China’s top legislature on Saturday passed a new exit and entry law that stipulates harsher punishments for foreigners who illegally enter, live or work in China.
After three readings, the draft law was adopted at the five-day bimonthly session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee that closes Saturday.
The law says foreigners must obtain valid identification documents when working in China, adding that foreigners may not be employed without valid employment certificates.
According to the law, employers will be fined 10,000 yuan (1,574 U.S. dollars) for every foreigner they illegally employ up to a maximum of 100,000 yuan. Any monetary gain resulting from such employment will also be confiscated.
Units or personnel employing foreigners or enrolling foreign students should report employment information to local police departments, while citizens are encouraged to “report clues” regarding foreigners who may be illegally living or working in China.
“The number of foreigners entering China has been increasing by 10 percent annually since 2000. Their identities and goals are more diverse than ever, and their activities are wide-ranging and complicated,” said Yang Huanning, vice minister of Public Security.
Yang said the number of foreigners employed in China jumped from 74,000 in 2000 to 220,000 by the end of 2011, with many working as employees of foreign companies, teachers or representatives of foreign organizations.