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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. 11, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on China Work Visa
Asked by Mara from PHILIPPINES | Oct. 18, 2019 01:55Reply
English teacher (non-native)
Is it really impossible to apply for Z visa in China without a bachelor's degree? I have almost 3 years of teaching experience as an English teacher in an online English school for Chinese students. Plus I have a TESOL certificate (140-hour). Now, I have job offers in some kindergarten schools in China but I'm afraid that I can't comply the college dimploma.
Asked by Md. Nurul Amin from BANGLADESH | Oct. 17, 2019 12:40Reply
Medical Information for z visa ( Work Visa)
Dear Concern,
I got Offered job from one of China recruiting company and I need to medical test for job visa.So, Where I finished in medical test in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Please let me know from your end.

Asked by anky from POLAND | Oct. 16, 2019 23:36Reply
Z visa vs work visa
Dear Travel China Guide, Z visa IS NOT WORK visa! Z visa is the 30-day visa you get to enter china and you can switch it to residence permit - that permit is the work visa!
Asked by Sharon subba from INDIA | Oct. 16, 2019 05:36Reply
Can Indians apply and get a Z visa?
Answers (1)
Answered by Shannon from INDIA | Oct. 16, 2019 20:11

You can apply for it, but whether you will be granted is not for sure.
Asked by ALIMAMY ISSA BANGURA from CHINA | Oct. 16, 2019 03:51Reply
how to get work permit when you are already in china
hi,i am staying china presently doing my masters.please, i need help how to get working permit.i want to find job to work
Answers (3)
Answered by Michelle from UNITED KINGDOM | Oct. 16, 2019 20:11

You need to find a job first, and then ask the employer to get this work permit for you.
Answered by Alimamy Issa bangura from CHINA | Oct. 16, 2019 23:07

If you have not yet have a job,how can you have the work permit ?
Answered by Alimamy Issa Bangura from CHINA | Oct. 16, 2019 23:10

Am presently doing my masters course,after graduation want to work in china.How to get the work permit when after graduation may be i will not have job immediately so i May need the work permit to find job
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