On March 26th, 2020, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs executed a policy blocking all foreign nationals from entering China due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a shock to the teach abroad industry and especially difficult for foreign teachers that live and work in China but were overseas at the time.
Six months later, on September 23rd, 2020 the MFA has announced some very exciting news! Foreign nationals holding 3 types of residence permits can now return to China! Read the official statement here. The acceptable residence permits types are: 1. Work 2. Personal matters 3. Family reunion. Teachers will all be holding the first type.
The statement goes on to say that if your residence is still valid (not expired) you can now return to China using that visa.
If your residence permit expired after March 28th , 2020, you will need to apply for a new visa, but you will not need a PU letter like a new hire would. However, your new visa will be approved only if “the purpose of the holders’ visit to China remains unchanged”. Translation: you need to be returning to work with the same company that sponsored your visa initially. The statement does not indicate exactly what evidence is required however it is likely that you will need a letter from your employer stating that you are still under contract with them and you will be returning to work. It is possible that a copy of the employment contract will also be needed but those details are still unclear.
Holders of tourist, business, or any other type of visa issued before March 26th, 2020 are still not eligible for entry into China.
Anyone entering will need to follow all pandemic related controls including pre-travel COVID-19 negative test and quarantine upon arrival. The specifics for quarantine vary based on your country of origin. Be sure to research the latest news for these requirements before you purchase your plane tickets.
If your residence permit has expired and you are eligible to apply for a new visa, or if you have a PU letter and need a visa, Teaching Nomad can obtain the visa for you through any of the U.S. based Chinese consulates. Visit the order form to get started.