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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 Nov. 05, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Work Visa
Asked by Mbali Shabangu from SOUTH AFRICA | Dec. 08, 2019 01:15Reply
Any help?
Hey there, . I went to get my residence permit last week, I'm a foreign teacher in China. So they mistakenly stamped my Z visa with the "canceled" stamp. I want to know if I'll experience any problems when I'm traveling in and out of the country. I have a residence permit already.
Asked by Mohamed from EGYPT | Dec. 04, 2019 16:36Reply
Can I apply for a Z visa without returning to my country from Xi'an?
I am an Egyptian PhD student and has a plan to apply for post-doctoral.
Can I apply for a Z visa without returning to my country?
Answers (2)
Answered by William from UNITED KINGDOM | Dec. 04, 2019 19:25

It's possible. You can have a try at the local exit and entry administration. Good Luck.
Answered by Mohamed from EGYPT | Dec. 04, 2019 22:11

Thank you very much.
Asked by Karem from EGYPT | Dec. 04, 2019 15:22Reply
can I apply to Z visa to work in China even if I still have valid X visa for two months?
Answers (1)
Answered by Jenni from UNITED KINGDOM | Dec. 05, 2019 18:40

Yes, it's possible. When you apply the Z visa, your X visa will be cancelled.
Asked by Me from CHINA | Dec. 04, 2019 00:07Reply
How long does it take to get the work permit in shanghai?
Answers (1)
Answered by Anna from CHINA | Dec. 04, 2019 19:24

About 10 working days.
Asked by Claire from SOUTH AFRICA | Dec. 03, 2019 05:07Reply
Can I change my s visa to a z visa
my husband got a job offer in China. He will be moving on a z visa. Would it be possible if I could change from a s visa to a z visa if I get a teaching job in China ? I prefer looking for a job once we settled in China.
Answers (1)
Answered by Andy from UNITED KINGDOM | Dec. 03, 2019 22:36

Yes, it's possible to change your S visa to Z visa after you get a job in China.
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