BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- China aims to curb illegal entry, stay and employment of foreigners, which has developed into a "prominent problem" in the world's second largest economy.
The State Council, or the Cabinet, submitted Monday a draft law on exit and entry administration to the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, the top legislature of the country, for its first reading.
The existing law on exit and entry administration, established 26 years ago when China was far from "the world workshop," barely mentioned illegal employment of foreigners in China.
A foreigner shall get work permits and residence certificates for employment before getting employed, according to the draft law.
Foreigners who work illegally in China will be fined between 5,000 yuan (792 U.S. dollars) and 20,000 yuan, and may be detained 5-15 days for serious violations.
Those who illegally provide job placement services for foreigners or illegally employ foreigners would be also fined.
"We shall put forth efforts on regularizing foreigners who are working in China, do better in visa issuing, and strengthen residential management of foreigners," said Yang Huanning, deputy minister of Public Security.
As a populous country, China would like to introduce more high-end professionals and limit the inflow of low-end workers, Yang said.
If a foreigner holds a visa allowing a maximum stay of 180 days, he will not need to apply for a residence certificate. If the visa allows a stay longer than 180 days and indicates that a residence certificate is needed, he must apply for it within 30 days after entering the country.
According to the draft law, the period of validity of a residence certificate will vary from 180 days to five years.
During their stay in China, foreigners should carry valid identity documents and submit to police inspection, according to the draft law.
The draft law also stipulates that a foreigner can apply for a permanent residence certificate to the police if the individual makes a significant contribution to China's economic and social development, or meets relevant requirements of permanent residence.
According to the draft law, foreigners who apply to stay in China as refugees will be granted a temporary-stay permit during the investigation and receive a refugee identity document for living in China after his application is approved.
An article about the collection of biological information for the use of border control is in the draft law. It grants police and the Foreign Ministry the right to issue regulations on the collection and storing of biological information, such as fingerprints of travelers entering and exiting China.
Collecting biological information will help identify travelers, improve the efficiency of border control and protect state security, Yang said.
According to the government, the number of people entering and exiting China has increased by 10 percent annually since 1990. In 2010, the number reached 382 million, including 52 million foreigners.