How to Avoid Common Teach in China Scams

Teaching English in China is a terrific method to obtain experience in a growing sector. When looking for employment online from home, it's tempting to take the first offer. We provide you advice to prevent frauds that have victimized many.

Recruiters

Unscrupulous recruiters target immigrants for an upfront 'deposit' or'recruitment fee' Avoid advertising like 'Teach English in China - No Degree Required' and 'Weekend TEFL Certification' China Business Central recommends all candidates to teaching employment in China to "avoid recruiters who cannot present verified identity and a SAIC business license" Reputable recruiters will give the necessary documentation; never pay an upfront charge or scan your passport without evidence of licensing.

Transparency

Finding a teaching job in China is easy for those with a Bachelor's degree and two years' experience. tefl.com updates its database daily or hourly with hundreds of teaching jobs. Experienced and savvy applicants don't need a recruiter. Always get contact information for at least two TEFL instructors who work or have worked at the school you're applying to. Hearing their viewpoint can help you understand the working circumstances, rather than the rosy picture in the job description. The school or recruiter's willingness to disclose this information will indicate the position's legitimacy. Long-time China resident Gregory Mavrides advises, "Ask to view current images of the actual apartment you will be put in upon arrival (not one "just like it")." The quality of the school's housing is the biggest predictor of how foreign teachers are regarded and how you will be treated throughout your contract.

Cybercrime

Identity theft is a significant swindle with numerous recorded occurrences. Research shows that fake recruiters nearly invariably commit identity theft. These recruiters sell instructors' passport scans, online resumes, and visa copies to identity thieves.

Visa

If you've taught English in China, you've probably encountered instructors working illegally on tourist ('L') visas. Many so-called respectable language institutions continue to recruit foreign instructors and bring them into China on vacation visas, but officials are tightening down. Regular sweeps at schools result in a high punishment (up to 20,000 RMB) and deportation for unauthorized teachers. In certain circumstances, police seize your passport while investigating, leaving you trapped in China. We encourage applicants avoid recruiters and/or institutions who offer to fly them into China on a vacation visa; instructors must pay for the journey to Hong Kong to secure a work visa out of pocket. Make sure your prospective employer knows you need a work ('Z') visa before visiting the country.

If your prospective employer will get a work visa for you, you may review the contract before accepting the job. Make sure the contract is signed and sealed, and that the English version is appropriate. Don't be hesitant to ask for clarification, and save an original signed copy.

Trust your instincts. Current and past workers can offer you a better idea of working circumstances. Search any possible school for'scam,' 'complaints,' or 'problems' Arm yourself with knowledge and choose a respected institution that will respect you and your contract. Teaching English in China is easy if you apply common sense and ask the appropriate questions.

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