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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 Jun. 08, 2020 -
Questions & Answers on China Work Visa
Asked by Mimmo from ITALY | Jul. 08, 2020 12:23Reply
My Z visa has expired due to COVID
Hi! Before the travel ban I successfully got a Z visa. Unfortunately, I was too late to enter China (because of travel ban) and my Z visa has expired on May. Now my question is, will I have to apply for another Z visa again??
Exactly as you described in the article, the process is quite long and requires a lot of documents... Do I really have to do it all over again?
Answers (1)
Answered by Janet from USA | Jul. 09, 2020 00:22

Yes, it's very possible that you will need to apply for another Z visa. If possible, contact the Chinese embassy to see whether they can do something for you.
Asked by Chelsea Tjeu from INDONESIA | Jul. 07, 2020 01:59Reply
My Z visa need a bachelor degree?
I have a company want to hire me as a manager marketing operation in her boutique here at zhuhai..i have skill experience but unfortunately i don't have bachelor degree...i only high school graduate...do you think i able to apply for the Z visa?
Answers (2)
Answered by Emily from AUSTRALIA | Jul. 09, 2020 00:14

Dear, you still can apply for a Z visa if your total points in the work permi application system can reach 60.
Answered by Chelsea Tjeu from INDONESIA | Jul. 09, 2020 01:04

How can i check my point in the system?
Asked by Saeed Assafi from SAUDI ARABIA | Jul. 06, 2020 07:16Reply
Applying for work permit
I had applied last year for working permit
But my application denied bec my age is 64
How to do
Answers (1)
Answered by Lindsay from AUSTRALIA | Jul. 09, 2020 00:09

Well, I think it will very difficult for you to get a work visa. You can try to file the work permit application again.
Asked by Sina from INDIA | Jul. 06, 2020 01:01Reply
Work permit
Then how to get a work permit?
Answers (1)
Answered by Annie from CANADA | Jul. 09, 2020 00:08

You need to ask your Chinese employer to apply it for you.
Asked by Kip from UNITED KINGDOM | Jul. 05, 2020 11:51Reply
Chinese Z visa entry
Looking to get a z visa, will entry into china have to be done by air travel or can I enter through the border by train?
Answers (2)
Answered by Pauline from UNITED KINGDOM | Jul. 06, 2020 00:28

Once you get the visa, you can either enter by train or air.
Answered by Kip from UNITED KINGDOM | Jul. 06, 2020 22:41


Thank you
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