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What Visas are Needed to Work in China

ESL teachers need the following: Z Visa : This visa allows ESL teachers to work legally in China. Single Entry Z Visa - You can only enter China once with this visa. Multiple Entry Z Visa - Best visa for teachers, it allows you to enter and leave china many times
Visa Application Process: You will need to provide the following documents to your school: Invitation from your school; Copy of your college diploma; Local physical exam; Passport photo.

Your school will process these forms. You can obtain your visa before or after you enter China. However, it has been highly recommended that you acquire the Z visa before leaving your home country.

Obtaining the Z Visa: 1: Visit a Chinese embassy and get a Z-class application form and medical check form, complete these. 2: You will need to go to a government-approved hospital to get a medical check. This involves an x-ray and blood work. Have the doctor fill in the Chinese medical check form, sign and stamp it. 3: You must fax or mail these forms directly to the school. With these documents, a school can obtain a letter of invitation which takes about 7-10 days. 4: When you receive the letter of invitation take it and the Z application forms to the Chinese embassy. They will give you a Z- visa.

The Resident Permit: The Z visa allows you to enter China and it will allow you to obtain a Resident Permit or Work Permit. This allows you to legally teach English in China. Your employer should help you apply for the Resident Permit after you have arrived in China on a Z visa. The Resident Permit is valid for 12 months and the expiration date defines when you have to leave China or have it renewed.

Obtaining the Resident Permit, the necessary documents:
1) A valid passport.
2) You must be over 18.
3) A medical report
4) Your credentials (diploma, resume)
5) A letter of intention for employment and a report of reasons for employment.

Your employer will help you with this procedure. Your school will provide documents stating your accepted employment and they will submit your documents to the Chinese authorities in order to get you a permit.

A word of caution: Tourist Visas are good for 30 up to 90 days. Your Tourist Visa could expire before you get a Z Visa if you wait and enter China before getting a job, which is a huge hassle. You will have to go to Hong Kong or Macao, reapply for a new Tourist Visa and return to continue your wait for your Z Visa. Even after that, your school might not be allowed to change the Tourist Visa into a Z Visa.

About the Author

ESL Village  ESL Village is an ESL recruiting company that has helped so many foreign teachers find great schools in Asia. They not only handle recruiting and jobs but also they will support teachers and schools by answering questions and support from a trilingual translator (Cantonese, Mandarin and English). The website  concentrates on both the job and the lifestyle aspects .