New Guide for 2019 Visa Laws in China for Teaching [Updated]
How to Get Chinese Work Visa
This is an updated comprehensive step by step guide on obtaining a visa to work in China as a foreign teacher. We help identify the essential documents that are required and steps you have to take to get your work visa approved.
Requirements for Chinese Work Visa
For ALL foreigners looking to work in China you are required to have/meet the following:
- University or College Degree
- Age 22+ (Chinese government prefers age 25+)
- From a Native English Speaking Country
- Teaching Certifications
- No Criminal Record
If you meet the above requirements, the next step is to apply for a teaching job in China.
As China is a great place for young teachers to gain new experiences and explore new opportunities.
China Work Permit Process
After applying for a job online and being accepted you can now begin the visa process.
Step 1: Valid Passport
Make sure you have a valid and a non-expired passport, usually the passport must be valid for at least a year depending on your native country.
Step 2: Work Contract (SIGNED by the school and you)
Get in contact with your recruiter to understand the terms of your contract/agreement such as the duration of your teaching position.
Request for a digital copy (PDF) of the contract so you can print it out and use as proof for the Chinese Embassy.
BEWARE: If you have an incompetent HR in the school you have applied, it’s a good sign to avoid working for them. Make sure you ask them questions to avoid being scammed.
“Have they ever hired a foreign teacher before?”
“Does your school have the adequate government documents to hire a foreign staff?”
“How does your school help foreign staff to get set up for their basic needs?”
Step 3: Information
Step 3 is very similar to Step 2, the reason for having the contract is to gather information.
We need to know the following in order to successfully process the work visa (also good to have for personal safety):
- Name of the Chinese School (Chinese and English)
- Address of the Chinese School or the Address of your workplace (Chinese and English)
- A Chinese contact from the school (Name, Email, Phone Number and sometimes their Chinese social ID number may be needed)
Step 4: Recent/Most up to date Criminal Background Check
You have to go to your local police station to obtain a criminal background check to ensure you have no criminal record.
This criminal background check has to have been done recently, not older than 6 months preferably.
Step 5: University Degree or College Degree
A copy of your university degree, college degree or any other post-secondary education certification.
Step 6: Teaching Certifications
There are many types of teaching certifications depending on your native country.
Although it is not 100% necessary to have however it is very difficult to get a good teaching job in China without having at least one of the following certifications especially as a new teacher. Some schools will not hire a foreign teacher at all if they do not possess a teaching certification.
Step 7: Photos
The requirement is to have a passport size photo of yourself. Make sure the photo is a recent photo taken under the exact guidelines as a passport photo.
Visa Authentication Process
If you have all of the above documents and information you now have to authenticate all of your documents for a successful Chinese work visa application.
Step 1: Triple Authentication
Take the original copy of your degree, teaching certification, and criminal background check to a lawyer or notary. You will have to notarize all 3 of these documents by a lawyer or notary. The following is an example of what it would look like in Canada.
After notarizing these 3 documents take them to your local provincial, state law government agency to have them be authenticated by your native country’s government. The following is an example of an authentication made by the government of Canada in the province of Ontario.
The final step is now to have the documents authenticated by the local Chinese embassy in your native country. Remember you must have the documents completed in the above order.
- First notary
- Second local government
- Third the Chinese embassy
Step 2: Obtaining a temporary 30 days entry visa
The next step is to obtain the 30 day entry visa to allow for you to enter China.
In the past candidates had to mail the triple authentication documents to their employers in China however recent changes has removed this in some native countries.
If your employer still requests that you mail the triple authentications to them then the simple use of your local courier services like FedEx, UPS etc. After your employers in China receive the triple authentication documents they will then submit the documents into their local provincial government to request for the 30 day entry visa.
Your employer in China will notify you as soon as possible (usually) when your 30 day entry visa has been approved.
Nowadays some employers simply request for a scan or photo of your triple authentication, others may simply tell you to go to your local Chinese visa office in your native country. (REMEMBER the Chinese visa office is usually not the same as the Chinese Embassy, therefore, do not confuse the 2 places.)
Your local Chinese visa office will be the place that provides the 30 day entry visa into China for you on your passport.
BEWARE: Chinese government operates as a local unit for determining applicant acceptance, each provincial region in China may have their own unique interruptions/guidelines. You may be rejected in some provinces but accepted in others.
Step 3: Pack up for China
If you have made it this far and obtained the 30 day entry visa you are now ready to enter China.
Remember you have 30 days to enter China and begin the process for your 1 year Chinese work permit.
We will talk about that next time.
We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to get a work visa in China. Please leave a comment if you have any questions and remember to apply for english teaching jobs in China today! Our job board is updated daily with the highest quality job postings available.
Good Luck Friends.
Your Friendly Canadian Laowai Tyler