Making it easier for foreigners to live and work in China
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Where can an American work in China?
Getting a job in China is thrilling, but like any significant relocation, it demands careful planning.
It's the appropriate job for you.
Consider if a job in China is suitable for you. Working in China may appeal to you as an opportunity to travel, learn a new language, and meet new people. Remember that most of the time you will also have to... wait for it... work.
Keeping this in mind, choose a profession that suits you. For example, I obtained freelance employment as an online business English instructor for adult students in France and Germany before looking for positions in China. Whether you're new to an industry or career, this kind of experience might help you decide if it's suited for you.
It's extra vital when choosing a job in China since changing occupations or sectors might be tough after you've arrived. Just ask anybody who has had to change jobs and change visas. And if you decide to quit mid-contract and return home, your bad experience in China will cost you in more ways than one.
Search for a home
Consider your future outside of work. After all, if you keep your job, it will be your home for at least a year, if not longer. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen are all cosmopolitan cities with lots of Western pubs and restaurants. These cities may provide a more real Chinese experience, with fewer English speakers and greater exposure to local culture.
Don't forget to factor in the climate, which varies drastically over China's vastness. Consider working in southern China if you like warm weather. Consider Beijing or other northern Chinese cities for winter sports.
Examine a possible employer
Offering a high-paying job with outstanding perks is simple. It is more harder to provide. Before accepting a job in China, you must research your prospective employer.
You can achieve this in a few easy ways. The most apparent is to use Google. If the results contain a lot of bad feedback from prior workers, avoid that firm. If you're looking for a teaching job in China, TEFL Blacklist and ESL Watch both have “horror stories” from instructors and inform you which companies to avoid.
Ask to be placed in contact with other workers, possibly other foreigners who may have more relevant expertise than local Chinese colleagues. If they refuse to assist or have not hired any other foreigners, this should be a red flag.
Last but not least, avoid firms that require money beforehand. There are lots of fake employment in China designed to fleece gullible foreigners.
While the process may be tedious and unpleasant at times, a Z-visa is the only method for foreigners to legally work in China. Again, your company may want you to come to China on another visa to make things easy for them, but this puts you in a tough position. In this case, you will be working unlawfully and without any legal rights as an employee. Consider what you would do if your employer refused to pay you. DON'T BE TEMPTED BY FASTER visas (such an L-visa for tourism).
Before taking a job in China, you should consider if it is suitable for you. You may question whether the bother of applying for a visa and moving is worth it. Remember the rewards: job experience, money, and the chance to learn a new culture and language. And don't forget the annual influx of immigrant workers. You are not alone if you find the entire affair intimidating.