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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.