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What you need to know to legally teach in China!

If you’re looking to Teach English in China then you have come to the right place. Teach Beyond Recruitment work with fantastic schools all over China! But, it’s not as simple as packing your bags, hopping on a flight to China and hoping for the best, there are a few hoops you need to jump through to legally work in China.

We’ll assume you’ve already been offered a job because, let’s face it, Teach Beyond will be able to find the perfect role for you, and we’ll jump ahead to what needs to be done before you can leave on your new adventure. Let’s start with the basics, the visa requirements.


Basic requirements for teaching English in China:

· Bachelors Degree

· 120 – Hour TEFL Certification OR 2 years teaching experience

· Native English Speaker


To legally teach English in China you will need to meet these qualifications. If a school or recruiter tells you anything different, think twice!


Any reputable school, which means any school we work with, are going to assist you in obtaining two documents.


1. Foreigner’s Work Permit

2. Residence Permit (Year long work visa)


However, you cannot get either of these documents until you are physically in China, which means before you leave you need to make sure you have the correct temporary work permit and short-term visa. It can take a bit of time, but we’ll be there to help you every step of the way. Here’s our step by step guide on what needs to be done.


The temporary work permit you are going to need is called a ‘Notification Letter of the Foreigner’s Work Permit’. Your School in China will apply for this on your behalf, but to do so you will need to provide them with the following documents:


1. An authenticated copy of your Degree Certificate

2. An authenticated copy of your TEFL Certificate

3. An authenticated Criminal Background Check from your home country


Getting these documents authenticated and sent over to your school may take a couple of weeks. For more info on this process check out our blog on Document Authentication.

Once your documents are authenticated and you’ve sent them to your employer it can take around a month for the Notification Letter of the Foreigner’s Work Permit to be issued, so be prepared for a wait at this point. Without this document you cannot apply for your short-term working visa.


So, a month is up and your Notification Letter has been issued, now it’s time to make the visa application, and the one you’re going to want is called a Z visa. To obtain this you’re going to need to take a trip to your nearest Chinese Embassy or Consulate (or pay an agency to make the application on your behalf.)


The Embassy will require:

1. Your Notification Letter

2. A completed visa application form

3. A passport photo

4. Your passport.


Once you hand all this over the Z visa will be processed and stamped into your passport within a week!


Now you can go ahead and book your flight! But you will notice the Z visa is only valid for 30 days after entry, there’s no need to worry that is absolutely normal! As mentioned earlier once you arrive in China your school will upgrade your documents to the long-term Residence Permit and Foreigner’s Work Permit. This will be nothing that you need to worry about, the process is quick and easy and will be taken care of for you. You can focus on settling in to your new surroundings, getting to grips with the job and exploring your new home!


Teaching English in China is the adventure of a life time and well worth the process it takes to get there. Take your first step and APPLY NOW!

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