On Tuesday 16 March, the National People’s Congress in Beijing presented a plan to consolidate and streamline China’s immigration oversight. According to reporting by South China Morning Post, the plan’s goal is to, in part, attract more foreign talent by streamlining their immigration process.
In many minds, the news stirs the utopian hopes of an immigration process less hamstrung by red tape spaghetti and multiple visits to swampy wait rooms, but let’s not let our hopes and dreams get the best of us.
The proposal combines the Exit and Entry Administration with the China Immigration Administration into the new State Immigration Administration, all under the Ministry of Public Security umbrella. The State Immigration Administration will handle exit and entry services for Chinese nationals as well as visa-related issues for foreigners living and working in the country.
The merger should increase communication and rules consistency across offices while decreasing the general feeling that you’re passing through the gnashing, Kafkaesque cogs of a youth-draining Rube Goldberg machine.
But don’t get your hopes up for a one-stop shop quite yet. The proposal also mentions that the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, which handles foreigner employment, will fall under the Ministry of Science and Technology umbrella, rather than under the Ministry of Public Security’s State Immigration Administration. Still, with this proposal, we can expect the whole process to look less like this scene from Jupiter Ascending:
The proposal is due for a vote on Saturday, which visa agents and HR employees will be watching with bated breath as their lives spent heroically plodding through government bureaucracy for some unqualified English teachers (or magazine editors) flash before their e