More than 60 models in China were taken into custody by Chinese officials on Thursday for working in the country illegally under tourist visas.
According to The Business Model, Beijing police held a fake model casting at Chinese agency M3 to catch models who were working illegally. Models who showed up to the casting were taken into custody and will most likely be deported. At press time, four models were arrested, while about 60 others were taken into custody.
Additionally, in Guangzhou, police apprehended a number of models, who then cooperated with officials by disclosing addresses of model apartments. Models have reportedly advised others not to answer their phones, not to answer their doors to strangers and to keep their lights off at night. Models have also been advised to hide their portfolios and comp cards.
According to Fashionista, some models have been moved to hotels and were told to act as if they are tourists, while others have been relocated to Hong Kong, where it is easier to obtain a work permit. Foreigners that look like models are also being stopped and asked to show work papers.
A source at Model Alliance told Fashionista that because it is easier to obtain a tourist visa than an entertainment visa, under which models can legally work, models typically get tourist visas. Unfortunately for these models, who are sometimes encouraged by agencies to work under tourists visas, doing so is illegal in China, as well as a slew of other countries. Model Alliance also pointed out that many models in the U.S. are also here illegally working under tourist visas.
What do you think of these recent arrests in China? Should the models in custody be deported? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below, and be sure to check back with us as this story develops.