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China Work Visa (Z)

Chinese work visa, or Z visa, is issued to foreigners who are going to China for a paid job offer or to undertake commercial entertainment performances in China.

How long is the duration of stay of Chinese Z visa?

This Z visa itself only allows a stay duration of 30 days from the date of arrival in China, during which time you and your employer must seek a Temporary Residence Permit for the duration of your contract, to a minimum of 90 days and a maximum of 5 years. Note that usually the work visa is a single entry, with the duration of stay being 000, which means the duration is to be determined by the Temporary Residence Permit you get after entering China.

What is the age limit for Z visa application?

The age limit is 18 - 60 for all applicants. However, there is some flexibility in these requirements, so if you are not in this age range and can find a willing employer, they may still be able to obtain approval for you.

China Work Visa Requirements & Documents

1. Passport

- Applicant's valid actual passport with at least six months before expiry and at least one blank page left in it.

2. Application Form

- One accurately and truthfully completed China Work Visa Application Form.

3. Recent Photo

- One recent passport standard photo affixed to the Application Form.

4. Work Permit

- Applicants need to submit one of the following work permits obtained through their employers in China:
a. Foreigners Work Permit - issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the PRC.
b. Registration Certificate of Resident Representative Offices of enterprises of foreign countries (regions) - issued by Chinese authorities of industrial and commercial administration.
c. An approval document for commercial performances - issued by the Chinese government authorities for cultural affairs.
d. Invitation Letter to Foreigners for Offshore Petroleum Operations - issued by National Offshore Oil Corporation.

5. Supporting Documents

Applicants might be required to submit supporting documents on a case-by-case basis. This could include a medical form and criminal history check, which has been notarized and authenticated. If you are not required to submit the medical form, you still need to take a medical check when applying for the Temporary Residence Permit in China. Download Physical Examination Record for Foreigner to check the tests you need to go through.

How to Apply for China Work Visa

You can go to the Chinese embassy, consulates or other diplomatic missions in person for application. You can also have a friend, a travel agency or visa agency to act on your behalf. There is no need to make an appointment. Mailed applications are not acceptable. If there are Chinese Visa Application Centers (CVASC) in your country, you can go there to submit the application; mailed applications are accepted in some CVASCs.

China Employment Visa Fees

The fee is the same as the fee for other types of Chinese visa. Generally speaking, Chinese embassy or consulate only issue single entry Z visa to aliens, thus we only list single entry Z visa fees for some major countries here. For more details, please click China Visa Fees.

US Citizens Canadian Citizens UK Citizens Australian Citizens
USD 140 CAD 142 GBP 151 AUD 109.5

Processing Time

It usually takes 4 working days for processing. For example, you submit application on Monday and then you can pick up your visa on Thursday. An additional US$ 30 is charged for one working day processing, and US$ 20 for 2-3 working day processing.

Which visa applies to accompanying family members of Z visa applicants?

Accompanying family members should apply for an S visa by submitting invitation letter from the relative with work Z visa in China and a 'proof of relationship', i.e. their marriage certificate for a spouse, or birth certificate for a child.

Can foreign domestic helpers work legally in mainland China?

Foreign domestic helpers are not able to work in China, indicating that almost all domestic helpers currently working in China are illegal. Some agencies help them to apply for multiple entry tourist L visa or noncommercial visit F visa and then they use it to enter and exit regularly. Despite this, do not take a risk by working as a domestic helper or employing one to avoid being fined.

Note: The most common employment in China for foreigners is teaching English for which the minimum qualifications are stated as having English as a first language and having at least a Bachelors degree and two year teaching experience.

Further Reading:

8 Tips for Filling Out Chinese Visa Application Form
Top 8 Reasons Why Your China Visa Gets Rejected

- Last modified on May. 06, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Work Visa
Asked by Shubham from INDIA | Aug. 21, 2019 02:11Reply
Humanitarian query
cancelled Residence permit and got humanitarian visa for 30 days. Now I got another job but Humanitarian visa going to expire in a week. work permit formalities already initiated from company end.

So at this point any possibility to get extend my temporary VISA or any VISA possible to stay in china until my work permit done..?
or I should go back to home country and come back to china by M-VISA or after work permit ..?

Please suggest me the best possible way ..
Answers (1)
Answered by Ian from SINGAPORE | Aug. 21, 2019 19:46

you should go back to your country and apply for a Z visa before coming back.
Asked by Amanda Gillett from UNITED KINGDOM | Aug. 19, 2019 11:25Reply
I have TEFL not 2 years experience
It says the requirements to teach English are Degree and 2 years experience . I have read elsewhere that a TEFL is acceptable instead of 2 years experience. Is this the case?
Answers (2)
Answered by Diana from UNITED KINGDOM | Aug. 19, 2019 23:07

Yes, this is true.
Answered by Jasmine from USA | Aug. 20, 2019 04:46

It really depends on the school you're in which you're applying. They have their own requirements.
Asked by Razan from JORDAN | Aug. 18, 2019 17:19Reply
Are Non-Native English teachers qualified for z visa ?
Some companies offer positions for non-native English teachers with special requirements ( TEFL Certificates , Bachelor Degree, work experience). So, should these non-native teachers be from specific countries? or it doesn't matter as long as they meet the requirements and speak English to proficient level?
Answers (1)
Answered by Paul from UNITED KINGDOM | Aug. 19, 2019 20:39

Actually, non-native English speakers cannot teach in China, unless they got the bachelor degree from a country where English is the mother tongue.
Asked by Resa from PHILIPPINES | Aug. 15, 2019 17:47Reply
Hi! Do I need to do another medical examination in Philippines
even though I have already done it in China just last month? ( July ‘19). My visa expired last 14th August so I am doing my z visa application in Philippines.Most of my authenticated papers are already with the HR of my company.
Answers (2)
Answered by Henry from SINGAPORE | Aug. 18, 2019 18:07

No, you needn't do the medical examination again.
Answered by Resa from PHILIPPINES | Aug. 19, 2019 19:24

Thank you very much, Henry!
Asked by Umid from UZBEKISTAN | Aug. 13, 2019 02:47Reply
Apply Z visa by distance
Hello, I am currently in Turkey as a tourist, my visa application for Z visa been rejected. I am wondering if I can mail my passport to my home country and ask agent to apply for Z visa on my behalf
Answers (1)
Answered by Alice from NEW ZEALAND | Aug. 13, 2019 21:00

Sorry, you can't. You must be physically in the country where you do the application.
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