SHEKOU Foreign Legal Assistance Center, said to be the first public legal service platform for expatriates in Guangdong Province, opened in Shekou, Nanshan District, on Thursday.

The center, managed by the Shekou Subdistrict Office and Shenzhen Municipal Justice Bureau, will offer nonprofit legal consultation, legal aid, notarization, and tax and visa consultation services to expatriates in the city.

Shekou Foreign Legal Assistance Center is inaugurated. Courtesy of Shekou MSCE

It is located on the first floor of Shekou Management and Service Center for Expats (Shekou MSCE), neighboring the Administration Service Hall of the Shekou Subdistrict Office. It is an expansion of the free legal consulting program of Shekou MSCE that was initiated a year ago.

It has invited 18 professional lawyers to provide legal services.

Expatriate residents in Shekou are invited to tour the legal assistance center.

“The lawyers major in different fields and are proficient in foreign languages. They will help expats better understand local laws and regulations. Additionally, the center will provide a chance for lawyers to practice their expertise in the expat community,” Cao Hailei, Party chief of Shenzhen Lawyers’ Association, said at an interview.

Gannet Wystix, an American living in Shekou, said many legal challenges faced by expatriates will now be made simpler thanks to the consulting teams in the center that are ready to serve and offer help.

“It will make it easier for people in disagreement who need mediation for things such as labor and rental disputes. It makes expats feel not alone when facing law-related problems,” said Wystix.

Xiao Meishan (L), an employee with Shekou Management and Service Center for Expats, explains to residents the functions of the legal assistance center.

The foreign-related notarization service will be handled by staff from Qianhai Notary Office. The nine categories of notarization cover many aspects of expats and will benefit international schools, foreign-related companies and residents.

Bacem Sadda, a Tunisian who is enrolled in the post-doctorate program at Shenzhen No. 8 Hospital Affiliated to Sun Yat-sen University, said the center will be very helpful for expats when it comes to employment and renting an apartment.

Expats take interest in the decorations of the legal assistance center.

Shekou is home to 8,600 expatriates from more than 116 countries, according to statistics from Shekou Subdistrict Office. There are nearly 30,000 expatriates permanently living in Shenzhen and the city receives nearly 2 million foreign tourists a year.


(Source |Shenzhen Daily)