Obtaining a Z Visa for China
July 22, 2011 7:50 PM   Subscribe

Applying for a z-visa to teach English in China, what should I know/be aware of as I go through the process?

I am teaching English in China starting this fall. Currently I am in the process of obtaining necessary documents/medical tests for applying for the visa. I am finding mixed messages and different information on each site.

Some sites mention the need for HIV test/TB/ and Drug for the Z-visa..while others mention to wait until you are there in China and applying for the residency visa.

Any help and advice out there from those who have gone through this process recently?
posted by melizabeth to Travel & Transportation around China (2 answers total)
I am currently a student in China, and have a few friends who are on Z visas teaching.

When it comes to applying for visa in china, you will get a lot of noise, and not much signal. There is a real lack of good information and an abundnace of misinformation.

In my experience you can get any health tests once you get here, there is a big hospital setup in every province that does these kinds of tets. I got the HIV test for my Student visa a month after arriving.

Pretty much every rule is bendable too.

A few things to watch out for is

1. A lot of people have promises of getting paid X amount, but later they only get paid Z amount, because of some unforeseen problem, (or you don't get paid at all).

2. The elegant free/discount housing offered to you is actually in very poor condition, and is very difficult to live in.

3. You're in the middle of no where, even though they tell you it's a thriving city.

4. I'd say on average if English teachers are paid, they are paid late 80% of the time.

5. Your dorm, or campus may have a curfew.

6. For one year contracts they often put "13 months" and if you call them out on it they say it was an accident, so make sure it says the correct amount of time.

You really want to read the contract well, and make sure your boundaries, and limits are clearly stated to your contact at the program.

There are generally a lot of really sketchy programs, and a few not so sketchy, and it's hard to tell the difference.

Feel free to mefi-mail me if you have any more questions.
posted by crawltopslow at 8:29 PM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Unless something has changed very recently, I'm pretty sure the only thing you need for a work visa are the documents listed here - passport, application form, paperwork from your employer, etc. The application form has a couple of basic health-related questions, but you shouldn't have to submit any medical test results at that point.

However, you will probably have to undergo a physical when you apply for a residency permit, which will most likely happen immediately after you arrive in China.
posted by photo guy at 8:30 PM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

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