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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. 21, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on China Work Visa
Asked by Yekini from AUSTRIA | Jun. 23, 2021 11:21Reply
Can I use TE invitation letter for application for z visa?
Asked by Nick from FRANCE, MOROCCO | Jun. 17, 2021 20:21Reply
I am living currently in China and i want to transfer my X visa
I am living in china and i want to open a business with my Chinese girlfriend. my visa now is X visa(Student visa). i have graduated for one year Chinese language program. i heard they are going so strict about business Visa (M VISA). so i'm not sure and confused what should i do.
Answers (2)
Answered by Dave | Jun. 21, 2021 02:53

Obviously, you are not suitable for X visa any more. But the duration of stay for M visa is usually only 30 days. So I advice you to try to apply for a work visa. As you are self-employed, you'd better go to the local exit and entry administritive office to consult the procedures.
Answered by Nick | Jun. 21, 2021 20:04

exactly what i did, they told me it's possible for you to have the work visa, you need to contact with the company and they need to confirm a paper of the work ability.
Asked by Josh from AUSTRALIA | Jun. 09, 2021 17:16Reply
Can Z visa holders have two jobs?
Whats not " clearly " written in the visa requirements, is whether we can have two jobs, aka full time and a part time job.

I have a current Z visa, looking for a part-time job to make up some extra cash throughout the week. The visa requirements only state " Employer/Employee work visa cards information should match ", but doesnt mention anything about whether you can/cannot have a part time job.
Answers (1)
Answered by Angela | Jun. 15, 2021 01:18

As you say, it's not clearly stated. I know many overseas people have a part-time job in China, so it should not be a problem.

One thing to note is that do your full-time job as well as before and be low-key. Some employees do cancelthe work permits of their foreign employers because of their poor performance.
Asked by George Ay from SINGAPORE | Jun. 08, 2021 00:59Reply
Documents need to submit to obtain Work Permit and Invitation Letter
Hi, I would like to ask, if I am posted to China and before I apply for Z-Visa I need to obtain the Work Permit and Invitation Letter. But what documents are needed to be submitted to who? e.g. Medical checkup report? Academic Qualifications? Also how early should I apply for the work permit and Invitation Letter before I can apply for the Z-visa application?
Thank you!
Answers (1)
Answered by Angela | Jun. 15, 2021 01:07

It's complicated and you'd better find an employee at first. You couldn't get them without the help of a Chinese employee. Usually, the Chinese employees who have overseas employers are very familiar with the procedures.

To apply for the invitation letter, the requirements include the photocopies of your passport, graduation certificate, labor contract, the employee's business licence, your work permit, resume...

To apply for the work permit, the requirements include application form, working experiences, graduation certificate, no criminal record, medical check report, labor contract, your passport and recent photo.

The invitation letter can be issued within 20 working days and it is usually valid for 3 months. The Work Permit needs 5 working days to be processed and will be valid till the end of your work in China indicated on the labor contract.
Asked by collenn from GARCIA | Jun. 07, 2021 21:05Reply
I am a Nurse and I want to work in China. What visa should I apply?
Answers (1)
Answered by Chen | Jun. 07, 2021 23:07

Z visa is for work.
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