Chinese work visa policies continuously changed in 2017, from the new appointment system to more requirements for certain groups. In 2018, these new policies will be more mature in terms of implementation.
For foreigners, there are three main stages you must go through to acquire the qualification that allows you actually legally stay and work in China.
- Chinese work permit application
- Chinese work visa application
- Chinese work residence application
Remember, once you have an employer that wants to hire you, it’s time to start the application process.
Specific groups need more documents for work permit application
April 1, 2017, a new system was implemented nationwide with the intent of making the process more efficient, and it simplified previous steps.
The new work permit system requires you to submit the following items:
- Application form for Chinese work permit.
- Job qualification certificate – signed/stamped letter from the previous employer – normally you need a minimum of two years’ work experience.
- Medical certificate from a recent health check – within 6 months
- Employment contract, employment certificate or government authorization letter.
- Passport, visa or valid residence permit.
- Non-criminal record certificate – notarized and authenticated.
- Certificate (diploma) of highest academy degree or relevant vocational qualification certification – notarized and authenticated.
For specific groups, more documents are needed:
- For any education organization who hire foreign teachers, the organization should have the qualification certificate of education, and the foreigner should have the teaching qualification certificate.
- For foreigners who work in physical education, the highest qualification certificate is needed, football coach, for example.
- For any institution who hire foreigners working in the medical industry, the institution should have the qualification certificate of working in the medical industry and the foreigner should have the relevant qualification certificate which is authenticated by China and overseas authorities.
- For foreigners who work as a pilot, should have the relevant qualification certificate.
The procedure starts with the employer fills out the online application form and you supply them with the documents. The infographic below shows the procedure of work permit application, it roughly takes 40 days for the work permit application.
To skip the feeling of uncertainty for your application, you can check the application status with a mini program in time, check here: Now You Can Check Your Chinese Work Permit Application Online
Image: Guangzhou Foreign Experts Bureau
If all the online evaluation goes smoothly and your application is approved, your employer will receive a digital copy of the Notification Letter Of Foreigner’s Work Permit In The People’s Republic Of China.
The notice will also tell you what category of worker you fall into under the new system: A, B, C. What does A, B, C category mean here? You can check this article for its definition and how it works in the Chinese work visa system. How to Get High Scores for Work Permit under The New System?
The category also affects the validity of the work permit, normally foreigners with category A receive a length of Chinese work permit of a year or above, while foreigners with category C are granted the work permit of a half-a-year validity, all in all, it eventually depends on the decision of the officers. Here is a mini-program that can help you have a rough evaluation to see which category you make be included in. English Version of Chinese Work Permit Scores Calculator Comes!
- China’s State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs has announced that from February 28, 2018, all foreigners are required to submit their application for Chinese work permit renewal 30 days ahead of the expiration of their permits or they have to restart a new application. See more details from this article: Important Notice of Chinese Work Permit Just Announced
- Foreigners whose ages between 60-65, if they meet the standards of category A, they should submit records of buying commercial insurance the same time when applying for a work permit renewal. If the applicant does not meet the standards of category A, the officers consider the applicant’s educational background and work experiences to see whether give the approval of the work permit renewal or not.
What is the next after receiving the notification letter?
You can now bring the notification letter and your passport to a Chinese embassy or consulate in your own country to apply for your work visa (Z or R).
If you are in Guangdong, also you can go to Hong Kong, specifically to the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
What you need to take are the following documents:
- the notification letter
- a photocopy of your passport info page.
Collect your Chinese work permit in 15 days!
With passport and work visa in hand, the next step is to enter China, apply for and collect your Chinese work permit. You have to do this within 15 days of entering the country.
At this point, you need to finish the process for Chinese work permit at a foreigner work management department, go to the local SAFEA office, we also call Foreign Experts Bureau with your passport and visa.
After a few days of processing, you will receive your new Chinese work permit.
New appointment system for Chinese work residence
Now you’re all set to get your Chinese work residence which will let you stay in China.
You need to go to the Public Security Bureau Exit & Entry Administration Service Center (we also call it the immigration office) to apply for your Chinese work residence.
Of course, this step also requires a bunch of documents:
- Registration Form of Temporary Residence, you should go to the local police station first for this paper when arriving China.
- A verification letter from your employer with their official chop.
- Foreigner’s Work Permit original and copies (also suggest bringing the Chinese language version of your notification letter; they might ask for it)
- The application form with passport-style photo affixed and employer’s chop.
It takes one week this process. Keep it in mind, if you apply for the Chinese work residence in at the immigration office in Guangzhou, you should make an appointment beforehand, Guangzhou launched its new appointment for visa application in 2017, New Appointment System for Chinese Visa Starts Today!
When you drop off the passport to the officer at the immigration office, They will issue you a yellow form with your photo and details that work in lieu of a passport for travel and hotels within China, you don’t need to worry about getting stuck without the passport.
When you pick up your passport with a freshly minted residence permit, don’t forget to register again at the police station!
The whole system to make you legally live and work in China is complex. It is a long process with lots of steps and specific requirements.
If you still have questions about Chinese work visa system, feel free to leave a comment to us.