Obtaining a Chinese (Z) visa

Getting a work (Z) visa is the first step to becoming legally employed as a teacher in China. Follow these simple steps to ensure your visa is processed without unnecessary delays.

The Z Visa: In order to obtain the visa, your employer must get your work permit and invitation letter from the local government.


Documents required in order to process the work permit invitation:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher (notarized, apostilled, and authenticated)
  • A criminal background check (notarized, apostilled, and authenticated)
  • A clean physical health examination
  • ONE of the following:
    • A degree in a field related to teaching or education
    • A teaching license that certifies you to teach in your home country
    • 2+ years post-graduate teaching experience (reference letters must be provided)
    • A TEFL/TESOL/CELTA qualification of at least 120-hours (notarized, apostilled, and authenticated)
  • A scanned copy of your passport (should have at least 6-months of validity remaining)
  • Your contract signature page

*Different schools and cities may require slightly different documents; for details, please refer to the school for more information.

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After you’ve sent these documents to school (electronic copies via email are OK) they will take them to the local government office for processing and send you the work permit invitation papers.

Obtaining the Z Visa

Step 1:

  • Prepare your highest awarded degree, criminal check, and TEFL/TESOL/CELTA (if needed) – these documents should be legalized.
  • Legalization is a three-step process that includes: (1) notarization, (2) apostille, (3) authentication at the Chinese Embassy.

Step 2:

  • Download a medical check form from the Chinese Embassy located in your country. The physical check can be done in any country, but must be completed in English. The doctor should complete the form in full, and it should include a signature and hospital seal/stamp. Attach a passport sized photo (2”x 2”) on the top right part of the form.

Step 3:

  • After these are complete, send digital copies to your school so they can begin applying for your Work Permit and Invitation Letter. It will take them about 10-working days to receive your paperwork.

Step 4:

  • While your school processes the Work Permit Invitation, you can download and complete a visa application form (Z visa)

Step 5:

  • Your school will email you the Work Permit invitation papers in electronic form. Print one COLOR copy of each document.

Step 6:

  • Go to the nearest Chinese Embassy or Consulate Office.

You’ll need to bring:

  • The work permit and invitation letter
  • The completed Z-class visa application form
  • Your signed and stamped medical check form
  • Your passport
  • A 2″x2″ photo (full face, front view, no hat or cap, against a plain and light colored background)
  • The visa fee is about $150 – $200 depending on your nationality. Prices may be higher for express service. Keep the receipts because most schools will reimburse the cost of the visa.

You should have your Z-class ENTRY visa in about 3-4 working days.


What comes next?
While you’re waiting for your visa paperwork to finish, you can begin looking at airfare prices and prepare to book a ticket. Flight prices vary daily, so search a range of +/- two or three days of your target arrival date. Once you’ve found a flight that suits your budget, email the school to get approval on the date and arrival time. Click here to compare fare prices. You can even schedule pricing alerts so they email you when the price drops!



You’ve done your homework about the visa – now you can start your job search with confidence. Apply today to learn more about top teaching jobs in China!

Apply Today!

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Posted in Employment, English.

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