Hey there, fellow teachers! Have you ever considered teaching English in China? It's an incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture, learn a new language, and gain valuable teaching experience. But before you pack your bags and hop on a plane, there are a few things you need to know about working legally in China.
First things first, the Z visa is the only type of visa that allows foreign nationals to work in China legally. To be eligible for a Z visa, you must have a job offer from a registered Chinese employer, possess the necessary qualifications, skills, and experience for the job, be in good health, and have a non-criminal record. So if you're a former con artist, China might not be the place for you.
If you're interested in teaching English specifically, there are some additional requirements you need to meet. You must hold a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited university, have at least two years of teaching experience or a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate, and be a native English speaker or have a high level of English proficiency. Plus, your passport should be valid for at least six months, and you should have a non-criminal certificate that is valid.
It's important to note that all the above mentioned documents need to be notarized to be accepted by the Chinese government. While it may seem like a lot of work, it's crucial to follow these requirements to work legally in China.
What about non-native English speakers?
Unfortunately, it's difficult for non-native English speakers to obtain a Z visa to teach English in China. The Chinese government typically requires English teachers to be native English speakers or have a high English proficiency level. This is to ensure that the quality of English education is high and that students are learning from teachers who have a good command of the language. Non-native English speakers can, however, apply for jobs as subject teachers. The requirements for a Z visa for subject teachers are similar to those of the requirements for English teachers. You'll need two years of experience teaching the subject you're applying for, a bachelor's degree or above in the subject you're applying for.
a Recruitment company offered me a business/student visa to work for them. What now?
Working under a business or student visa is illegal in China. These visas do not permit you to work in the country, and if you're caught, you could face fines, deportation, or even imprisonment. It's not worth risking your safety and future prospects for a shortcut.
Despite the risks, some companies may try to cut corners and allow teachers to work illegally on these visas. However, this practice is highly risky and can have severe consequences for both the teacher and the employer. As a teacher, working illegally puts you at risk of being caught and facing legal action. It can also affect your ability to work in China in the future, as you may be blacklisted and prevented from obtaining a legal visa. For employers, the penalties for employing illegal workers can be severe, including fines, license revocation, and even criminal charges.
So, fellow teachers, it's essential to do your research and follow the proper procedures to work legally in China. And remember, non-native teachers can still apply for subject teacher jobs, and they need to meet almost the same requirements as English teachers do. Good luck on your teaching journey in China!