China Travel

A Guide to Obtaining a Legal Working Visa

China visa

China visa

For years now plainly China has lengthy been among the best and hottest choices for educating overseas, and it’s straightforward to see why; the huge landscapes, the fascinating mixture of historic cultures, the world-class delicacies, and naturally, the skilled alternatives.

Chinese language demand for overseas academics during the last twenty years has been large. A 2006 article within the Economist purports that “China is already the world’s largest market for English language services.”

With many educating positions providing over 15,000 RMB, free lodging, airfare bonuses, and even paid trip, it’s not onerous to perceive why so many younger adventurers have left their western abodes to train in Google-less and scrumptious China.

But now it appears that evidently China is making strides to refine their choice course of and tighten up the laws on who they’re letting work in-country. Whether or not it’s the results of determined employers regularly hiring inexperienced professionals to meet the hungry demand, or an replace to immigration coverage in an more and more bordered world, it’s inconceivable to say.

As of April 1st 2017 although, the Chinese language authorities has rolled out a new work visa system nationwide.

This text will spotlight the paperwork wanted to work protected and legally within the nation, as nicely define the method of acquiring the visa, and supply some recommendation that I really feel certified to give after having gone by means of the lengthy and laborious course of myself.

So let’s begin with how the brand new visa system is set-up.

To summarize the brand new system, the federal government will evaluation a listing of applicant standards similar to instructional background, earlier employment, and skill to converse Chinese language, amongst another elements. From there, the federal government will put you into certainly one of three tiers: “A for high level talent, B for professional personnel, and C for foreigners who are nontechnical or service workers hired on a temporary/seasonal basis” (China’s New Foreigner Work Allow System Goes Nationwide On April 1: Have you ever Checked Your Employment Contract?, 2017).

For extra info on the totally different visa statuses click on right here.

Prior to this new system, work permits had been comprised of two paperwork, the overseas skilled certificates, and the Z visa, however now, the work visa might be a single allow that displays whichever tier the applicant scored into in the course of the software course of.

Did you get all that? Though it might appear a little complicated now, it’s speculated that the brand new system will make issues quicker and simpler in time.

So now that we’ve a little background on the present visa state of affairs, let’s take a take a look at what paperwork are wanted to get the right work visa and start working safely and legally.

Required Paperwork

  • A letter of advice/ earlier employment verification

Have your earlier employer write you a brief letter itemizing the duties and duties you had when at your final place. Spotlight job title, tasks accomplished, and different contacts. The doc have to be signed or sealed by the proprietor of the corporate (or higher administration).

  • Highest Educational Certification

Your school diploma. This doc have to be authenticated by the state. We’ll speak about how to get paperwork authenticated within the subsequent part.

  • Certificates of no felony document from mom or residential nation.

Doc have to be accredited by the safety division or by notary.

  • Well being inspection certificates.

Have your faculty or agent e mail you the shape. The medical inspection type must be in Chinese language and English. The inspection consists of X-rays, blood exams, EKG readouts, and different routine check-up gadgets. It takes about an hour. This doc should have the official hospital stamp or notary.

  • Headshot photograph from inside the final six months.

o   2 inch margins

o   impartial expression

o   white background

o   No hats

o   Full face

We had to redo our photograph a number of occasions. One time as a result of we didn’t have 2 inch margins, and one other time as a result of our background was simply barely off-color. They’re very strict on the rules.

** TESOL Certificates

I despatched my TESOL certificates to my employer, however they didn’t appear to actually need it. They have been far more taken with Krissy and I’s school diplomas. Holding that in thoughts, I’ve heard of others being required to submit an authenticated copy of their TESOL certificates. Make sure to doublecheck together with your employer.

After you have all of the above paperwork, you’ll be able to ship them to your employer or your company. The subsequent step is for you to fill out the appliance type.

Software for Work Visa

Have your employer e-mail you the appliance type. It asks primary questions on your expertise, contacts, schooling, legal historical past, and Chinese language fluency. Make sure to digitally edit or paperclip a headshot photograph (matched to the specs above) to the higher right-hand nook of the appliance (it’s marked).

When you’ve accomplished the appliance and scanned and emailed all of your correct documentation to your employer, you’ll be on to the subsequent part, ready.

The Chinese language authorities can take up to ten days to assessment your materials and determine on whether or not they need to concern you an invite letter.

Assuming immigration decides in your favor, your employer will obtain an invite letter, which they’ll then want to ship to you. I requested my employer if they might e-mail it, they usually informed me it had to be posted. Think about paying for categorical mailing.

