Work Visa FAQs-Joseph


Documents originated in your country must be legalized by the Chinese Embassy or Chinese consulate in order to be used in China. This process is called document authentication. 

Step 1:Apply for a Background Check

1:Can I legally work in China on a tourist, business or student visa?

Although some schools in China can accept expat teachers on a tourist visa or a business visa for teaching purposes, it is technically illegal according to Chinese laws and regulations. We recommend you apply for a work visa instead of taking risks using other types of visas, which will expose you to the risk of deportation and leave a negative mark on your record.

2:How long does it take to obtain a Chinese visa?

It takes anywhere from 7 to 20 business days to receive notification of your work permit application after submitting it. After you arrive in China, you can obtain work and residential permits usually within 15 days.

3:How much does a Chinese work visa cost?

First, you need to have your documentation certified and notarized. In the United States, for example, it would cost $160 to obtain notarization of these materials. In addition, applying for a Z visa (work visa) requires $140 US dollars for a total of around $300 US dollars for this part of the process.

4:What is the age limit for Z Visa application?

The Chinese government accepts people ages 18-60 to apply for a work visa.

5:Can my family come with me?

Yes! If you decide to have your spouse and children move with you, you’ll need to prepare both marriage and birth certificates (certified and notarized) for anyone accompanying you to China.

6:If I am already in China, how can I apply for a Z Visa?

If you are already in China and have a business visa or a tourist visa, you can directly convert either of them into a residence permit and then apply for a work permit. However, business visas and tourist visas can only be converted into residence permits for half a year or three months. So after obtaining a work permit, you need to extend the residence permit to the same length as the contract period.

7:What happens if I overstay my visa?

Staying in China past the expiration date of the visa will get you fined and also leave a negative mark on your record. It may affect your ability to obtain an extension or future work visa if you’re past 30 days on the overstay.

8:I already have work experience in China. Can I apply for a Non-Criminal Record Report while staying in China?

If you are already in China and have stayed in China for one year (work and student visas only), you can go to the local immigration center and apply for a Non-Criminal Record Report. It takes around 3-7 business days to receive it. This is used when applying for a work visa.

9:Can I extend my Z Visa?

Unfortunately not. The Z Visa is a only a single-entry visa. Once you arrive in China, please apply for your work and residential permits as soon as possible with the school. If you have to leave the country, you may apply for another Z Visa again in Hong Kong or at the Huanggang Port in Shenzhen.

10:What if my residence permit is canceled by the school?

You’ll be inconvenienced, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have to leave China. If the school cancels your residence permit, you’ll still be able to stay in China for 28 days (T Visa). If you’re able to find a job during this time period, you can ask your new employer to submit a new work vis application as soon as possible. Don’t forget to confirm whether or not your Non-Criminal Record Report is still valid, as they only stay valid for 6 months. If it expires, you’ll need to apply for a new one in your country as soon as possible. If you have already been in China for a year, then you may apply for a Non-Criminal Record Report at the local entry and exit bureau, making the application process more convenient.

11:Could I apply for a Z Visa in China?

Yes, you can apply for a Z Visa in Hong Kong or at the Huanggang Port in Shenzhen. Please take note of the following requirements: 1) To apply for the visa on arrival at Shenzhen Huanggang Port/checkpoint, you will need to fly to HK, and then your school will need to give you the Z Visa documentation at the border. 2) You can apply for the Z Visa at the port visa office and obtain your visa within 1 hour. 3) If your passport has previous stamps, and you haven't been to Turkey, Pakistan, and Iraq for the past 2 years, then you may qualify for the visa on arrival option. 4) If the passport is brand new without any travel history on it (i.e. stamps), make sure you bring both the old passport and the new passport with you.

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