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June 10, 2019

How Can My NGO Operate Before It Finds a Professional Supervisory Unit?

My organization already had an office in mainland China before this law took effect. What activities can we legally engage in while we are trying to find a Professional Supervisory Unit?

The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has not offered formal guidance on this point, though it is becoming more pressing for NGOs who have been unable to obtain sponsorship from unresponsive Professional Supervisory Units (PSUs). Several NGOs have told The China NGO Project that public security officials seem to appreciate the challenges for foreign NGOs seeking a PSU, and that the NGOs themselves feel reasonably secure as long as they are making a good-faith effort to engage in the registration process and are not actively carrying out activities. However, it is still unclear how long the MPS will allow foreign NGOs to continue maintaining offices in China without formally registering or how foreign NGO expatriate employees will be able to obtain visa renewals if they do not have a “host organization” to provide an invitation letter. At least one well-known foreign NGO, which lists a Beijing office on its website, has not yet registered a representative office but has filed for several temporary activities.

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