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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 May. 06, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Work Visa
Asked by Jom from PHILIPPINES | May. 23, 2019 06:49Reply
Is it possible to convert an L visa to Z visa, while in China?
I will be there for three weeks, and I'll be looking for a job. I f I find a job, can they change my tourist visa into employment visa? Thank you!
Answers (1)
Answered by Eddie from PHILIPPINES | May. 23, 2019 20:57

Jom, it is possible but a bit difficult.
Asked by Sally from PHILIPPINES | May. 21, 2019 23:50Reply
What are the documents needed to be authenticated at the China Embassy for the z visa?
Which among the these documents are needed? : diploma, tor, birth cert, marriage ccert, cert of no criminal record, board cert, teaching license
Answers (1)
Answered by Daniel from PHILIPPINES | May. 23, 2019 18:08

Birth certificate, marriage certificate, and no criminal certificate need to be authenticated. And if you work as a teacher, teaching license is also needed.
Asked by Mary from UKRAINE | May. 20, 2019 08:34Reply
Hi!How long does it usually take to apply for work permit notice and an invitation letter?
Answers (1)
Answered by Billie from USA | May. 20, 2019 19:29

Mary, I am not sure. You should contact with the company you will work in China.
Asked by Mandy from AUSTRALIA | May. 18, 2019 21:28Reply
What visa will I need if I am teaching English in China but not being paid?
I am teaching in China and not being paid but my airfare, accommodation and meals are being paid for.
Answers (1)
Answered by Leo from USA | May. 20, 2019 23:30

You can apply for Z type.
Asked by Camille from FRANCE | May. 18, 2019 17:24Reply
Visa Z to tourist visa
Hello :)

I will leave my job next month and my visa will be canceled. After the cancellation of the visa how many days I have to leave the territory ? Also, I would like to travel one month in China after that, do I need to exit China to ask for a new visa or I can get it without leaving the country ? Thanks !
Answers (1)
Answered by Amy from FRANCE | May. 20, 2019 23:14

When you cancel your work type, you can go to the local Exit and Entry Administration to apply for a 30-day tourist visa with zero entry without leaving China.
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