Chinese Visa in passport

Getting the Visa in your Passport:

The subsequent step is to get the visa into your passport. It will require you to get your invitation letter and the above paperwork (might range relying on service or company) to a Chinese language consulate in your house nation.

Sadly, the Chinese language embassy doesn’t permit you to publish your paperwork instantly to them, which leaves you with two choices.

You possibly can submit your paperwork in individual, or you possibly can pay a firm to current them in your behalf. For those who don’t stay close to an embassy, contemplate the second choice. There are many Chinese language visa providers obtainable. The price for them to facilitate your visa processing is round $170 USD.

In the event you do use a visa service, you possibly can anticipate the method to take about six days, until you pay for expediting. Should you present up in individual on the consulate, the processing might take as little as someday (in a single day).

So now that we now have the essential course of outlined, let’s take a look at some recommendation for attaining optimum success with the visa course of.

  • Allot loads of time for the visa course of:

Plenty of paperwork are going to be emailed and posted forwards and backwards. Worst of all, these paperwork are going to get handed by means of at the least one authorities company, whom I’ve come to discover out sometimes course of paperwork on the tempo of a snail.

We initially allotted about a month to get the visa. Regardless of having all our paperwork, getting the paperwork authenticated, shuffles within the mail different mundane setbacks delayed the method, and we ended up needing about two and a half months.  So belief me, even when you assume you’ve got every thing set to go, anticipate setbacks and allot your self a little additional time.

Which brings me to my subsequent level…

  • Don’t give up your day job

Because it’s probably the method goes to take up to two months, you may want to wait to give up your present job.  Within the case of my pretty woman and I, our employer set the expectation that we might find a way to full the visa course of and are available work a lot faster than was truly attainable.

We had give up our jobs a month earlier than to put together for China. When it began to develop into clear that issues would transfer a lot slower than initially assumed, we regretted not holding onto our jobs a little bit longer.

Chinese language faculties sometimes begin in late August or early September, so in its place you may search for seasonal work.

  • Have a good chunk of change saved

Although many educating positions throughout China supply airfare reimbursement, it’s often repaid upon accomplished of the contract. So that you’re in all probability not going to see that cash come again till after six months or a yr.

You’re additionally going to have to pay to get every of your paperwork authenticated, plus any postal charges. Let’s not overlook about utilizing a visa service or paying for the visa on the home-based embassy. Simply ensure you have some left over in your first couple weeks in China with out pay.

Let’s estimate a fast value breakdown.

1 Means ticket to Shanghai (LAXàSHA) $600 (USD)
Visa Service $170
Paperwork Authenticated  $45 per doc x three docs $135
Postal Prices  (package deal, expedites) $50
1 Month minimal dwelling value (not together with lodging) $400
Complete $1,355


*These are based mostly upon my very own estimations and are meant to simply give a ballpark determine. They may probably fluctuate dependent upon your distinctive state of affairs.

  • Your employer might not have the brand new course of streamlined but

That is in all probability extra possible to be true should you work for a small faculty or company. Anticipate communication errors and doc blunders. Stay calm, and check out to keep in mind that it’s all a part of the enjoyable!

  • Submit your paperwork with expedited return envelopes within the package deal

It will actually assist velocity up the method. In the USA, I paid the federal government an additional payment to have my doc authentication expedited. They expedited the authentication course of, however then didn’t stick it within the mail till many days later. Once they did put it within the mail, they put it in snail mail.

Placing a return envelope in your packages will make it straightforward for everybody, and guarantee your paperwork return to you faster.

  • Get monetary savings through the use of a library to scan and e-mail your paperwork

Once I first returned to the states from Thailand, my employer was emailing me the appliance type and requesting me to ship all my paperwork for the Chinese language visa. I spent a lot of time, and a good sum of money in Kinkos and different print outlets taking good care of my workplace wants.

Lastly, I made a decision to go to the library and reopen my previous account. Emailing and scanning within the print outlets was costing me $15.00 a shot. Later, once I went to the library, I did the identical quantity of labor, and it was free!

  • Lease in China is paid in increments of three months at a time

Many roles supply free lodging, however ensure you know whether or not or not you’re going to be chargeable for paying lease and deposit once you get to china.

Lease is paid in increments of three months at a time, and with an preliminary deposit, can find yourself being a huge expense.

That is a good second to additionally remind you to doublecheck your contract. When Krissy and I have been initially related to our employer by means of a third-party agent, we have been advised we might obtain free lodging. Later, once we signed the contracts, there was no details about lodging within the paperwork. Foolishly, we signed anyway, after which later have been informed we have been answerable for paying for lodging.

