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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 Sep. 29, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on China Work Visa
Asked by Jess from UK | Oct. 15, 2018 23:49Reply
Told I can work over there without Z Visa
I've been told by a company that I can work in China without a Z as I dont have a degree I cant get one and that schools dont mind.
Really not understanding how they think that will work as you cannot move across the world without the right visa as I am looking into going into teaching english but it just seems very dicey
Answers (1)
Answered by Diego | Oct. 16, 2018 18:03

If you don't have valid work Z type, you are not advised to work in mainland China.
Asked by mimi from AUSTRALIA | Oct. 15, 2018 21:49Reply
Medical examination. So i am currently applying for Z visa
i live in Melbourne Australia and as part of requirement i have to do medical examination ? does any one know if i should do this at a specific clinic ? or any clinic in Melbourne would do.
Answers (2)
Answered by didi from SOUTH AFRICA | Oct. 15, 2018 22:58

hi Mimi,
First, you must do the medical checking ONLY in china(if you want to apply for a job in china), they do not accept your medical certificate or medical checking from overseas.
Answered by mimi from AUSTRALIA | Oct. 16, 2018 01:12

thank you for the reply however it is part of the requiremnt to apply for medical examination overseas before coming to china otherwise you cant apply for z visa without it
Asked by Michelle from USA | Oct. 09, 2018 12:16Reply
US Citizen applying for China Z-Visa
I understand that the applicant is required to appear in person for biometrics and for an interview at the consulate. Can we make an appointment for the applicant to do so? If so, how can I make that appointment?
Answers (1)
Answered by Swan from GEORGIA | Oct. 09, 2018 20:18

Hi, as I know, you don't have to make an appointment for that.
Asked by Sanvi from OMAN | Oct. 09, 2018 05:47Reply
Work visa after landing in China?
Hello everyone!
My employer is asking me to land in China on tourist L and after few days,work or Z visa will be given to me. Have anybody experienced this before? Do answer to this question as I need to make a decision asap.
Thanks in advance!
Answers (2)
Answered by Enzo from THAILAND | Oct. 09, 2018 20:14

As I know, it would be possible to change the L type into work Z type at the exit and entry administration of the local PSB after entering mainland China. You can have a try.
Answered by Kev from USA | Oct. 10, 2018 21:02

This can be a little dicey, what field are you going to work in?
Asked by Krutika from INDIA | Oct. 09, 2018 00:53Reply
Is it possible for Dependent visa transfer to work visa
Hi I have dependent spouse Visa. I am staying in China since 9 months and now I got job here. Can I transfer my entry permit from spouse to work Z . Do I need to go to my Home country to get Z
Answers (1)
Answered by Greeley from ICELAND | Oct. 09, 2018 20:10

It's possible for you to do the transfer at the exit and entry administration of the local PSB. If it can be done, you don't need to leave China for that. Just give it a try.
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