Background Investigations and Reference checks

Background investigations and reference checks are employers’ principal means of securing information about potential hires from sources other than the applicants themselves.

Although no data is available in relation to the number of employees who have been investigated as a result of reference checks, the data suggest that the incidence of reference checks is not uncommon. The data do not indicate the proportion of employees who are investigated and the number of references found to be inappropriate.

Further information is provided in the report, ‘The Future of Reference Checks’.

How do reference checks work?

At the start of a reference check, an employer or reference checking service will request the employee’s passport information and the employee’s current address. This information will be checked against a database of all foreign worker visas issued by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. This data will provide the background data used for the reference check and other background checks with services you can get online. When the visa is issued, the employee will be given a copy of the visa, their personal details and the employee’s visa details in English and Chinese. They will also be asked to sign a form stating that the visa has been issued by the Chinese embassy. The employee will need to provide some supporting documents for the visa, including the employee’s passport. The employer should advise the employee to produce their passport at the time of checking in and to present this to the immigration officer at the airport upon check in.

Foreigners should always check for any visa requirements they may have before travelling to China.

Chinese nationals travelling to the Chinese mainland are required to hold a valid, six-month visa for the first 90 days after entry, and a six-month visa for subsequent 180 days.

For those travelling to Hong Kong and Macau, they must have a valid Chinese Visa (CV) that is valid for at least six months.

Visas issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are not valid for all foreign nationals. Visas may be suspended, or revoked, if an individual poses a danger to Chinese or foreign security.

There are a number of other visa requirements that require foreigners to show the relevant documentation. Foreign nationals of China require a license from the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) to work in China. Licensing from SACIC is required to work in most other industries, such as banking, health care, trade, education, media, and entertainment.

If you require a visa for an organization, be sure to review all of its visa requirements and make sure to apply for your organization’s visa with the appropriate consulate, instead of by fax or email.

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