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China and ‘Z’ work visa issuance

China Work ‘Z’ Visa

The ‘Z’ Visa is applicable to people want to work in China and receive payment for doing so.  For teaching purposes of any language which your employer will be registered to obtain you the visa.  Normally, the visa is issued on issuance of the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • TEFL, TESOL, CELTA or DELTA certificate or diploma. Do note, all TEFL certificates or diplomas have to be a minimum of 120 hours.
  • Two years of teaching experience, however, this can be waivered and in all cases is.
  • Male applicants age restrictions which apply are 18 – 60 years of age.
  • Female applicants age restrictions which apply are 18 – 55 years of age.
  • Fees for the actual ‘Z’ visa differ from the country you are applying from; therefore, please check directly at these websites below for each valid native country:

Native countries and embassy websites

Key facts

The key facts of the ‘Z’ visa and what you need to know about it, and what the Chinese Government and Immigration of China expect.  If you are applying for positions teaching English or any other language to a specialist subject, you need to understand how things are laid out accordingly.

If you are wanting to teach English China, or what you need to know:


  1. As of late last year in 2015, the rules have changed in regards to foreigners or non-native people applying for a ‘Z’ Visa to work in China.
  2. According to the Chinese Government and Immigration, a native is deemed as these countries ‘only’: United Kingdom, United States of America, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
  3. Anyone outside of those listed countries is deemed as non-native and therefore will not be able to receive a ‘Z’ visa as you’re first language is deemed as ‘not’ English if you are trying to teach it as an instructor, teacher, lecturer, professor by the Chinese Government and immigration.

Non-native positions in China

If you are still wanting to work or teach languages in China but English is not your first language then its best to look for positions in China which directly relate to your country’s first language other than English.

How to do this?


  • Look for university-based positions as instructor, research assistant, assistant professor, professor and lecturer.
  • Find international schools who are looking for teachers other than English or bilingual positions. By the way, all of these pay far higher salaries than a native English teacher.
  • Look at the China job board on ESL Teacher Recruitment daily: China job board

Produced by Richie Peyer

© Copyright licensed to ESL Teacher Recruitment 2016

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