Chinese work visa

What to Know When Getting a Chinese Work Visa

  • August 13, 2018 / Queenie Kawabe / 0 Comment

The process to getting a Chinese work (Z) visa can be complicated but is necessary to work legally long-term in China. Before you officially accept your job in China, make sure you understand what visa you will be getting, and who is responsible for it. Some companies will include this in the package, while others will require you to bear the cost and responsibility of the work visa. Be sure that you understand what your specific situation is in order to avoid any confusion later on in your work period.

Below are a few points of what to know when getting a Chinese work visa to help you get started.

Who Needs a Chinese Work (Z) Visa

If you are looking to legally get paid for your work in China, you will need a work visa. A work visa is only granted when both the employee and the employer meet a list of requirements. Do know that there may be some flexibility in the below, however, these are the official rules of how to obtain a work visa. Some of the requirements include the following:

a. The organisation must be accredited to employ foreigners.

The employer must have a certificate that states you comply as a foreign expert. On the employees side, this means that they must be a “foreign expert”. A foreign expert means you must have minimum qualifications in whatever field of your job. This usually means having a Bachelors degree and two years of working experience.

B. Age Limit

The age limit for applicants for male are 18-60 and for female are 18-55.

How to Obtain a Chinese Work (Z) Visa 

There are two main steps to getting your Chinese work visa.

1. The first is to get the work permit invitation and this process may take longer than the second step.

After you have done so, you simply can go to the Chinese embassy or consulate and process the fees to get your work visa.

In order to obtain a Z visa, your company must first apply for a work permit invitation. Remember that this is not the same thing as the work visa, but is only the first step to the whole process. Ensure that you have the following documents available:

a. University Degree:

This is not a transcript but the actual certificate. You will also need to make sure that you have a translated version in Chinese. This will need to be done by an official certified translator as well. There are many companies online that can offer their services at a reasonable price. Additionally, this can all be done digitally allowing for less trouble on your part.

b. A Health Check-Up

This can be obtained in your home country but must follow certain guidelines. It can also be done after your arrival to China. You will need to go to a specific foreigner hospital that is registered to offer such services.

c. A scanned copy of your valid passport

The information page with your name, date of birth, passport number, etc.

D. A criminal background check

This is to ensure you have a clean record. Make sure you know what type of record you will need before you leave for China. Some places will simply ask for a local police check while others will require a federal check.

E. Your contract signature page.


2. After you have received the work permit invitation papers, you can now go to the Chinese Embassy or Chinese Consulate Office to complete your work visa.

During this second step you will need to bring the following:

  • The completed Z-class application form
  • The work permit invitation
  • The signed and stamped Medical Check form
  • Your passport (ensure that you have 6 months validity remaining)
  • Your 2×2 inch photo

Visa fee (this will vary depending on what nationality you are and also if you need express service). The cost will usually be around USD 160-200 and make sure you keep receipts as many companies will reimburse this cost to you.

When the Z visa is issued, it is only valid for 30 days from the date of arrival. At this time, you and your employer will need to seek Temporary Residence Permit for the rest of the contract. The minimum amount for this is 90 days and you can get up to a maximum of 5 years.

The above should give you a better idea of what goes on in order to obtain a working visa in China. Know that for fresh graduates, it may be difficult to obtain one since you will need to show you have had two years of working experience. However, for those that are able to already have this in their career, then a work visa should not be difficult to obtain. This should help set you on your way to having an awesome experience in working in China!

Tell us – share your experience with us when you are applying for your Chinese work visa?


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