China Working Visa

This page is dedicated to the China working visa, also known as the Z visa. I have given a page for this as there are a lot of details, especially to get your first Z visa, then it becomes simple.

First to get the working Visa, you will need a job. A company will have to invite you to work at their organization, and they will have to apply for a China Working Permit. Before all this you will need a resume tailored towards working in China. If you need help let me know and I can give you some suggestions. You have to tailor it so it fits your job and the government will want to issue the working permit, so think about how your past applies to the job, and tailor it correctly.

First step, find a job. Unfortunately most companies do not hire without a face to face meeting. That means you will need to be in China to first get the job, and more than likely you will be on an L or travel visa. This creates a problem I will explain below.

Next step, once the company agrees, then you will need a physical check up. This can be done at a center in China, information is simple to find and multiple locations. It costs around 700RMB and I would have your company pay, mine always pay for this.

Once you have this, then they will apply for the working permit. The tricky part here is this takes time. Officially they say it takes one week, but in practice the applications are regularly rejected and they have to apply again. I would give it a few weeks, but if your lucky one week. The tricky part I mentioned is that you officially cannot work since you do not have a working permit. Now most companies will just have you work, and it is common practice, but officially you are not legal. Don’t sweat it, everyone just works for this time.

Now if all goes well they will give you a foreigner working permit, this is a little red book with your picture glued to the inside cover. With this, and invite from your company, you have to now LEAVE THE COUNTRY, yes, that’s right, you can not convert an L visa to a Z visa in China, you they say you should return to your native country to get the visa. But, you are able to apply for this in any country abroad. May go to Hong Kong, as it is easy and they know what they are doing. Korea and Japan are also choices, but may take longer to process the visa. Remember, Hong Kong is China, so getting it in a part of China will be faster. Hong Kong is also a huge hub for foreign travelers entering into mainland China, so there are many companies that offer this service.

Now that you have your new visa, one month, from outside of China, you will return, and take your passport to the Public Security Beauru, also known locally as the PSB. There you will apply for a one year Z visa, which usually costs around 400RMB and takes around one week. At this stage, it’s a cake walk, and few questions are asked.

Through this whole process you can ask your companies HR department to help. They should know a bit about it, and be able to assist.

You are probably thinkings “Holy S@#T” this will cost a lot! And you are right. Depending how you travel abroad to get the visa, where you stay for the 3 plus days, how much you pay for the service and what not it does get costly. I would suggest asking your company to pay for this.

Key note, this is China, they will not pay unless you ask. If you ask they will negotiate. If you are firm they probably will pay, but feel them out. If they seem very agitated and you really want the job, then propose half half, this may work best for both parties.

Now that you got the job, let’s talk a little about what is applied to this. First, legally now you need to pay tax to China as you are a working resident. The tax should be formulated as below.

Salary – 4500 x .2 = taxed amount

Some companies will offer slightly extra, say give you 300 or 400 more. But if you are legal expect to pay tax, and think about this when negotiating your salary.

Also you will have to pay the local insurance, as just has been approved recently. This means roughly .09% of your salary will go to this insurance. This includes local health insurance and pension. The pension is actually the largest part, roughly .08% (almost the whole thing). Now, the bad part is they take it out of your salary. So once again, factor this in as you will have less money in your pocket. The good thing is you actually get this back. At the end of the year you can apply to have this returned. This is ment to be given when you retire, or work for 15 years. But as a foreigner you probably won’t be here that long, so it is a good idea to talk to your HR to know about how to get this back at the end of the year, it’s a nice little Christmas bonus.