The New Chinese Z-Visa!
The Chinese z-visa, or work visa is a highly-coveted visa for any person aspiring to work in China. For prospective English teachers, this is the end-all-be-all visa that allows you to stay in China for extended periods of time (roughly 1 year). Over the past few years, as China’s visa system has developed and changed, there have been quite a few changes in the system of acquiring a Chinese Z-visa.
What is a Chinese Z-visa?
A Chinese Z-visa is the only visa that allows foreigners to legally work in China. 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 (click the link to find out more on Authenticated Documents) 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, and the content within the resume.
What was the system for a Z-visa?
Before April 1st, 2017 the process was that any prospective teacher seeking a Chinese Z-visa would need to acquire a Foreign Expert Certificate, and then an employment letter from the school they would teach at. Once they had both in hand, they could then apply for a Z-visa prior to going to China. This system was rather convoluted as the Foreign Expert Certificate could only be obtained within China, and the Z-visa had to be applied for outside of China. Talk about a catch-22.
What is the new system?
As of April 1st, 2017 the Chinese government will be implementing a new visa system that seems to be much more lenient than the current system. Instead of requiring all the extra documents and application of a Foreign Expert Certificate, people seeking a Chinese Z-visa would be categorized into three levels A, B and C. These levels are based on an applicant’s Education background, Chinese language ability, salary in China and work experience. The points system is illustrated below.
What is Class A?
Class A applicants are considered Top Talents, and will have the easiest time obtaining the new visa. Applicants falling under the A grouping will have over 85 points per the above chart. This category is generally for people holding advanced degrees in their respective fields, are authorities on their fields, or have made substantial contributions to their industry through work or study.
What is Class B?
Class B is what we can call your typical educated worker and scores over 65 points per the chart. People falling under this category should not have a difficult time obtaining their visa, but are most likely less of a priority than Class A applicants. For regular workers, a bachelor’s degree and two years of work experience in a specific industry are needed. For Prospective English Teachers, you must hold a bachelor’s degree and have two years of teaching experience. Teachers with an undergraduate degree in Teaching, or those that hold a TEFL certificate are exempt from the two year teaching experience requirement. Great news for new teachers!
What is Class C?
Class C applicants are going to have a difficult time obtaining their visa. They are classified as unskilled workers, and score below 60 points per the chart.
Anything else to know?
YES! According to the new visa system you can now apply for your Z-visa online here: http://126.96.36.199/fonreigner/index_index.action. This entire new visa system will be implemented as of April 1st 2017. We can all now sigh a breath of relief for the developing Chinese visa system!