Working Z Visa

Working Z Visa


The Chinese work (Z) visa is a visa to work in China. The visa that allows you to stay in China for extended periods of time of about roughly 1 year. This visa is usually granted to English teachers by means of a Foreign Expert Certificate granted by the Chinese government. The Foreign Expert Certificate requires an application from the prospective Foreign Expert, their resume, along with the authenticated copies of their most recent diploma and background check. The decision to grant the Foreign Expert Certificate is largely based on the people at the local bureau handling the application.

The process is relatively straightforward but is can take time. Once you’ve accepted a job offer and signed the contract, follow the steps below. Please note, however, that requirements for some provinces and schools can differ, so please check with the school each step of the way.

 1)    Get your documents together (Compile the following documents):

a)    Degree certificate

b)    TEFL/certificate (if applicable)

c)     Criminal record check

d)    Medical check (in some cases)

e)    Passport info page

f)     Passport-style photos

g)    Resume reference letters (reference letters are different than the experienced letter required for the visa to show that the applicant has the relevant work experience.)

 2)    Get some of your documents legalized [ your degree certificate, TEFL certificate (if applicable) and criminal record check (only valid for 6 months since the date issued) must be legalized] You need to get these documents:

a)    notarized by a notary public

b)    authenticated by the foreign affairs department of your country, and stamped by the Chinese embassy to get them legalized.


Note: Degree must either (a) be notarized and authenticated on one’s home country or (b) can be verified in China through a government office, but the original degree is required. After the documents are authenticated they need to be processed by the Chinese embassy or consulate.


 3)    How do you get your documents notarized?

You need to provide your documents to a notary public. There are senior legal practitioners who prepare, attest, witness and certify legal documents for use overseas. That service provided by a notary public will incur a fee.


 4)    How do you get your documents authenticated?

You need to submit your documents to the foreign affairs department of your home country. Click on the relevant link for your country's requirements for authentication. 

USA - U.S. Department of State

Canada - Global Affairs Canada

UK - Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Ireland - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australia - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

New Zealand - Foreign Affairs & Trade

Note that government authentication services will incur a fee.


 5)    The work permit issue

The work permit will be an electronic one in Chinese and English as well. You can just print it out then submit it to Chinese embassy. After arriving at the school, foreigner’s work permit certificate will be issued and the number of work permit will be permanent wherever you teach later.