It’s an adventure to head off to teach in China; so many new experiences await – amazing sights, exotic food and a completely new culture. However, the thought of the visa process can be daunting for new teachers, so we’ve summarized what’s required for a work visa (Z-type visa) for China in a few clear steps.

Once you have been offered a teaching position and signed the contract (this involves printing a copy of the contract they will send you, signing it and emailing back the signed copy), the school will start their side of the visa process.

From your side, you will need to compile the following documents:

  • 1-2 reference letters (ink signed and dated with contact information for the referee)
  • Passport-sized photo(s)
  • Copy of your degree certificate (not a transcript of results)
  • Copy of your TEFL Certificate (if applicable)
  • Criminal Record Check
  • Medical Check

There is now a requirement for your degree certificate and background check (CRC) and, in some locations such as Beijing, your TEFL certificate (if applicable), to be legalized or authenticated. This involves the following steps (in the order listed below):

  1. The degree (and TEFL certificate if required) have to be notarized by a notary public
  2. The Foreign Affairs Department of your home country (FCO for the UK, Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland, Department of State in the USA etc.) must authenticate the documents (this verifies that the qualification is legitimate)
  3. The Chinese Embassy then has to stamp the documents to give final legalization to them

This is a new regulation but will be in effect across China by April 2017 (it is already in operation in most provinces already). There may be some differences between locations (for example as to whether the TEFL certificate has to be legalized) but this will be confirmed by the school when you are issued with their specific visa guidelines when you sign the contract with them.

The medical check is a standard form which the school will often issue to you to complete. In most cases, you would complete this in your own country prior to departure and will usually involve attending your local hospital or clinic to have blood tests and other checks completed. Keep the receipts for this as most schools will reimburse your expenses for this (and any other costs for the visa application process) upon the start of your contract.

Our experienced recruitment team at Teachers For Asia in conjunction with your school will advise you of these details when you secure a position and will guide you through the process. This clear information upfront is designed to set your mind at ease and help prepare you for what will be required at the time. The advice we give our teachers is to start working on compiling documents (especially the background check) well in advance, keep in regular, clear communication with us and your school and if you have any questions at all, just ask!

For details on our featured jobs this month, check out Featured Jobs page: https://www.teachersforasia.com/category/featured/ or for our full range of positions across China and Asia, visit our jobs page at: https://www.teachersforasia.com/jobs/. If you want to enquire about teaching in China or just receive more information about Asia in general, then email us at admin@teachersforasia.com and one of our team will contact you.