To work in China as a legal English teacher, your school will need to assist you in obtaining a “Residence permit” and a “Foreign Expert Certification/Work permit” from the Chinese government. Only legal, licensed schools can actually hire foreigners. By working with Teaching Nomad you can rest assured that your new job will be with one of these legal schools.
The process works like this: Once you have signed and submitted your teaching contract, your school will request your “alien work permit” from the Chinese government. This document along with their “invitation letter” will be sent directly to you. Once received, you will need to submit this paperwork along with your passport and visa application either directly to the Chinese embassy in your home country or to a VISA agent like VISA HQ (the agent recommended by Teaching Nomad). There will be a fee to pay which varies by country. Depending on processing time, in a few days or a week you will get your passport back in mail with a temporary “Z visa” inside. This temporary VISA is good for 30 days and is designed for you to enter China.
Once you’re in China your school will assist you in converting this temporary VISA into a “Foreign Expert Certification/Work permit” and a “Residence permit”. This process could take 2 -6 weeks during which you will not have your passport. We do suggest you make a copy of it before it’s out of your possession. The government also requires you to have physical exam done. It pretty basic and is usually completed in China, in some cases, your school may send you a medical exam form that you can use to have the exam completed in your home country. Hopefully that clarifies the VISA situation for you! Visit our downloads page for a PDF info sheet about visas in China.