FAQ

Frequently asked questions

FAQ Frequently asked questions

China's Teaching Working (Z) Visa basic requirements:

The government requires passport holders from native English speaking countries such as: UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Jamaica. In total, there are 41 native English speaking countries which can be found online. Candidates must have a Bachelor degree or higher education background and proof of non-criminal record which should be legalized by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate. Candidates should also have 2 years relative experience or hold a TEFL or TESOL certificate, provide a health examination report download health exam form  and an official passport photo on a plain white background. If you are a non-native English speaker, you should have completed higher education or have an English Major. This is however dependent on the local expert bureau in the province/city in China.

How to transfer a work permit to a new employer in China?

If you want to transfer a work permit in China, you should ensure that the resident permit has not expired and the reason for residency is still for work. You will also need a cancellation document and a recommendation letter from your current employer.
 
Step 1 - Cancel your current work permit
The current employer will have access to the online government system and access to the cancellation forms via their account. You will be required to sign a document entitled ‘APPLICATION FORM FOR CANCELLATION OF FOREIGNER’S WORK PERMIT’, and release letter with the current employer. Both documents must be signed and stamped, requested to submit your work permit for decommissioning.
 
Step 2- Obtain the cancellation certificate and recommendation letter
After the work permit has been decommissioned, a document entitled ‘FOREIGNER’S WORK PERMIT CANCELLATION CERTIFICATE’ will be sent back to the current employer. This letter is required for your work permit transfer, so you must remember to obtain it. You must also get a recommendation letter from your current employer.
 
Step 3 - Transfer work permit application.
The new employer will fill out your information in the online government system. You may be required to provide copies of the documents you used during your previous work permit application. This includes legalized and notarized degree & criminal record certificates and a new health examination report (health examination forms are valid for 6 months)
It is important to keep in mind that your new job must be similar to your old job. If you are changing to a completely different role, this is likely to cause an issue. To avoid this, try to make sure the job title on your new contract is quite similar to your old job title.
 
Step 4 - Collect your new work permit
When the online part of the application process is completed, you will be required to go to the Entry and Exit Bureau or Labor Bureau to collect your new work permit card.
 
Step 5 - The final step
The final step is to update the visa with an end date which is in line with the work permit. You will need to go to the Entry and Exit Bureau to do this.
 
What if my current employer does not want to co-operate?
There are some cases where people have complained that they were unable to obtain a release letter. This usually happens due to confusion or misunderstanding in the details of the employment contract. In this unfortunate situation, if you are adamant that you want to leave regardless of having the release letter or not, the only option is to start again with a whole new visa application. This means surrendering your current visa and work permit and in most cases you will have to leave China until the application is complete.
 
Summary
Transferring your work permit over to a new employer is a relatively easy process. Often everything is handled by your old employer, meaning you simply need to write your resignation then provide things as and when they are needed.

What is Notarization, Apostille and Legalization?

Notarization: This is the process by which a document is verified by a legal professional known as a notary. Notaries are internationally recognized and regulated private lawyers who are authorized to check that certain documents are true and correct. A notary will take a copy of your original document an affix a certification to say that it is true and real, then sign and seal it.
In the case of a Chinese work visa application, the documents requiring notarization are your degree certificate and non-criminal record. .TEFL certificates may also require notarization; this is dependent on the local government in the province/city in China.
Apostille: An apostille is an additional level of authentication which is required for documents to be accepted internationally. After notarization (if it is required), you must send your document for an apostille by a government department such as the Home Office, Foreign & Commonwealth Office or Department of State. An apostille can only be granted for documents that have come from institutions based in the same country of origin. For example, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth office can only grant an apostille for documents that were obtained via a UK institution. All countries that are part of the Hague Convention must accept apostilled documents. Some countries, including China, have not signed up to this convention, so an extra step is required: Legalization.
Legalization: This is the process by which a document is granted legal status in a country. In the case of a Chinese work visa application, your apostilled documents must be legalized via a Chinese embassy based in the country where the apostille was obtained. This is normally a Chinese embassy in your home country.

