entry, transit, residence and travel have the power to refuse to issue visas and certificates or to cancel or annul visas and certificates already issued.
The Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs may, if necessary, alter decisions made by their respectively authorized organs.
Article 27 An alien illegally entering or residing in China may be detained for investigation or subjected to residence surveillance or deportation by public security organs at and above county level.
Article 28 Police in charge of aliens’ affairs in the public security organs at and above county level, have, in performing their duties, the power to examine aliens’ passports and other certificates. When conducting such examinations, the said police shall produce their own service cards, and the organizations or individuals concerned are obliged to assist.
Chapter VII Penalties
Article 29 If a person, in violation of the provisions of this Law, enters or leaves China illegally, establishes illegal residence or makes an illegal stopover in China, travels to places closed to aliens without a valid travel document, forges or alters an entry or exit certificate, uses another person's certificate as his own or transfers his certificate, he may be penalized by a public security organ at or above the county level with a warning, a fine or detention for not more than ten days. If the circumstances of the case are serious enough to constitute a crime, criminal responsibility shall be investigated in accordance with the law. If an alien subject to a fine or detention by a public security organ refuses to accept the penalty, he may, within 15 days of receiving notification, appeal to the public security organ at the next higher level, which shall make the final decision; he may also directly file suit in the local people's court.
Article 30 In cases where a person commits any of the acts stated in Article 29 of this Law, if the circumstances are serious, the Ministry of Public Security may impose a penalty by ordering him to leave the country within a certain time or may expel him from the country.
CHAPTER VIII Ancillary Provisions
Article 31 The term “alien” used in this Law refers to any person not having Chinese nationality under the Nationality Law of the People’s Republic of China.
Article 32 Transitory entry into and exit from China by aliens who are nationals of countries adjacent to China and reside in contiguous areas between the two countries shall be handled pursuant to agreements between the two countries; in absence of such agreement, transitory entry and exit shall be handled in accordance with the relevant stipulations of the Chinese Government.
Article 33 Rules for implementation of the present Law shall be formulated according to the Law by the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and shall come into force after being submitted to and approved by the State Council.
Article 34 Matters concerning the members of foreign diplomatic missions and consular posts in the People’s Republic of China and other aliens who enjoy privileges and immunities, after their entry into China, shall be administrated in accordance with the relevant provisions of the State Council and its competent departments.
Article 35 This Law shall come into force on February 1 1986.