【2017 Update】Z Visa for Workers | 工作签证新规(英文版)

2017-06-26 Live Local dalianlaowai dalianlaowai

The Z Visa is issued to those who intend to work in China.

 General Summary 

Getting a Z visa in China is not easy. For a start, many companies are not authorized to hire foreigners.This is why, for example, many language schools hire foreign English teachers without providing them with a work visa.

Even for companies who can hire foreign staff, the process involves several steps and multiple branches of government bureaucracy. The applicant (or more likely, the applicant’s employer) must apply for a work permit (“Alien Employment License”) or Foreign Expert’s Certificate before the actual visa application can be submitted.

This stage of the process involves the employer persuading the relevant authority that the applicant in question has the skills and experience needed to do a job which could not be done equally well by a Chinese person. Usually, applicants must have a relevant education background - some businesses may demand a bachelor’s degree, but this is not demanded by law - and a minimum of two years’ work experience in the relevant field, or five if you’re teaching something other than languages. Many applications hit a brickwall at this stage.

Applicants must also undergo a medical examination. The official line is that this is to verify that the applicant is not carrying contagious viruses or diseases. Applicants may be required to pass a health examination in their own country before a Z Visa will be issued. However, many have then found themselves having to undergo another examination upon arrival in China (most cities have a single hospital designated for overseeing examinations of foreigners and issuing the relevant certificates).

When your Physical Examination Record and work permit or Foreign Expert’s Certificate have been issued, you (or your prospective employer) can apply for a visa notification letter to be issued. With this taken care of, it’s a matter of gathering all these documents, along with those that you are required to provide yourself, and submitting your application to the relevant visa office.

After a Z Visa has been issued, you may now travel to China safe in the knowledge that you will be allowed to enter the country. Upon your arrival in China, the final step in the process is for your employer to take your passport to the local Public Security Bureau (PSB) to apply for your visa to be converted into a Residence Permit (a separate document which will be pasted into your passport).


The full requirements now are:

1. At least 18 years old and in good health.

2. Have a clean criminal record.
3. Excellent academic performance, with an average grade over 80% or above B/ B+ and a good behavioral record.
4. Have a relevant degree and educational background.
5. Have a 
confirmed job offer in China relevant to your degree major, with a higher salary than the local average (as determined by the local social security department).

6. Have a valid passport or equivalent.

To apply for the Z visa, applicants must present the following:
1. Proof of employment history.
2. Letter proving the employment offer and remuneration.
3. Report giving evidence that the company advertised the job to domestic workers for at least 30 days.
4. Proof of health status.
5. Criminal record check.
6. Degree certificate and transcript.
7. Record of good behavior and grades during education (not required if the applicant has already graduated).
8. Photo taken within the last six months.

9. Employment license or foreign expert work permit, obtained from the Human Resources and Social Security Department or Management or State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs. 

Notes: All documents required under this category should be presented in the original form, along with photocopies of each. Application forms for visas and authentication or notarization can usually all be downloaded from the websites of the Chinese Embassy and Consulate General in your country, or collected from the visa section in person.


Up to 30 days for single entry

Z visa is valid for only 30 days from the date of arrival during which time you and your employer must seek a Temporary Residence Permit for the duration of your contract, to the minimum of 90 days and the maximum of 5 years.

Hope this helps!

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