How can foreigners cancel their work permits after leaving a Chinese company?

The general process for foreigners to cancel their work permits after leaving a Chinese company is as follows:

1. Employers applying for cancellation: If an employer and an employee terminate their employment relationship due to legal reasons or through mutual agreement, the employer shall apply for cancellation to the decision-making body within 10 working days from the date of the occurrence of the reasons.

2. Online application: Employers log in to the “Foreigner Work Management Service System”, submit application information online, and provide relevant electronic materials. The required materials usually include:
-Application Form for Foreigner’s Work Permit Cancellation in China (signed by the individual and stamped with the employer’s official seal);
-Original proof materials related to the termination of employment relationship, contract or other reasons for cancellation. If the employment relationship is terminated or the contract is terminated, both parties need to sign and stamp. If the applicant resigns on their own or the employer cannot contact the applicant, the employer should provide a supplementary explanation of the cancellation situation;
-Applicant’s passport front page (original scanned copy);
-Valid residence permit (original scanned copy);
-Foreigner Work Permit and Decision Letter (original scanned copy).

3. Online pre examination: The accepting institution shall conduct a pre examination of the materials submitted online within 5 working days (excluding the day of submission). If the materials are incomplete or the content is not standardized, the accepting institution shall inform online at once that the materials need to be supplemented and corrected; If the materials are complete and the content is standardized, the online pre review will be approved.

4. Acceptance, Review, and Decision: If the application for cancellation is submitted for verification and the materials are complete, correct, and meet the conditions and standards, and there are no special circumstances, it will be processed on the spot.

If the employer is terminated in special circumstances, the applicant may apply to the decision-making body for the cancellation of the work permit. At this time, the applicant can submit the “Application Form for Cancellation of Foreigner’s Work Permit in China” without affixing the official seal of the unit, but must provide relevant proof materials that the employer has lawfully terminated and cannot apply for cancellation of the permit, an explanation of the applicant’s situation regarding the cancellation of the permit, and the “Foreigner’s Work Permit”.

In addition, there are two cancellation scenarios:
-Automatic cancellation: If the validity period of a foreigner’s work permit in China expires but is not renewed, it will be automatically cancelled.
-Statutory cancellation: If the permit is revoked or revoked in accordance with the law, it shall be cancelled by the statutory institution.
After the cancellation of the work permit, foreign employees should promptly handle the cancellation procedures of their residence permit or take other corresponding measures according to their own situation, in order to avoid unnecessary legal responsibilities or affecting their subsequent activities in China. The specific regulations are as follows:
-If a foreigner does not continue to work in China, after completing the work permit cancellation procedures, they should continue to cancel their residence permit and obtain a 30 day stay visa upon entry and exit. At this time, other units cannot be changed and it is necessary to leave China before the check-in period. All relationships with the original unit will be automatically terminated upon the cancellation of the residence permit.
-After canceling the work permit, for the sake of friendly negotiation, the company can set a deadline for foreigners to handle the change procedures.
-After the cancellation of the work permit, if a foreigner has a need to change their employer, they can negotiate with the previous company in a friendly manner and temporarily do not cancel the residence permit. During the validity period of the work residence permit, they can transfer to the same position.

After completing the transfer, they can reapply for the work permit and work residence permit.

The required materials for the cancellation of residence permit are as follows:
1. Application form for foreign visa documents;
2. Accommodation registration form (original);
3. Passport (original and copy of information page, visa page, and entry seal page);
4. Certificate of cancellation of foreigner’s work permit (copy, original to be checked);
5. Foreigner Residence Permit Application Report (provided by the International Office).

It should be noted that if the original work visa is not cancelled on time or a new work visa is not processed in a timely manner after the expiration of the stay visa, one will become a “three non” person in China (illegal residence, illegal employment, illegal entry) and face consequences such as dishonesty, administrative penalties, and repatriation, which will seriously affect the subsequent application for entry and exit documents.

If you have any questions about the specific process or required materials, you can consult GEI.

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