Guangdong tightens grip on “foreigner management”

Our good friends over at China Briefing have filed a story in the Shenzhen Standard noting that Guangdong is going to be taking a more active approach when it comes to managing foreign “talents” in the province.

We told you earlier that people in Guangdong are being encouraged to report any foreigners suspected of suspicious activity, such as overstaying their visa, working without a proper visa, or not registering their living arrangements with the local branch of the Public Security Bureau.  This is actually all part of a new administrative measures titled “Tentative Provisions of Guangdong Province on Foreigner Administration and Services (Government of Guangdong Province No.155)”.  That’s bureaucratese for “we’re going to be keeping a much closer eye on the laowai”.

Aside from making sure foreigners are obeying the rules, there will be stricter provisions about what jobs foreigners can and should be holding:

With regard to requirements on the hiring of foreigners, the Tentative Provisions provide that an employer should employ foreigners for positions which have special requirements, for which no appropriate candidate is available in China for the time being, and which does not violate the relevant provisions of the State. They also provide that a catalog of professions for foreigners working in Guangdong will be issued, dividing professions into those in which the hiring of foreigners are encouraged and those which are restricted. Employers are encouraged to employ high-level foreign talent.

In all likelihood, this won’t change much.  Most foreigners working in China are already doing jobs that require “special skills”, such as being a native English-speaker (teacher, editor, radio announcer, voiceover artist, actor) or somebody with special skills learned abroad (executive, manager, quality control, etc).  But what it does signify is that slowly but surely, foreigners will see an increasing level of scrutiny from provincial-level officials.


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