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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 Jan. 24, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on China Work Visa
Asked by Shamsheer from PAKISTAN | Feb. 24, 2021 22:45Reply
Work Permit through my own company
Hey there.
I have recently registered a company under my name and got my business license. If you could please do share a few steps to process work permit via own registered company thanks
Asked by jordan from UNITED KINGDOM | Feb. 22, 2021 19:39Reply
covid visa sistuation can you go to china with a z visa during covid forginer ban
my girlfirend lives in china and i want to teach in china but cant really find any good info for going to china during the pandemic and im asuming the travel ban could last till at least next year
Asked by CC from CHINA | Feb. 21, 2021 18:34Reply
Spouse visa moving to work visa...currently living in Shanghai
Hi there,

I'm wondering with the current COVID situation and restriction on travel, is there a new channel to get Z-Visa/Work Permit without leaving China (as leaving China to my home country Australia would require multiple quarantines if my trip was even permitted). I've been in China for 6 years and previously held a work permit for 6 years (Australian originally).

Thank you!
Asked by F from AUSTRALIA | Feb. 04, 2021 16:10Reply
Aus employee to be sent to China for work with Chinese partner
I am employed by Australia company to work in a joint project with China partner. Am I a resident for China tax purpose if I am under employment z permt? Does the China partner need to issue me a China employment contract?
Answers (1)
Answered by Oliver | Feb. 17, 2021 17:20

Dear, actually I would advise you to apply for a business visa, which does not require an employment contract. In case that your work in China does not last more than 183 days in China, you don't need to pay the tax.
Asked by Ivan from USA | Feb. 04, 2021 00:51Reply
Can any company in China issue a Chinese Work Notice? Any minimum contract length?
I am currently in the USA looking for work in China.
Can any employer in China, including employment agencies, issue my Chinese Work Notice document?
Is there a minimum work contract duration required to issue the Chinese Work Notice?
Thank you!
Answers (1)
Answered by Emily | Feb. 17, 2021 17:15

If you can find a job in China, the Chinese employer or agency will issue you a work notice or work permit of China. There is no minimum work contract duration required to issue the work notice but most contract is for one or two years.
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