Beijing Baby.
March 8, 2010 8:01 AM   Subscribe

I'm currently in Hong Kong and I've been offered a job working for a Brazilian company in Beijing. The work permit information they have sent me is so badly written as to be incomprehensible and the internet hasn't yield much better. Please help! My main question is: I'm British and, like all foreign nationals, I am required to submit a medical report stating that I'm in good health. What do I do?

According to information posted in 2006 on one website I found,

"Before arriving in China, the employee must:

undergo a medical examination and obtain a report written on the prescribed form by a health professional of his or her home country or, on entering China, undergo the requisite examination in the Chinese city in which he or she intends to work;"

Firstly, what does this medical actually involve? Secondly - and more importantly - will I be able to have it done in Hong Kong? Please tell me I'm not going to have to go all the way back to the UK. I've had an insanely good offer and they are eager for me to start as soon as possible. I don't want them to think I'm more trouble than I'm worth...
posted by Zé Pequeno to Law & Government (5 answers total)
If you're in HK already, I'd go to the embassy of the PRC or whatever euphemism they have for it. For what it's worth, I had several year-long work permits processed for employment in China, and I never had to submit any medical reports from the USA. I did have to undergo a fairly straightforward physical exam everytime, but that was after I already arrived, as noted in your link.
posted by bluejayk at 8:16 AM on March 8, 2010

oh, another thing, each time I initially entered on a tourist visa, and got that visa converted to a z-visa or residence permit. This is in a grey area of the law, but pretty much everyone I know who worked got their visa in this manner. Your potential employer will probably be used to whatever hoops they have to jump through, it's really not that involved these days.
posted by bluejayk at 12:42 PM on March 8, 2010

I haven't done one myself for a while, but there's a series of tests required for the visa that goes with a Chinese work permit. They're all quite minor, one does involve drawing blood but otherwise it's eye tests, ear nose and throat etc. It can all be done in half a day with a bit of queuing.
You'll note that it says "...or, on entering China, undergo the requisite examination in the Chinese city in which he or she intends to work." This is what I'd do - wait until after yo arrive then complete the medical here. There are hospitals here in Beijing geared to doing all the required tests and stamping your form - I should imagine your employers will help you find the closest/most convenient place for you. Basically the procedure is that you enter the country on a 'Z' visa, then have one month in which to convert that to a work permit (by getting this medical done etc.). Again, that's something I imagine your employers can help guide you through. I'm sure it would be possible to have it done in Hong Kong, but Beijing is probably cheaper and there's a slim chance they'll just get you to do it again so you get a stamped standard form with the precise battery of tests as you would here in Beijing.
This is a question that comes up regularly on the Chinese Forums - if you search there for terms like 'work permit', 'Z visa' and medical you should get to see what happened with others, including accounts of the tests. As I say, not something I've done for a while so don't take my word as Gospel, but surrounding by people who are/have recently done this and it should be fine.
posted by Abiezer at 1:06 PM on March 8, 2010

"one month in which to convert that to a work permit" should read " residence permit".
posted by Abiezer at 1:08 PM on March 8, 2010

When I had a Z visa I got the medical tests done in the states and I just had to redo them in China. However that was a few years ago and you being in Hong Kong things could be different.

But more importantly, you should not be dealing with getting the work visa by yourself. The company you are working for should tell you exactly where to go, exactly which forms to sign and where to hand them in. If they aren't doing this I would begin to doubt their ability to provide a work visa.
posted by afu at 10:20 PM on March 12, 2010

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