What kind of criminal check in U.S should I get for China?

It is entirely dependent on the local government in the province/city in China that you go to. Some will ask for a state level background check, some will ask for an FBI background check and some might even accept local checks. This is again dependent on the Chinese government and varies from province to province. If you plan on getting the process started before you have secured a position, an FBI check is the safest option, which could take up to 10 weeks.
Process for authenticating an FBI check:
The only place that can authenticate an FBI check is the US Department of State in Washington D.C, upon receiving the document, this can be mailed to the department.
When you have this done you MUST send it to the Chinese embassy in D.C. which can be done through a visa agency or by going to the Chinese embassy in person. This process cannot be done  by mail.
Process for authenticating a state level check:
Get it notarized.
Send it to the appropriate Secretary of State.
Get it authenticated by the appropriate Chinese consulate (or the embassy), depending on what state you are in. This process cannot be done by mail.
Summary: FBI check is accepted everywhere in China and the state level check is accepted for most places in China.

Authenticating degree, TEFL and non-criminal record certificates for use in China

The process for authenticating your degree, TEFL and non-criminal record certificates for use in China is Notarization, Apostille, and Legalization. After this 3-step process, you should send a scanned copy of the documents to your employer who will then start the work visa application.

What’s the authentication processes for the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, South Africa, Canada and Ireland?

Document authentication in the United Kingdom
·         Step 1: Complete a non-criminal record check via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
o   A DBS check costs £25
o   If you have been out of the UK for a long time (i.e. you have no verifiable UK address or bank account), you may need to go via the Criminal Records Office instead. This costs £45
·         Step 2: Have your degree certificate (and TEFL certificate if required) notarized by a solicitor or notary public
o   The notary will create a copy of your document(s) and attach a letter of attestation
o   Typical price: £30
·         Step 3: Obtain certification of your non-criminal record document
o   The document must be sent back to the issuing authority with a request for a legalization stamp
o   The certificate will be given a government stamp recognising it as a true document
o   If this option is not available, you will need to go via a notary instead
·          Step 4: Have all your documents apostilled by the UK government legalisation service
o   Standard service: £30 per document (takes up to 10 days)
o   Express service: £75 per document (1 day).
o   The criminal record certificate must be the original. Copies will be rejected
·         Step 5: After obtaining apostilles, the documents must be legalised by a Chinese embassy in the UK
o   This must be done in person at the embassy. There is no postal service available.
o   Normal service: £15 (4 days)
o   Express service: £30 (3 days)
·         Step 6: Your documents are now ready to make your Chinese work visa application 
 
Document authentication in the United States
·         Step 1: Obtain a non-criminal record certificate
o   This can be done at the state level or federal level
o   State level checks can be done via your home state’s website
o   Federal level checks must be done via an FBI Background Check and normally take 2 to 4 weeks
o   Ensure the document you receive is signed by the issuing authority
·         Step 2: Have your degree certificate (and TEFL if required) notarized by a public notary
o   This must be done in the state the certificates were issued
·         Step 3: All documents must then be authenticated by the Secretary of State in your home state
o   Authentication must contain an appropriate seal, signature and clear wording
o   More information can be found on the Department of State Document Authentication website
o   Click the following for a list of State Authentication Offices
o   When submitting documents, make it clear that they are for usage in China, so that the official handling your case can use appropriate wording and formatting in the authentication document
·         Step 4: Have all your documents legalized by a Chinese embassy or consulate in the United States
o   Complete the following application form
o   Submit the form, along with your documents, to your nearest embassy or consulate
o   The form and documents must be submitted in person, or by a nominated person on your behalf
o   The legalized documents will be returned to you after processing is complete
·         Step 5: Your documents are now ready to make your Chinese work visa application
 