There was no completely no malice behind this incident, it was simply a easy communication error. Fortunately, the varsity clarified that they did have free lodging obtainable, it was simply housed on the varsity grounds, in order that they didn’t assume we might need to stay there.

Regardless, simply be sure to doublecheck your contracts. There are a lot worse contract tales floating round on the market.

  • Fly into a greater metropolis after which get the bullet practice to get monetary savings

The town I’m going to train in is about three hours from Shanghai by bullet practice. It’s about $150 dollars cheaper for me to fly into Shanghai than my vacation spot metropolis, and the bullet practice solely prices $30. Whereas it will not be value the additional time should you’re on a hustle or for those who’ve acquired a little additional money to blow, for those who’re actually on a finances, it may possibly assist you save a couple of pennies.

In the event you’ve received your visa in hand already, reserving your ticket a couple weeks out might be one other great way to save a hundred bucks or so.

  • Don’t come to China and begin engaged on something however a work visa

I’m positive you’ve heard tales of individuals going to China on scholar and vacationer visas, beginning work, after which getting their work visa as soon as they have been within the nation. Whereas some employers will facilitate this routine, it’s technically unlawful, and whereas it might not have been strictly enforced up to now, now would be the worst time ever to roll the cube on this one.

Should you’re employer insists that you simply come to China on something however a work visa, it is best to insist that they get you the work visa earlier than coming over. With the brand new system in place, now greater than ever I’ve heard a slew of immigration horror tales. It’s higher to be protected than sorry.

Not totally associated to visas, however simply a good tip not to overlook. Keep in mind, there’s no YouTube in China.

Talking of YouTube…

  • There are tons of free study Mandarin movies on YouTube

A easy inquiry within the search bar and you will discover sufficient supplies to set up a helpful basis. There are additionally some nice telephone apps on the market as nicely. It’s not a dangerous concept to apply studying Mandarin a couple minutes a day when you’re ready in your visa.

In Conclusion

Issues are doubtless to transfer type of sluggish with the brand new system in place. Don’t be stunned in case your employer struggles with the method a bit. Ensure you have a truthful sum of money saved, and anticipate delays. Whereas the visa course of might sound complicated, expensive, and laborious, the payoff is nice.  China is a fascinating nation that’s staking a heavy declare within the trendy world. With a mixture of historic cultures, a wealthy historical past, an abundance of lovely nature, and the a few of the largest cities on the planet, any touring skilled is probably going to have an exhilarating and eye-opening expertise. The intoxicating delicacies is sufficient to lure me in!

It’s a good concept to internalize the visa course of and all the time maintain a timeline in your head. Issues take time, and understanding the prices, timelines, and paperwork wanted, will actually aid you obtain and keep optimum success and ease whereas transitioning to China.

Thanks for studying, and I actually want you luck and prosperity in your transition course of.


The demand for English educating and language providers is excessive in China, and there are nice alternatives obtainable for critical academics. By requesting earlier employment verification letters that element two years of expertise from candidates, it’s clear that China is wanting to refine their pool of language instructors.

It is going to be fascinating to see how the brand new course of holds up towards the heavy demand to fill educating positions. Issues are being tightly regulated now, however with such a excessive demand, strict tips, and prolonged visa processes, I wouldn’t be stunned if loopholes start to type within the insurance policies when establishments are unable to procure academics in due time.

Regardless, I hope everybody who goes to train in China places forth their 100% effort to be a nice instructor, and an inspirational position mannequin.


By Justin Ruhe.

In case you have any questions for Justin or would really like to add some further recommendation for potential academics please depart your reply within the feedback part on the backside of the web page.


Gamlam, Richelle . “How the ESL Industry in China is Changing .” Go Abroad. Go Abroad, 02 Jan. 2016. Net. 18 June 2017.

Shira & Associates, Dezan. “Obtaining China’s New Unified Foreign Work Permit.” China Briefing. China Briefing, 25 Nov. 2016. Net. 18 June 2017.

“Update China Visa Rules And Policy (year 2013-2016) in Shanghai.” Visa in China. Meshing Consultancy Providers Co., Ltd., Mar. 2017. Net. 18 June 2017.

Yang, Grace. “China’s New Foreigner Work Permit System Goes National On April 1: Have you Checked Your Employment Contract?” China Regulation Weblog. Harris Bricken, 31 Mar. 2017. Net. 18 June 2017.

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