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Top Tips on Getting a Chinese Work Visa

Sep 18, 2018


Currently, if you want to work in China, of course, you will need a Chinese work visa. There are two types of work permits you can apply for: an employment license for foreigners from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, or a foreign expert work permit from the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA). The system has always been a bit confusing, what with figuring out who is a foreign expert and who is not. The scheme was initially piloted from October 2016 to March 2017 and has since been rolled out country-wide, unifying two work permits required by foreigners to just one.

China Work Visa Categories

The Bureau has explained that it will divide foreigners applying for a Chinese work visa into 3 distinct categories: A (top talent), B (professional talent), and C (unskilled workers or those working the service industry). While a “green channel” in applying for a work visa will be opened to those A-graded individuals, the B and C categories of expats will be limited by the government.
The Global Times explains that foreigners are awarded points based such factors as their salary in China, their educational background, how long they’ve worked in China, their Chinese language proficiency, their age, and where they work (with more points for working in less-developed regions). 85 points or higher is an A, 60 points or higher a B, and under 60 points is a C-level talent.

Foreign graduates with master’s degree don’t need work experience for the China work visa

According to an announcement from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS), international graduates with master’s degrees from Chinese universities or “well-known” foreign universities (which universities qualify as “well-known” is not yet known) are now eligible for a Z visa (Chinese Work Visa) immediately, thus waiving the previous requirement for two years of work experience after graduation.
China Visa requirements:
  • At least 18 years old and in good health.
  • Have a clean criminal record.
  • Excellent academic performance, with an average grade of 80% or above B/ B+ and a good behavioral record.
  • Relevant degree and educational background.
  • Have a confirmed job offer in China relevant to your degree major, with a higher salary than the local average (as determined by the local social security department).
  • Possess a valid passport or equivalent.
China Z Visa requirements:
  • Proof of employment history.
  • Letter proving the employment offer and remuneration.
  • Report giving evidence that the company advertised the job to domestic workers for at least 30 days.
  • Proof of health status.
  • Criminal record check.
  • Degree certificate and transcript.
  • Record of good behavior and grades during education (not required if the applicant has already graduated).
  • A passport-style photo taken within the last six months.
  • Employment license or foreign expert work permit, obtained from the Human Resources and Social Security Department or Management or State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.

China wants more Foreign Workers

China plans to relax visa policies and make it easier for foreigners to qualify for permanent residence in a bid to attract overseas talent and investment. According to CCTV, as well as making it easier to settle in China, the government plans to expand the social security system to cover foreigners, granting them the same retirement, unemployment, medical and maternity benefits enjoyed by Chinese citizens.
Between 2011 and 2015, 3 million foreign “experts” began working in China, an increase of 30 percent over the preceding five years according to official statistics. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that China would work towards “creating a favorable environment for foreign companies and protecting the legal rights of foreign investors.”
Whatever your profession, China is increasingly opening up to foreigners. Over the last few years, there has been an influx of people coming to China to seek new opportunities. The Chinese work visa system does seem to change every year or two, sometimes with more red tape, sometimes less, so keep yourself updated about the situation.
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