Applying for a Visa to Teach in China

To obtain the qualification to live and work in China, you need a Foreign Expert Certificate and a Residence Permit.

Once you have arrived in China, you need to apply for the Foreign Expert Certificate and Residence permit with the assistance of your school (employer). In order to apply for Foreign Expert Certificate and a Residence Permit, you need Z-Visa, which is necessary before you travel to China, allowing you to live and work in China until the residence permit is processed. The Z visa is a single entry visa, valid for 30 days after the date of entering China, allowing the holder to apply for a residence permit.

                 Foreign Expert Certificate - Teacher Record


What materials do you need to apply for a Z visa?

To apply for the Z visa, you will need to have both your degree certificate (copy) and your background check (original) notarized by a notary public and then stamped by the Department for Foreign Affairs (Dept of State or FCO or equivalent). Then, you need to take these two documents to the nearest Chinese embassy for verification. Whats more, the passport information page, TEFL certificate, passport-sized photo, as well as invitation letter are required to submit for the application for the visa. Be aware that you might be asked when you can get a work visa (usually 1-5 working days) and inform the school of this date. After you have successfully got your visa, congratulation on your first step out of teaching in China. Be aware, when you travel to China, you should bring all the original visa documents with you.

What is the procedure for applying for a Foreign Expert Certificate?

Once you arrive in China, during the special time period of Covid-19, you need to stay in a hotel near the airport in which you arrived for a quarantine of two weeks to make sure that you are healthy and not infected with Coronavirus. After two weeks of quarantine, the school will take you to the local police station to register your passport and visa details. If necessary, they will also arrange a medical check during the special time period. Then, they will apply for a foreign expert certificate (which will take 7-10 working days), and after receiving the certificate, they will take you to the visa office to submit your passport and residence permit application (this will take 5 to 5 working days and 7 working days).

In summary, you will need some or all of the following documents to complete the visa process:

  • 2 letters of recommendation (ink-signed and scanned)
  • Scanned passport photo (also bring 8 passport photos)
  • Information page of your passport (scanned)
  • Degree certificate (copy of your actual certificate, not a transcript, notarized and then stamped by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy)
  • Teaching Certificate (TEFL certificate or teaching certificate or both)
  • A criminal background check (original – notarized and then stamped by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy)
  • Signed contract
  • Signed commitment letter (Some locations)
  • Copy of your medical check report
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