Working Visa in China

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5waldos
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Working Visa in China

Post by 5waldos » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:09 am

Friend’s son went off to do school there and then decided that the program was not what he thought he was getting in to. Giving up his scholarship and is hoping to switch his student visa to a work visa. Any thoughts or suggestions? Is it likely that he will succeed in this? He is thinking of ESL or something.

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Wilster
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Re: Working Visa in China

Post by Wilster » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:54 am

If the "program" is not what he thought he was getting in to, then ESL would not be his "program" either. It's China, not the program(s).

If he's so set on working, start off illegally first.
Scrubb makes note of my Stew and Thorn Tree posting history: I had no issues with what you said, the problem was that I couldn't figure out what it was (you said).

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Re: Working Visa in China

Post by 5waldos » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:26 am

No- it’s the program. An 8 year one instead of a 3 year one. Working illegally in China? What do you do about a visa?

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Re: Working Visa in China

Post by Wilster » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:42 am

He didn't know he was getting into an 8-year program, and he found this out once he got there?

Just keep re-upping a tourist visa (not sure how long each stay is...but he can go do a side-trip on a weekend and let the clock start ticking again when he re-enters China). On the Ball probably knows the in's and out's of this for casual teaching/labor.
Scrubb makes note of my Stew and Thorn Tree posting history: I had no issues with what you said, the problem was that I couldn't figure out what it was (you said).

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Re: Working Visa in China

Post by 5waldos » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:01 pm

According to him he thought he was in for a 3 year program, when he arrived he was put in the 8 year one. Bit of a difference. Happily it is not my problem but thought that someone here might have words of wisdom. May ask OTB to take a quick look and see if he (he?) has any thoughts.

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Re: Working Visa in China

Post by Wilster » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:52 pm

5waldos wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:01 pm
According to him he thought he was in for a 3 year program, when he arrived he was put in the 8 year one. Bit of a difference. Happily it is not my problem but thought that someone here might have words of wisdom. May ask OTB to take a quick look and see if he (he?) has any thoughts.
OTB was on the up and up as far as employment, I think he was all legit, but surely he would have seen and maybe even hired more casual teachers in his tenure there.
Scrubb makes note of my Stew and Thorn Tree posting history: I had no issues with what you said, the problem was that I couldn't figure out what it was (you said).

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Re: Working Visa in China

Post by OnTheBall » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:34 pm

Just saw this thread.

The thing about working visas is that rules and regulations change all the time, and even then immigration and labour officials don't know what they're doing half the time. I am just writing what getting a work visa for an ESl teaching job entails, other roles may be different. Requirements for a foreigner to obtain a work visa in China to teach ESL are: a bachelor's degree as a minimum (from a native English country such as the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, NZ, South Africa and Ireland), 2 years' teaching experience, no criminal record, TESOL/TEFL certificate, etc.

Anyway, you can't just switch from a student visa to a work visa. Generally speaking, you also cannot be in China and apply for a work visa, you would need to be back in your own country and go through the application there, although I have seen people do so from Singapore in the past, but that avenue may be closed now.

The first step would be to find an employer to sponsor you for a work visa (they need to be SAFEA certified to be able to offer a work visa). Once you do find one (they should offer you certain things as standard: a month bonus upon completion of a year's contract, health insurance, apartment, paid holidays, etc). Once you find someone, then you need to get a health check done at a clinic/hospital, show your certifications, your sponsor has to provide a letter, and I think nowadays you need to get a criminal record check done. The whole process of obtaining a work visa takes about a month.

Once all of that is done, you will get your work visa on your passport, which will give you a month in China to convert it to a residence permit (your employer should do this for you).

Or, you can do what a lot of "teachers" are doing who do not have a degree, and get a tourist or business visa and work illegally. There will be many local schools who will employ you, although you will run the risk of being taken advantage of or of being deported. For a business visa, you will still need a company to write a letter inviting you into China. One cannot legally work in China on a tourist or a business visa. One also cannot legally turn a tourist/student/business visa into a working visa in China, no matter what dodgy visa agents/schools tell you. A student may be able to work part-time or during the holidays or get an internship (although not too sure about this.

Visa runs (to get new visas) for those working illegally are generally done by going to HK and going through agents there. Americans, for some reason, were able to obtain 10 yea visas for China a few years ago, all they had to do was cross the border into HK and then come back every few months. Not sure, if they still grant Americans 10 year visas anymore. These visas still don't entitle the holder to work in China legally.

I might be able to set your buddy's kid up with a school in Guangzhou either legally or illegally, if you want, as long as you vouch for him to do the right thing (and realises that China is China).

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Re: Working Visa in China

Post by Wilster » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:46 am

OnTheBall wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:34 pm
Visa runs (to get new visas) for those working illegally are generally done by going to HK and going through agents there. Americans, for some reason, were able to obtain 10 yea visas for China a few years ago, all they had to do was cross the border into HK and then come back every few months. Not sure, if they still grant Americans 10 year visas anymore. These visas still don't entitle the holder to work in China legally.
I have a ten-year visa and got a couple colleagues some visas via SF Consulate (two years ago) where they too got ten-year visas (they probably won't ever go back to China); I think it was a reciprocal thing where each country was issuing the same; ironic that we are now reciprocating tariffs at the mo'.

I think in one of my non-ten-year visa applications (been going there for over 20 years now) I checked the "doing business" thing on the app and the woman behind the window was like, no, you need to check "this one." Basically, calling off all the BS of what a "business visa" might entail. I do try to be as transparent as I can be when going and returning to/from China.

Both China and US must know what is going on with a nod. I mean I've been going there for over 20 years, a couple times a year, one doesn't need to do the math. I am more worried about coming back to the US. I even declare "commercial merchandise/samples" and STILL have had no problems. If they say, business or tourist? I'm like, well, I was at an industry show for two days and the rest was pleasure, six or more days--meaning on the form, your "primary" reason for the trip was pleasure by days out. Then you throw in the, hey, I'm married have two kids, I need a break; the guy behind the counter is like :roll: , I get it. With everything I've done (even trip to North Korea) I have Global Entry which makes it even easier if I am bringing in "samples" back to the US.

I don't know, with my travel history, if I'm coming in from China, it ain't to sight see. So they (officials on both sides) must give kinda give a blind eye to people like me and I gotta imagine a host of others.
Scrubb makes note of my Stew and Thorn Tree posting history: I had no issues with what you said, the problem was that I couldn't figure out what it was (you said).

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Re: Working Visa in China

Post by EMG » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:43 am

Sounds like the working visa situation in China is much like the Philippines.

Loads of foreigners here are working under the table, but to get a legit company-sponsored working visa is difficult, and somewhat rare.

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Re: Working Visa in China

Post by 5waldos » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:16 pm

OTB- that is a very generous offer. At this point I am sitting back and other than trying to gather information, not involving myself but I will certainly keep it in mind. And the information is very helpful indeed. I haven't heard what is happening at this point- lady check in the government had his passport to process the visa, and honestly I can never be sure that I am getting the entire story from his dad. (Athough we have been friends for nearly 40 years- he tends to exaggerate situations). So I will hold off and see where they go with this and offer up your discussion In the event that it would be useful. Supposedly he has a job offer or two but doing what I have no idea- he has zero experience, never having worked so no practical experience, but does have a BA degree and is reasonably fluent in Chinese.

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Re: Working Visa in China

Post by 5waldos » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:22 am

*lady check s/b last check. Took me some thinking to figure out what I meant.

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