 
Document Authentication in Australia
·         Step 1: Obtain a non-criminal record check from your local authority 
o   The certificate is obtained via a National Police Check
·         Step 2: Degree and TEFL certificate (if required) must be notarized by an Australian notary
o   You can do this via a notary in any Australian state or territory
·         Step 3: Have all documents apostilled by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
o   Visit smartraveller.gov.au for more information on what legalization services are available
o   Can be done in person or by post
o   Postal service is only possible via Melbourne or Sydney
·         Step 4: Have all your documents legalized by a Chinese embassy
o   The embassy must be in the same jurisdiction as that for which any notarizations were obtained.
o   For example, if your degree certificate was notarized in Queensland, then you must have all your documents legalised via the Chinese consulate in Brisbane
 
·         Step 5: Your documents are now ready to make your Chinese work visa application
 
 
Document Authentication in South Africa
 
·         Step 1: Obtain a Police Clearance Certificate from the South African government
·         Step 2: Bachelor degree (and TEFL if required) must be certified by the Department of Higher Education and Training
·         Step 3: Obtain apostilles for your degree, TEFL and no criminal record
o   Do this via the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
o   In some cases, your TEFL certificate will need to instead be notarized by a public notary and then verified by the South African High Court
·         Step 4: Have all your documents legalized by a Chinese embassy
o   First complete the following application form
o   Take the form, along with all your documents (originals and copies), including your residence permit and passport, to your nearest Chinese embassy for processing
o   Consult the following for more information: Cape Town Chinese Consulate FAQ
·         Step 5: Your documents are now ready to make your Chinese work visa application
 
 
Document Authentication in Canada
 
·         Step 1: Obtain a non-criminal record certificate
o   Visit canadainternational.gc.ca for more information
o   In most cases you will be applying for a Certified Criminal Record Check
o   You will need to provide your fingerprints
o   If the check brings up no criminal matches, you will be able to obtain the certificate in 3 days or less
o   If the check requires any manual processing, or you are found to have criminal matches, the certification process may take up to 4 months
o   Processing fees are $25, plus local service fees which depend on your local jurisdiction
·         Step 2: Your degree, TEFL (if required) and non-criminal record documents must be notarized by a notary public, lawyer or Commissioner of Oaths of Canada
o   Notarization should be completed in the same jurisdiction as the Chinese embassy you intend to go to for the next step of the process
·         Step 3: All documents must be apostilled by the Canadian government
o   This must be done in the same province or jurisdiction as that in which your documents were notarized
·         Step 4: All documents must be legalized by a Chinese embassy
o   The process is done via a relevant Visa for China Centre
o   This must be done in the same province or jurisdiction as that in which your documents were notarized
 
·         Step 5: Your documents are now ready to make your Chinese work visa application
 
 
Document Authentication in Ireland
·         Step 1: Apply for a Gardaí Police Certificate
o   A Police Certificate is issued by the Superintendent in the District where the relevant applicant resides, or formerly resided, in the Republic of Ireland.
o   Certificates are issued free of charge
·         Step 2: Degree, TEFL, (if required) and police certificate must be notarized by a local notary public
·         Step 3: Have all your documents apostilled and legalized by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
o   Application can be via post or in person
o   Cost: €40 per document
o   Cash payments are no longer possible in the Dublin and Cork offices. You can only pay by bank card, bank draft or postal order
·         Step 4: Submit your documents to the Chinse embassy in Ireland for legalization
o   You will need to complete the following application form
o   The legalization process is outlined here: China Embassy Ireland - Legalisation
o   Required documents are outlined here: China Embassy Ireland – Legalisation Documents
 
·         Step 5: Your documents are now ready to make your Chinese work visa application

What is the sample of the legalization document?

USA    UK    SA    AUS    Jamaica

How much RMB should I bring when I go to China?

When you arrive in China you should have appropriate money for living, dependent on the situation. For example, if the school provides accommodation and food, you will only need money for transport and recreational activities. If the school does not provide accommodation or food, you will have to pay for these. Until you receive your first salary 3000RMB-5000RMB is enough, again dependent on the situation.

How long will it take to get my work permit?

Once all documents are received and translated to Chinese, we will then complete the application and await the Foreign Expert Bureau to complete their checks. This could take between 5-10 working days.

Should I bring all original documents to China?

Yes, you should bring all original documents as the Foreign Expert Bureau will need to check the originals to complete the work permit application. 
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