What You Need to Know: China Visa Requirements

What You Need to Know: China Visa Requirements

April 12, 2021 Comments Off on What You Need to Know: China Visa Requirements By The Incorp China Team

Chinese has become home for many Western expatriates who desire work outside their home countries. The Chinese government’s visa application process has been greatly simplified in recent years, but is still rather complicated. Anyone looking to acquire a Chinese work visa should keep in mind some crucial tidbits of information that will be crucial in deciding the status of your work permit.

There are three different kinds of work visas one can apply for:

  • M Visa: Issued to people who are not employed nor paid by a Chinese firm. Typically for brief business trips that total lest that 6 months per year

  • Z Visa: Granted to foreigners who are employed in China and spent for that 6 months out of the year in China.

  • R Visa: Issued to highly qualified individuals who meet the requirements for a class A visa, as well as their immediate family. However, it is limited to 180-days per entry.

How do you obtain a Work Visa?

The Chinese government has a point system which classifies visas by a certain criteria, which includes one’s expected earnings in China, work experience in one’s respective industry, level of proficiency in the Chinese language, and level of formal education. Applicants deemed to be low-skilled need to score a minimum of 60 points for a class B and 85 points for class A visas, whereas there is no limit on the number of class A visas issued for those considered high-skilled.

Documents You Will Need:

After deciding on which visa is best for you, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Passport, visa or valid residence permit
  • Job qualification certificate
  • Medical report
  • Employment contract, employment certificate, or government authorization letter
  • Authenticated copy of your educational certificate (or diploma) of your highest academic degree or relevant vocational qualification certificate
  • Certificate that proves you have no criminal conviction

While making a list of the required documents might appear simple and straightforward, the information needed from those documents are more complicated. Here’s what you need to know:

Certificate of No Criminal Conviction

The Certificate of No Criminal Conviction is an essential document for applying to a work visa. This should be obtainable online and will appear differently depending on your country of origin. There are usually a government website where such a document can be requested. If you are in the USA, you should follow the procedure listed in this document or from the US Department of State. The Certificate of No Criminal Conviction will need to be notarized by a public notary or solicitor.

Educational Certificates

To prove your level of education, you will need to have the pertinent documents notarized by a public notary or solicitor. This includes diplomas (from college or high school), degrees, or even TEFL or TESOL certificates if you intend to be an English teacher.


Once all the needed documents are notarized, you will then need to deliver them to your local Chinese embassy for “legalization,” along with an Application Form of Consular Legalization of the Embassy/Consulate of the People’s Republic of China. Barring rare exceptions, these documents must be submitted in person, not by mail.

How much does it Cost to get a work visa?

The costs of applying for a work visa vary by country of origin. US citizens, for instance, would need to pay USD 140 for a single entry Z visa while it would cost a UK citizen GBP 151. If collecting all the documents, making separate payments, and delivering finalized documents to a Chinese embassy is too difficult, It may be easier and cheaper to pay an agent a flat fee to take care of the whole process for you. 

Getting Started…

The above is a general outline of the process to apply for a China work visa. It is important to understand which visa you are applying for and gather the necessary documents in a timely manner to maximise your chances of a successful application. 

At Incorp China, we can assist you through the entire process, and liaise with necessary parties to collect your documents and submit your application. For more information on our services, please contact us at any time for a free quote

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