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Should the employer pay social insurance contributions for foreign employees?

Updated: 2019-06-20

In order to protect the legal rights and interests of foreigners employed in China to enroll in social insurance and enjoy social insurance benefits according to law, the provisions of Article 97 of the Social Insurance Law of the People's Republic of China stipulate that foreign nationals who are employed in the Chinese territory shall enroll in the social insurance system in accordance with this law. This provision is in line with relevant international conventions and is also conducive to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of foreign workers. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People's Republic of China has formulated the Interim Measures for Social Insurance System Coverage of Foreigners Working within the Territory of China. According to the provision of Article 2 of the Measures, a foreigner working within the territory of China refers to a non-Chinese national who is in possession of an employment permit, such as an Employment Permit for Foreigners, a Foreign Expert Certificate, or a Resident Foreign Correspondent's Press Card, and a Permanent Residence Permit of Foreigners, and is lawfully working within the territory of the People's Republic of China. Article 3 stipulates that foreigners lawfully recruited and employed by enterprises, public institutions, social organizations, privately-run non-enterprise entities, foundations, law firms, accounting firms and other organizations duly registered within the territory of China (hereinafter referred to as the "employers") shall participate in basic old-age insurance for employees, basic medical insurance for employees, work injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity insurance in accordance with the law, with the employers and the persons in question paying social insurance contributions as prescribed.