Visas and Work permits
All non-Chinese staff will require a work permit to work in China. As soon as you have been appointed, the College will apply on your behalf for a work permit and government invitation. These two documents will be posted to you, and they will enable you to get a single entry “Z” (work) visa from the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your home country or the country where you are currently resident. In order to obtain these, you will need to provide scanned copies of the following documents:
Certificate of Teaching Qualification
Work Permit Application form (completed and signed)
Recent medical report
Marriage Certificate for dependent spouse*
Birth certificate for dependent children*
* for dependent visas, the documents must be notarized by the Chinese Embassy in the country where they were issued
NB: You must bring the originals of these documents with you to China, as they are required for the application process. Failure to produce original documents will mean the work permit will not be issued.
It is possible to apply for the z-visa in a country where you are not a citizen or resident, but this will largely depend on the Chinese Embassy staff there. You will need to consult them first.
Once you arrive in Shenzhen, the College will renew your visa, replacing it with a multi-entry work visa which lasts for 12 months. This process takes around 1 month and involves an additional medical and a police interview.
NB: You cannot go over to Hong Kong , or abroad elsewhere, until your multi-entry work visa has been issued and put into your passport. If you do, your Chinese visa will expire and you will have to get a new entry visa to China which will slow down the application process for the work permit.
If you are already working in China with a work permit then it may be possible to extend your existing visa. You will need to send documentary evidence of all your previous employment, visas and entry and exit information. You can discuss this with the External Affairs staff at the College.
It is a good idea to register with your nearest Consulate on arrival. For most this is in Guangzhou.
Flights and Arrival Information
New staff should arrive at least 7 days before the official starting date.
The College will pay the full cost of a single ticket to Hong Kong or Shenzhen from your place of origin. Most members of staff fly into Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), which is much more convenient and has better international connections. The exception would be staff already working in China or South East Asia, from where there are good connections with Shenzhen Airport and fewer formalities.
On arrival at HKIA you will be met by a limousine service which will bring you across the border into Shenzhen to a hotel near to the College. Staff will be accommodated for five days at this hotel while looking for accommodation.
On arrival at SZIA staff should take a taxi to the hotel. Contact and location details for the hotel will be provided beforehand.
The College does not provide accommodation, instead there is a housing allowance, paid monthly. Accommodation can be found for much less than the housing allowance, however much of the housing available on the market is cramped, dirty and poorly maintained, so most foreign staff prefer to supplement the allowance in order to find something cleaner, bigger and closer to an international standard. Most foreign staff live in the large compounds within walking distance of the College.
In order to apply for resident’s status, staff must have accommodation, so the first week or so after arrival will involve a hectic hunt for housing. It is worth bearing this in mind on arrival and getting in the mindset to make a quick ecision. The College will provide assistance with locating a suitable apartment. Renting an apartment normally involves a payment of two and a half months upfront ( this might be 10-15,000 RMB). The College can arrange a loan to cover this on application, but it is worth arranging to have some cash available for this purpose on arrival, or you may find yourself very hard up by the end of the first month.