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Is it hard to get a work visa for China?
To be able to legally work in China, foreigners must get a work permit. As apparent as this statement may seem, obtaining one of these licenses will be much more difficult than you expect. Year each year, the task appears more difficult, yet it must be completed. There's no getting around that if you want to make a livelihood in China.
In terms of work visas, you have to follow different procedures depending on whether you are applying for your first one or if you are just changing employers inside China. As a result, we've outlined a step-by-step process for every scenario.
Those who are applying for the first time
Step 1: Verify your eligibility.
First and foremost, recent college grads should pay attention. People applying to work in China are divided into three groups: Class A (talented individuals earning over 600,000rmb/year who are encouraged to come), Class B (people with a specific specialty whose entry is controlled), and Class C (those with no special training who are not controlled from coming) (people with no specialty, whose numbers are restricted). Most applicants are Class B, with the exception of the occasional absolute baller and befuddled ordinary joe.
AFTER graduation, you've earned a bachelor's degree and gained two years of relevant job experience.
You have a bachelor's degree in a technical area and an international certificate proving your technical abilities. In addition, your monthly income is at least 26,100rmb.
A foreign language instructor, you are fluent in the language you instruct. Having a bachelor's degree and two years of full-time teaching experience are additional prerequisites. You may be exempt if you have a degree in education, language, or teaching or if you've earned your TEFL certification.
More than 60 points on China's Visa Class Calculator, a points-based system that rewards you when you do certain tasks in the country For example, achieving a high HSK grade and graduating from a Chinese university while earning a good salary both offer you points.
People may say, "But I didn't have any work when I was getting my marketing bachelor's, so I moved to China to teach English right after graduation without TEFL and it was great." It's likely that your business exaggerated the positive aspects of your encounter in this situation. Historically, this step has been susceptible to fraud, but China seems to be tightening up its enforcement of this rule (and just about everything else too).
Step 2: Gather your resources and have them ready
To begin, gather the documentation your employer will need after you have determined your eligibility. A trustworthy individual back home may gather all of this information and transmit it straight to you or your business, but most foreigners attempting to get a work visa for the first time will have to return home to do so. Without it, everything will come to a grinding halt, resulting in a time-consuming and costly series of phone calls, emails, and back-and-forth mailings. Listen up, because this isn't what you expected at all. The following papers are required:
Passport photocopies, as well as copies of prior Chinese visas (best to photocopy every page that has something on just to be sure).
Both an English and a Chinese version of your CV/resume is required. Your business will assist you with the translation.
A written labor agreement signed by your company's employees.
A letter of recommendation from a former employer attesting to your two years of relevant job experience after graduation.
One 420 × 560 pixel digital photograph with a white backdrop. Passport pictures may be produced using equipment that can also take digital photos. It's easy to locate establishments that serve them in Shanghai by typing in to Dianping.
A signed copy of the Physical Examination Commitment Letter is required. Depending on the company, you may be required to provide a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) and an additional verified copy of your clean criminal record in your native country. For the most part, you'll need to acquire this from a nation other than China where you've spent more than a year straight, from your local police station where you live/lived, and/or from your home country. A work visa in China is virtually difficult for those with criminal records*.
A copy of your original bachelor's degree (not degree transcript). A second verified diploma may be needed if yours was not issued in China. Here are the specifics on how to get it.
In the third step, your company communicates with the Chinese government.
It's at this point that you sit down and wait for your business to get authorization from the Service System for Foreigners Working in China () to employ a foreigner in China. An average 25-day wait time is to be expected and if everything goes well you will get from your employer an email with a Notification Letter for Foreigner's Work Permit that you can then print.
This is the last step, when you apply for a Z visa and go to China.
If you're currently in China, you may be allowed to skip this stage and apply straight for a work and residence permit. This depends on your visa type. Most of the time, you will have to leave the nation, obtain a Z, and then return. This is not uncommon. Please print your notification letter if you are not in China, and bring it with your passport to the proper visa processing facility in your country after making an appointment (may be a visa center, Chinese consulate, or China Embassy). A 30-day Z visa is likely to be granted if all goes according to plan. Some countries' visa-processing locations need extra paperwork like forms, photos or flight details in addition to the standard Z visa application, but getting one is usually a simple procedure regardless of where you live.
When you arrive, go to the closest police station and fill out an application for a Temporary Residence Permit (). You should know where you're staying before you arrive unless you're severely unprepared or your business has screwed you in some way. After passing through immigration, you have 24 hours to complete this task. If you're in China at the time, you should already be in possession of this.
Newcomers will very certainly be required to get a medical exam. It is very uncommon for individuals to spend a significant amount of money on one at home just to discover that they must complete a second one in the hospital. This is something you'll want to confirm with your business before proceeding. The hospital will almost certainly only take cash as payment for the charge. If you order now, you'll have your answers in up to 5 business days.
Step 5: Submit an application for a residence permit with the local government.
The Residence Permit for Class B applicants enables you to enter the country an unlimited number of times for one year. Class A has a two-year maximum term. You'll have to submit the following along with your business:
Letter of Request for a Resident Permit from Your Company.
The business permit of the firm (copy and original).
You'll need the business's permission certificate if it's a foreign corporation (copy and original).
This is the letter you received from your employer when you filed for your Z visa.
Your health-related outcomes (copy and original).
Original passport, if you have one. A few extra copies of the information page as well as a visa application form are always a good idea.
At the very least, one passport photo that has been produced.
The Temporary Registration Permit () you were issued by the police upon your arrival (copy and original).
completed Residence Permit Application Form obtained from the Exit/Entry Bureau after all other requirements have been met.
Step 6: Your business submits an application for a work visa.
This may be done at the same time that your Residence Permit application is being processed. All of the paperwork from the procedure will be compiled and your business may begin the formal process of obtaining a work permit. Although it may take up to five weeks, your house will be dry once it arrives! For the time being, at least.