Permits and Visas for Work in China
Page updated as of April 2018.
As of July 2017, a criminal background check and authenticated documents must be provided to apply for a work permit in the Peoples Republic of China.
Here is a guide regarding how to get a background check and how to get your documents authenticated so that you can get your work permit and visa!
Step 1: Get a criminal background check.
Get Your Background Check for China
United States >
You can obtain a background check/no criminal record report from a local, state or national (FBI) organization. Generally the local police station is the fastest, while the state police may take a couple weeks. An FBI check is not always required, but if your employer does requires it, here's some information about how to obtain a FBI background check. If you reside overseas or need to expedite your FBI application check, we suggest to use this Channeler service.
Teaching Nomad also offers a background check, as well as full authentication services for it! It's a national level check that can be completed online without fingerprints. The check can be completed in just a day or two, and it's easy to bundle with a degree, TEFL, or letter of reference authentication. Click here to check out prices and order your background check..
United Kingdom >
You can apply for a criminal records/background check at a local police station or a full national check here https://www.mygov.scot/basic-disclosure/apply-for-basic-disclosure/ .
South Africa >
You can obtain a backround check through the South African police department.
Here's information for obtaining a background check through Royal Canadian Mounted Police. There's information for obtaining it while residing in Canada or overseas.
You can obtain your background check through a local police station or through the Australian Federal Police.
New Zealand >
Information for obtaining a national police background check for New Zealand.
Information for obtaining your background check from the Irish National Police.
Step 2: Get your documents authenticated.
This usually means 3 documents:
- University degree
- Your background check
- A document that qualifies you to be a teacher; this will vary so you should supply what your employer is asking for. Usually it's either a teaching license, TEFL Certificate (120 HOURS+) or a reference letter for 2+ years classroom teaching experience.
Getting your documents authenticated is a multi-step process, so read carefully:
Document Authentication for China
United States >
In the U.S., there are 3 - 5 steps for getting your documents authenticated depending on which state you're in.
1. Have your document notarized by a local notary. You might be able to get a certified copy authenticated, or you may have to get the original document authenticated, depending on the city/province that you'll be teaching in.
2. *New step as of October 2018* - This step is only relevant if you're in Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, and Tennessee. Documents notarized in these states must be authenticated at the county level after they're notarized. County authentication can be obtained from a circuit clerk, circuit court, county clerk, probate judge, or a superior court clerk.
3. Get your documents certified by your local Secretary of State's office. All documents must be certified by the Secretary of State’s office in the state where the document was notarized. They will verify the notarization received in step 1 and put a seal on the notarized document.
4. This step is only relevant if you're in Washington DC, Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. Documents issued in these states must be authenticated by the U.S. Department of State after they're certified by your local Secretary of State’s office.
5. Get your documents authenticated by the proper Chinese consulate. After they're authenticated by the Secretary of State’s office and/or the U.S. Department of State, your documents can be authenticated by the Chinese consulate that holds consular jurisdiction over the state where the document is certified.
United Kingdom >
The process for getting documents in authenticated (legalized) in the U.K. are quite similar to the U.S. in that it follows a 3-step process:
1. Relevant documents (diploma, certificates, teaching license, etc.) will need to be notarized by a solicitor or public notary in the U.K.
2. After the documents have been notarized, you must take them to get authenticated by the Foreign Commonwealth Office. Once the FCO assesses that the documents are genuine, they will attach an Apostille to your documents.
3. Once apostilled by the FCO, take your documents to the Chinese Embassy to receive the Chinese consulate legalization.
A great agency that provides the full legalization of documents for U.K. citizens is https://www.vitallegalisation.co.uk/.
The document shall be notarized by a local notary public, lawyer or Commissioner of Oaths of Canada.
The notarized document shall be authenticated by the Authentication and Service of Documents Section of Global Affairs Canada, if the applicant would like to bring the document to this Embassy for authentication.
The notarized document shall be authenticated by the authentication office of the corresponding province (territory).
The document shall be authenticated by the Chinese Embassy if it has been authenticated by the authentication office of Global Affairs Canada.
Th document shall be authenticated by one of the Chinese Consulates General in Canada in accordance with its consular jurisdiction where it has been authenticated by a local authentication office.
You can read more about on the Chinese Embassy of Canada website.
If you do not live near a consulate, we suggest using www.mychinavisa.com to complete the third step for you. Use code "NOMAD2018" to recieve USD discount on your order.
South Africa >
1. The first step in authenticating any documents, will be to get them notarized by a public notary/registrar at the high provincial courts in South Africa.
2. Documents will then need to be taken to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa (DIRCO) to get legalized
3. Take the authenticated documents to the Embassy or Consulates of China to get the Chinese authentication on your documents.
Previous Teaching Nomad's have successfully used this document authentication organization.
1. Your documents must be notarized by any Australian notary public.
2. Once notarized, all documents are to be authenticated (not apostilled) by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or an office of theirs in a state or territory. This can be arranged to be done either in person or by post, but the mailing service can only be used for Sydney or Melbourne.
3. Lastly, take your notarized and authenticated documents to the relevant Chinese Embassy or Consulate General. You must take your documents to the Embassy or Consulate in the Jurisdiction where they were ‘notarized’, not ‘authenticated’.
For more information and contact info, click here.
New Zealand >
1. Individuals needing to get their documents authenticated for China will need to send their documents to the New Zealand Authentication Unit. Before sending your documents to them, make sure they meet the Authentication Unit guidelines or else they cannot be legalized.
a. For school records (excluding University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology), medical records, employment documents and any other personal documents, please make sure they are first notarized by a NZ public notary.
b. If you attended the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology, your records must be emailed to the Authentication unit via My eQuals. Contact your university if you need assistance with this.
2. Once you have ensured that all of your documents meet the Authentication Unit requirements, fill out the document authentication application form and send it to the Authentication unit. The notarized documents plus payment must be attached with this application.
3. Documents will then be authenticated by the Department of Internal Affairs Authentication Unit then sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) for verification.
Here is a website that provides detailed information on the steps needed to properly get documents authenticated. It includes a link to the application form, fees and addresses of where to send your documents to: https://www.govt.nz/browse/nz-passports-and-citizenship/proving-and-protecting-your-identity/use-your-nz-documents-overseas/#what-you-need-to-know.
1. Get your documents notarized by a local notary public.
2. Send the documents to the Legalization Office of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, or visit the Cork or Dublin office in person.
3. Submit the documents to the Chinese Embassy or Consulate General for authentication. Note – this must be done in person or via a courier service.
Find more information about the requirements and the application form here.
Step 3: Work Permit
Now that your documents are authenticated, send scans of these documents to your employer. They will apply for your work permit which will likely take 5-20 business days. It's important to tell them which Chinese consulate you will use to apply for your work visa, YOU CANNOT CHANGE THIS LATER so if you plan to use an agent, you may want to consult them at this point.
Step 4: Work Visa
Once approved, your employer will email your work permit approval which you can take to the consulate or to the visa agent assisting you.
If you're having difficulties with this process, be sure to contact your Teaching Nomad placement consultant, we're here to help!
If you decide to place an order, Teaching Nomad will complete the entire document authentication process for you.