April Fools Day prank scares expat talent in China

Published:  3 Apr at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Reports of scary changes to China’s visa rules were just an April Fools Day prank, but social media responses illustrate the insecurity of being an expat nowadays.

China is one of a numbeChina, expats in China, April Fools Day prank, changes to Chinese visa requirement, WeChat, New Immigration Requirements, racial prejudice, PDF, thinly-disguised prejudice, visa policies, r of countries whose governments have recognised the value of expat professionals to the economy and are actively encouraging interest from entrepreneurs, especially those in the tech sector. However, the Communist country’s former reputation as a closed society with no human rights might be one reason why a report detailing sudden changes in its visa policies posted on WeChat groups was taken seriously by many. The date of posting was April 1, a point missed by many subsequently embarrassed posters.

To be fair, China has changed its visas policies a number of times in the past decade or so, but the illogicality of a sudden u-turn at a time when increasing help and support is being given to talented new expat arrivals didn’t hit home for at least several hours. Issued as a PDF – another cause for disbelief spurred by common sense - the report stated all expats must attend ‘mandatory cultural and language classes’, marriage visas will require a ‘social media review’ and education visas will be conditional on weekly tests and in-person visits to immigration offices. Even more bizarre requirements followed, alerting the majority to the April Fools’ Day prank, but one over-enthusiastic news aggregator dumped the entire issue onto WeChat with the title ‘ New Immigration Requirements’.

In spite of the indisputable fact that China’s acceptance of Western talent is growing along with the increase in expat arrivals, the panic caused by the prank is also indicative of increasing insecurity amongst would-be expats heading to Asia in general. Political instability seems to be translating itself into undisguised or thinly-disguised prejudice against incomers in many Southeast Asian countries, with black expats being especially targeted for arrest and deportation, without good reason in the majority of cases. At present, China is definitely not changing its expat visa requirements for the worse, in spite of the trend in the USA and UK to regard immigration as a major threat to nationalist sentiment whilst totally ignoring its benefits.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive