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Guide to applying for a Z-visa

Guide to applying for a Z-visa

Found this guide to applying for a Z-visa, the pre-runner to a ‘residents permit’ in China.

Most employers help with the process which requires specific documents from both the employer and employee.

This guide is written by the US Embassy. It broadly covers most foreigners applying for a Z-visa, except

  • In the cost of the Visa.
  • Submission addresses and details.
  • Non-western Europe, America’s have different visa arrangements/requirements.

Everything else is the same. It’s a valuable read for anyone planning to visit China working for the first time

New eBook: Guide to Z Visas and Work Authorization in China

This free Guide summarizes the requirements and procedures to apply for work authorization in China on the basis of an employment permit issued by a local Human Resources and Social Security (HRSS) bureau. Each step of the process is covered: employment license, visa notification letter, Z visa and entry, medical examination, work permit, and residence permit. Issues related to accompanying family members are covered as well. The Guide concludes with a discussion of additional terms and conditions of stay in China for workers and their family members.

Guide to applying for a Z-visa
Guide to applying for a Z-visa: Download


Chinese Hot Water

Chinese Hot Water

The Chinese firmly believe in hot water, or at least warm water. I’m not a great fan. I prefer mine chilled. Thankfully.

Visa for travel?

Looks like the woman at the Chinese embassy didn’t know what she was talking about and I actually DON’T have a valid visa for China.

Luckily, I’m one of those people that doesn’t believe what he’s told, and rather than chance it at the border, I decided to call it a day in SE Asia.

Leaving of Hanoi

Had a good look around this city. Seems a cool place – in many ways, not least because the weather was about 11 °C.

Pork dumplings
Vietnamese street food – Dumplings and egg

I took some photo’s and mooched the streets.

On many days it was raining, at least in the afternoon.

There are many places to eat in Hanoi. Perhaps too many.

Vietnamese Street Food
Vietnamese Street Food – Sausages and other offal

Shopping is also good. There are many nick-nacks to be had. Prices are cheap, bargains can be struck and there is an abundance of other shops to try if the price doesn’t suit.

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Z-VISA in the UK

Z-VISA in the UK

Single entry Chinese Z-VISA
Single entry Chinese Z-VISA

Timescales and costs involved in getting a Chinese Z-VISA in the UK.

1) Getting a CRC (Criminal Record Check) for an Individual in the UK

The first document you’re going to require – CRC or Criminal Record Check. Background check. Whatever.

In the UK this document is surrounded by Bureaucracy and red-tape. Arranging one for an individual is ‘not possible’, they can only be done for organisations.

This is a lie. Of the many people I spoke to, they all told me this. “You need to be from a company”.

This is to prevent individuals abusing their lack of criminal record, like you might abuse your medical records… I guess…. But in the UK, it’s very important that the only people to KNOW you’re not a criminal are companies. You cannot be trusted with the truth.

That’s what they tell you.

It’s actually a lie. I guess, to make money.

You need to go the right website This site will give you a background or criminal record check for the UK.

The site will provide any individual with a basic disclosure about their criminal records as held on file by the UK police service.

This disclosure is now a requirement for any UK national wishing to take up a teaching position.

Total time 5 days.

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Bye bye Edward!

Bye bye Edward!

Housemate from the US has parted company.

He had problems with meeting his responsibilities , and at the weekend had a bottle of beer. Or two , some Bacardi , and also some vodka.

I disappeared for the weekend , went to Nanjing.
When I came back, I heard the sound of tins being opened early in the morning.
About 6am.

This isn’t the first time this has happened.
Last weekend he drank all my brandy and the police came round because he was outside smashing things up.

He had a habit of sleeping in odd places ‘close to nature’.
People would wake me to come to the aid of Edward, outside, in a pool of his own wee (or whatever ). Sometimes he was conscious , sometimes not.

China has it’s fair share of alcoholic teachers.
The Russian I used to work with was drunk 24/7.
One of the other teachers commented “I never realized he was drunk till I saw him sober .”

Another stocked up on Bijiou to get him through his day at Kindle.

On Monday it all came to a head when Ed turned up for work on the sauce.
Police were called. Poor Eddie had to spend the best part of the day in the cells explaining and clearing things up with the Chinese authorities 。

Employers , linestart have threatened to blackball him.
Effectively making it impossible for him to get work in China.

There’s a letter.

China blackballed
China blackballed
Guide to applying for a China Residents Visa

Guide to applying for a China Residents Visa

China Residents Visa
China Residents Visa

So. Got my residents visa through. These are the steps I had to go through in total to get a residents Visa for 365 days stay in China.

It allows me to work.

I have indefinite entry and exit (ooh, err) ?!

My steps to getting a residents Visa.

  1. Get a job offer. Whether at home or abroad, this is always your first step. Most interviews are conducted by Skype nowadays. Although it’s possible to have incoming calls from Chinese schools on your mobile phone. Always get some pictures of the school, working environment, colleages and social events. This can give you sense of what to expect and how honest they’re being.
  2. Sign a contract. An employer will always provide you with a contract. If they can’t do this, you should end your China dream here. Never turn up  on an L Visa hoping for things to be hunky dory… You’ll get screwed. Visa first, then contract.
  3. Examine and sign. Have other people look at it, hopefully people with experience of living or working in China. If there’s anything that you don’t understand, looks unfair or isn’t included bring it up with your employer.
  4. Experts Certificate and Recommendation letter: As soon as you’ve done this, your employer will start applying for your experts certificate and recommendation letter. The experts certificate can take as little as a few days depending on how well ‘connected’ your institution is.
  5. Do the test: Nowadays, all non-Chinese nationals wishing to work in the country are asked to complete a test to find out how well they will fit in and adjust to the country culturally and professionally. You’ll be sent a link to this as part of your application process. The online evaluation test can be found here. It’s not that easy for example if you have NO knowledge of China or Chinese language or culture, the written test is going to prove difficult…
  6. Get a medical done in the UK/don’t get medical done in the UK. If you want to get your Z done BEFORE you leave the country, you’ll need this document. If you intend to get your Z done AFTER entering China. DON’T GET THIS DONE… Many people prefer to enter on an L Visa, meet the employer start work and wait for the processes involved in step 4 to go through. Either way, you need to notify your employer WHERE you’ll be applying for your Z as it’s written on the EXPERTS CERTIFICATE and the INVITATION LETTER. Let them know up front if you want to wait around in your country of residence for the documentation, (can take up to 2 months), or wish to come over and have the process begin in China. Getting it done in the UK is more expensive as the China visa medical tends to be a bit expensive.
  7. Complete your documentation: Once you have your a)Medical examination certificate b) experts certificate c) invitation letter. You can get things wroking and rolling in ernest. Send the docs off along with the completed paperwork from the Chinese Visa office. This will take you about a day or two provided you’ve followed steps 1-6 correctly. If somethings wrong, your medical is not from China and you’re in Hong Kong, or the passport offices on your documentation don’t match up, it’s back to square one. It says the visa is 180gbp, but I seem to remember getting mine done for around £100 in Hong Kong.
  8. Take your Z-visa to your local government office: The Z-visa itself only lasts for 28 days. This can only be done by you and your employer in person.
  9. Pick up your residents permit: So you’ve done all the hard work. Snipped and smashed your way through all the red tape. !!! You’re finally a resident of China !!! Time to take your boss down the pub and celebrate, (if you can find one within a 40 mile radius), otherwise accept my congratulations. You are now a happy resident of China.
Aquired – New Z-visa

Aquired – New Z-visa

As promised, the agency have provided me with a fresh visa.

This time, it’s a z-visa…

The visa itself is only valid for 1 month and one entry. However, I can present these visa to the local government officials at the locality I’m staying in, and they will provide me with a Residents Permit.

Residents permit

A Chinese residents permit allows:

  • Multiple entries.
  • Residence for 12 months.

I have something known as Foreigner Residence Permit application. Other residence application permits include Permanent and Temporary Residence permit which last for 10 years and 6-12 months respectively.