As reported in our most recent Flash Survey, global travel disruptions remain the top concern for American companies in China, with 90% of respondents stating such disruptions have impacted their business operations. Included in these travel disruptions is the continued inability for many member company executives to return to China, owing to the still-in-place travel ban.
To address this ongoing issue, AmCham China has been working closely with MOFA, MOFCOM, NDRC, MOF, CCPIT, and the Beijing government, as outlined below, to report the challenges faced by member companies and advocate for a solution to return member executives to China.
In addition, we have been in continuous and ongoing communication with the US Embassy and other foreign chambers of commerce, to exchange information and explore possibilities for cooperation.
Timeline of Key Advocacy Efforts in Returning Members
Currently, there are clear processes for companies to submit applications at the local level to request approval for individual returns. However, there are still no corresponding official implementation documents issued by the Chinese government to grant such approval.
The required materials vary at the local, and even district level, with applications being reviewed and granted on a case-by-case basis, and final decisions being made at the local level. To date, there have been few successful cases, especially in Beijing and Shanghai. According to different sources, restrictions may be eased slightly after Lianghui, with Beijing now taking steps to accept applications gradually.
This week, AmCham China circulated an important notice to members regarding the processing of members’ applications for expats seeking to return to Beijing, which emphasized that this step is but one of many that companies will need to take in order to obtain an invitation letter to support visa reapplications.
AmCham China is continuing to advocate to all levels of government on this issue and will continue to collect information on behalf of our members to help inform our advocacy messages and better support those looking to return.