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Z Visa China
To work legally in China, you need a Z Visa China no matter what career you choose. While many schools and recruiters have assured job seekers that it is possible to teach on a business (m) or travel (L) visa, it is illegal and risky. Only registered schools have the right to provide Z visas to their teachers, so if you talk to a school, either say they can't or give you an excuse, be very careful. After all, if they can't even guarantee your legal work, how can they believe they can perform the rest of the contract?
About Z Visa China
Visa Z is a stepping stone to legal work in China. Valid for 30 days after entry. Once you have a Z visa, you need to register at the local police station, obtain a work permit, and finally a residence permit. Once you get your residence permit, you can officially stay and work in China. To get this work visa from China, you need to get a job first. This will give you the right to a work permit and you will need to apply for a Z visa. The work permit itself should be arranged by your employer/school in China, who will get permission to employ foreigners. As mentioned earlier, if your employer does not provide a Z visa, they may not be an authorized school to enroll. If so, it's worth teaching elsewhere.
What are the requirements for Z Visa China?
To get a Z visa, you need to meet the English teaching requirements of Chinese schools. While these requirements may vary from school to school, they tend to revolve around three main components:
Bachelor's degree in any discipline
Two years of working experience or TEFL certificate
Native English speakers
Criminal background investigation
The retirement age of applicants is the same as that of Chinese workers: 60 for men and 55 for women. Although these ages are still being adjusted, it is difficult to get a visa if you are older than this age. We will introduce the teachers' teaching requirements in China in more detail.
How long does Z Visa China take?
Getting a Z visa is not a long process in itself. It usually takes only 3-7 working days to process your application.
However, the length of the whole process, from getting the necessary documents notarized all the way to actually getting your residence permit, depends on several variables, and may take several months in the end.
Here's how long it usually takes to become a Chinese resident:
Notarize your documents - about 3-4 weeks (depending on the service you choose, the notarization time may be shorter)
Get a work permit - your permit will take 30 working days to process
Get Z visa - 3-7 working days
Finally got your residence permit - about 10-15 days
In China, changing jobs can be tricky, but if handled properly, it can be done.
Perhaps the trickiest part of the process is getting your old employer to sign a termination letter. This step is crucial - in fact, in China, the work permit is directly linked to the company that issued the permit, which means that if you want to work for a new company, you need to cancel the old permit so that you can apply for a new one. However, some schools may be a little reluctant to help you take this step, so we should arm ourselves with patience and be prepared for persistence.
Once you get your letter, the process is basically the same as when you first came to China, so you first need to apply to a new school for another work permit, and then register to get a new residence permit.
The whole process may take weeks or even a month, depending on how quickly the new school can provide you with all the documents you need, so during this transition period, you have the opportunity to temporarily switch to L (tourist visa) until you get a new Z visa.