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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 Dec. 30, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Work Visa
Asked by Tsitsi moyo from ZIMBABWE | Mar. 31, 2020 05:53Reply
Work permit for Zimbabwean citizen
Hie I have honors degree in environmental science and public health is it possible to get a work permit to work in China I am from zimbambwe
Answers (1)
Answered by Rolisa from USA | Apr. 02, 2020 23:49

It depends on what job you want to take.
Asked by Leticia from SOUTH AFRICA | Mar. 31, 2020 05:44Reply
Do my employer send the work permit to me to present when applying for Z-visa?
I've been offered a teaching post and need to apply for z-visa. Will I have to get work permit and present when applying for my z-visa
Answers (1)
Answered by Derek from SOUTH AFRICA | Apr. 02, 2020 23:49

Yes, you have to get a work permit and attend the China visa application center in person when applying for your z visa.
Asked by Ivonne from MÉXICO | Mar. 25, 2020 23:33Reply
Partial barcherlor's degree
I'm actually in China like a tourist and I want to find a job but I need my visa. The schools say I need a barcherlor's degree and I have that document, but is partial. Do you think I can find a job and have a worker visa with this document?
Answers (1)
Answered by Charles from USA | Mar. 26, 2020 00:14

I'm afraid not.
Asked by sam from MALAYSIA | Mar. 16, 2020 02:02Reply
Education Certified?
i got no college or university certificates but have been working in related field for 12years. am i eligible to work in China?
Answers (2)
Answered by Clara from USA | Mar. 16, 2020 02:37

If you don't have a degree, it's hard to get a work visa for China.
Answered by pranav from INDIA | Mar. 28, 2020 09:06

i want work visa .i have completed mba .i have 4 years experience
Asked by zahid from PAKISTAN | Mar. 16, 2020 00:11Reply
need guideline
i have done B.Sc 4 years in major of civil engineering and 3 years MS degree in applied linguistic from china. i have passed HSK 5, HSK 6 and TESOL 240h, i also have teaching experience in china but i don't have any experience certificate from any school, may i illegible for applying english teaching work visa in training or kindergarten school in china.?
Answers (2)
Answered by Bonnie from CANADA | Mar. 18, 2020 23:52

Well, if you don't have a bachelor's degree, it's hard to get a job in China.
Answered by Karen from SINGAPORE | Mar. 31, 2020 23:23

How could you apply to teach English if you can't even spell eligible correctly?
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