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How to Get a Work Visa to China  

For those looking to work in China there are certain steps that must be taken to obtain a China "Z Visa," also known as a work visa. This visa is for non-Chinese citizens traveling to China on post or employment, as well as their families. It is important that every step is completed or your visa could be delayed or denyed.

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

things you'll need:
Sponsoring employer in China
Current passport
Chinese visa application
Black or blue ink pen
Passport photo
Permission to work document
Official invitation notice

  1. Find an employer and secure a job in China before applying for a work visa. Your employer will have to apply for the documents you will need to enter the country for employment. Do not accept a job with a company that requests that your work on a tourist visa because this is illegal.
  2. You need a passport that should be valid at least 15 months past your stay and that has at least one blank page.
  3. Search "Chinese Embassy (your city or state here)" on any search engine to download the Chinese Visa Application. This application is the same for all visa types. On the application, be sure to check "Employment" under "Section 2: Your visit to China."
  4. Your will need to attach a passport photo to your application. It should be 2 x 2 inches, have a solid colored background and show your full forward face in the center. You should not be wearing glasses or a hat in the photo.
  5. To apply for a Z Visa, you must have a document permitting you to work in China from your future employer. To satisfy this requirement, teachers need to provide a " Foreign Experts Work Permit," which is issued by China State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs at the request and application of your future employer. To satisfy this requirement, everyone but teachers need to provide a "Alien Employment Liscense," which is issued by the China Ministry of Labor and Social Security at the request of your future employer.
  6. In addition to the documents, you will need an "Official Invitation Notice for China Visa Application" to apply for a Chinese work visa. This will specify the number of entries, term of vaildity and duration of each stay that you work visa will allow. This document is issued by the Chinese Government Department or an authorized agency thereof.
  7. Collect all of the above documents and apply in person at a Chinese Embassy or Consulate on your resident county. Express processing is available in Section 2, Question 26 of the visa application. Standard processing, assuming you have of your documents prepared correctly, takes 4 or 5 business days

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