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Blog China Work Visa Requirements: What You May Not Know [2018]

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China Work Visa Requirements: What You May Not Know [2018]

by Bobby Lee | 16 December 2017


China has become a popular destination for expats looking for work outside their home countries. This blog post will explain two of the most critical China work visa requirements.

Are you coming to China to work soon, or thinking about it? Read on...

How To Get A China Work Visa

You can get some information from this post on the various Chinese visas that are available.

Certain people do not need to apply for a work visa; it depends on what you are going to be doing in China. But as a rule of thumb, if you're a resident in China and employed here, you'll need a work visa.

Recently China introduced a points system for foreign experts, and many criteria will win you points, such as expected earnings in China, industry work experience, Chinese language ability, and level of education.

Assuming you get enough points to be eligible for employment, what happens next?

You'll need to provide certain documentary proof of the things that make you a suitable candidate to work in China, specifically:

  • Application form for Foreigner’s Work Permit.
  • Job qualification certificate.
  • Employment contract, employment certificate, or government authorisation letter.
  • Passport, visa or valid residence permit.
  • Certificate (diploma) of highest academic degree or relevant vocational qualification certificate.
  • Non-criminal record certificate.

Certain application materials including the highest academic degree or diploma that you hold and the non-criminal record certificate require authentication by the Chinese embassy or consulate.


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China Work Visa Requirements You Must Be Aware Of

We know that points are required to get a Chinese work permit, but say you have enough points to be employed in China, what about the important documents that are needed?

Here are the ones that often catch people out, as obtaining them is a rather complex process.

Non criminal record certificate

Exactly what this looks like will depend on your country of origin, but either way, it will be possible to get this yourself with a little online research.

There will usually be a government website where you can request documents like this, or perhaps you'll need to visit the police's website for your region.

This will then need to be notarised by a public notary or solicitor.

For example, this is how the process works in the USA. You could also use the information provided by the US Department of State.

Until 2017, a non-criminal record certificate wasn't mandatory, but now it's an essential document, and you should not apply for a work visa without it.

Notarised Educational Certificate/s

If you're using your level of education as proof of your eligibility to work in China, you will need to have the relevant documents notarised. This will include degree certificates and TEFL/TESOL certificates if you intend to teach.

A public notary or a solicitor will do the notarisation.

'Legalisation' by the Chinese embassy

The notarised documents must then be delivered to your local Chinese embassy for 'legalisation,' along with this form

They cannot be sent by post, therefore either you, or an agent you employ to do this task, must go in person to the embassy to hand them. 

Are there costs involved to do all of this?

Yes, undoubtedly. 

This will depend on your country of origin. You may find it easier to pay an agent a flat fee, and they will take care of the whole process, otherwise you'd be scrambling to do several of these steps yourself, making separate payments, and delivering the final notarised documents to your Chinese embassy (which may not be near where you live).

This post, despite its teaching focus, has pretty good advice on this topic for anyone who intends to work in China, and it also contains the options that you could use to help undertake the process of getting a visa.


Have you recently gained a China work visa? How was the process for you? 

Please share your tips and experiences, or ask any questions you may have, by leaving a comment below.


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Topics: China Visa Application

Bobby Lee

Bobby Lee

Helping make China companies easy since 2007 as a Senior Consultant