A Beginner’s Guide to Teaching in China: How to get a work permit

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What is it?

Z (Work) Visas are issued to foreigners who travel to China with the intention to work for a longer period of time such as 12 months. To get a Z visa approved the applicant need to submit a work permit with their application.

Work permits are issued to foreigners eligible to work in China. It is a necessary document to obtain in order to work legally in the country. 

  • Tier A: high-level talent
  • Tier B: professional personnel
  • Tier C: foreigners who are nontechnical or service workers hired on a temporary/seasonal basis

China Work Permits: Are You an A, B, or C Tier Talent?

Individuals travelling to China to work as English teachers are Tier B Talents.

How to get a work permit:

Documents needed:

  • Copy of passport
  • Bachelors or Masters Degree certificate (legalised copy and original copy)
  • Criminal record check/ report (legalised copy and original copy)​
  • Teaching certificate (legalised copy* if applicable and original copy)​ / references 2+ years of full time teaching experience
  • Photo (passport/ head-shot style): must be in colour with white background, taken recently within the last 6 months.
  • Medical check* (if requested by the school)

Scanned copies / photo copies must then be emailed to your school representative who will submit a work permit application for you. Once your work permit has been approved (approx. three weeks), your school representative will email the reference number (can be found under the barcode) that you can use to apply for the Z visa.

Note: If you are relocating to Beijing you will have to send the physical documents to your school representative

Important: You will need to bring ALL your documents to China.

Once you arrive in China you will receive your Work Permit (see picture below) and you will need to apply for a Working Foreigner’s Residence Permit (your school representative will help you with this). Once you have received your residence permit, you can legally live and work in China for the duration of your contract.

The information on this page is subject to change.

Teach English in China, Begin the Adventure of a Lifetime

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