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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 Adel from SAUDI ARABIA | Jun. 26, 2019 20:58Reply
Residence Permit for me and my family
I am currently in China working as an owner representative for a foreign company. The foreign company has a contract with the Chinese company for a project that will be another country. My problem is that the visa will expire after three months and work requires two years. I want to get a Residence Permit for me and my family.
Asked by Pablo from SPAIN | Jun. 26, 2019 01:16Reply
Working Permit China
Hello, I will apply for a working permit B category to work in Kunming. As it is a western area of China, do they confirm 10 points into the 60 points system to get a working permit in this city? thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Greta from USA | Jun. 26, 2019 20:21

Pablo, I am confused about your question. Can you describe a little more? Plus, you can contact with your company in China for detailed information.
Asked by Brenna from UNITED STATES | Jun. 25, 2019 21:08Reply
US citizen apply for visa while traveling
Hi, I need a z visa but my work permit won’t be ready until after I start traveling. Can I apply at a Chinese Embassy in Ireland or do I have to send everything to an embassy in the U.S.?
Answers (1)
Answered by Linda from UNITED KINGDOM | Jun. 26, 2019 19:31

Brenna, you can apply at Chinese Embassy in Ireland.
Asked by Gift from CHINA | Jun. 24, 2019 14:15Reply
Non Philippine National z visa in Cebu
Hi, can a non Philippine National apply for z visa at the Chinese embassy in Cebu?

Having all necessary requirements..
Answers (3)
Answered by Troye from USA | Jun. 25, 2019 18:58

Gift, if you have a legal proof of residing, working or studying in the Philippines, you can apply at Chinese Embassy in Cebu; otherwise, you may need to apply in your home country.
Answered by Gift from CHINA | Jun. 26, 2019 08:10

Legal proof of residing? For example visa on arrival, visiting my child..
Can that work?
Answered by Linda from PHILIPPINES | Jun. 26, 2019 18:23

Dear, you means that you have visa on arrival in Philippines for visiting your child, right? If yes, that may not be work. You can contact with Chinese Embassy in Philippines for confirmation.
Asked by Dunamis from SLOVAKIA | Jun. 24, 2019 03:02Reply
student visa to working visa
Hi, I would like to ask about the process and chances of changing student visa to working visa. I am already doing MBA, finishing in January 2020, however, I would like to change the visa to working now (as the opportunity came NOW). Is it possible for me to get the working visa (apply with my bachelor degree?) and graduate in January 2020?
Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Greta from USA | Jun. 24, 2019 19:52

Dear, it maybe impossible. You can convert the type after your graduation and getting the work permit.
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