6 Steps To Obtain A Chinese Working Visa
How to get a working visa in the second largest economy in the world? Interestingly, the Chinese government have made it easier for foreigners and expats to get a working permit but in fact it’s still not that easy.
Also, if you’re a company based in China and interested in hiring foreigners, the Chinese government requirements are not so easy to understand. So let us help you and simplify all information you may find in official government sources.
Here is what a company based in China is required to do in order to hire a foreigner and what foreigners must do to be eligible for employment by a company based in China:
Step 1: Apply For Alien Employment License
Where to apply: Human Resources and Social Security Bureau (HRSSB)
Estimated time: up to 15 working days.
If you’re a business owner or a company based in China, the first thing you’ll have to do to qualify for hiring a foreign expert is to apply for “Alien employment license”. You can apply for this license at the Human Resources and Social Security Bureau (HRSSB).
To apply for the license, your company is required to present some documents including business license, organization code, article of association, and an official letter that explains why your company wants to hire a foreign expert. Also, the HRSSB requires an official letter that states the intention to hire the foreigner and an application form.
Once you apply, it can take the HRSSB up to 15 working days to process your alien employment license and it will be valid for six months from the date it was issued.
In addition, the HRSSB clearly specifies the requirements a foreigner must meet to be eligible for employment by a company based in China. The foreigner must be of working age, must be in good health condition, has no criminal record and has the required professional skill to do the job as expected.
So the company is expected to collect the required paperwork from the foreigner including a passport, health certificate, and curriculum vitae in Chinese language. The other paperwork are academic credentials, an evidence of criminal record check and a passport sized photo.
Step 2: Apply For Work Visa Invitation Letter
Where to apply: Municipal Commission of Commerce (MCC).
Estimated time: 5 working days.
With the alien employment license, a company is eligible to apply for a “Work Visa Invitation Letter.” The company will need this letter to invite the foreigner it wants to hire. To get this letter, your company must apply to the Municipal Commission of Commerce (MCC).
The paperwork the MCC requires from such company will include an application form, a copy of the foreigner’s passport, a copy of the company’s business license and the company’s alien employment license.
The MCC requires 5 working days to issue the invitation letter. This letter is valid for three months from the date it was issued.
Step 3: Pass The Health Check
Where to pass: Public Health Institute/ Authorized medical institution in China.
Passing the health check is one of the requirements foreigners must meet to qualify to work with a company based in China. If you’re a foreigner who intends to do a health check, you’ll have to get a health check form from a Chinese embassy website. The health check involves several tests including tests for mental illness, epidemic disease like AIDS, leprosy, venereal disease and tuberculosis. Also, you’ll be tested for any other disease that can stop you from doing your job.
If you passed all the required tests, your health check certificate will be valid for six months from the date it was issued. The public Health Institute is the authority in charge of health check. But if the Public Security Bureau cannot verify if your health check certificate is genuine or not, you may be asked to repeat the tests at an authorized medical institution in China.
Step 4: Apply For Work Visa
Where to apply: Chinese embassy in your country or at the MFA office in Hong Kong.
Estimated time: 4-5 working days.
If you’re a foreigner who is interested in working in China, you’ll have to apply for a work visa (Z type) at the Chinese embassy in your country or at the MFA office in Hong Kong. You’ll need some paperwork to apply for the work visa and they include a passport, an application form, an invitation letter from the company you intend to work with (from step 2) and work license (from step 1).
If you satisfy the visa requirements, it can take up to 5 working days for you to get the Z visa. But once you have the Z visa, you have 3 months to enter China from the issuance date and you’re only allowed a single entry.
Step 5: Apply For Alien Employment Permit
Where to apply: Human Resources and Social Security Bureau (HRSSB).
Estimated time: 5 working days.
As soon as you enter China, you can apply for “Alien employment permit” at the Human Resources and Social Security Bureau (HRSSB) office. To qualify for this permit, you must have an employment license, have entered China on a Z-visa, have a health certificate and must have signed a labor contract.
The paperwork you’ll need to satisfy the employment permit requirements include an application form, alien employment license, labor contract, passport, health certificate and your passport photos.
It can take up to 5 working days for you to get an alien employment permit. Once you have the permit, it is valid for 5 years and can be extended if you satisfy the requirements to do so.
Step 6: Apply For Alien Residence Permit
Where to apply: Exit-Entry administration of Local Public Security Bureau.
Estimated time: 5-18 working days.
As a foreigner, if you’re interested in residing in China, you have to apply for the alien residence permit. The authority in charge of this permit is the Exit-Entry administration of Local Public Security Bureau.
To apply, you must have a copy of alien employment permit, an application form, company business license, passport, health certificate, your passport photos, and an accommodation registration form. With the residence permit, you can make unlimited trips into and out of China forno less than one year period.
This how-to guide in obtaining working permit in China is brought to you by Laowai Career. Laowai Career is a new source for jobs and career opportunities in China. It bridges the language gap by connecting foreigners to excellent companies in China and China companies with competent foreigners.