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Invitation letter question

 
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tideout



Joined: 05 Feb 2011
Posts: 180

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:41 am    Post subject: Invitation letter question Reply with quote

I've been working with a connection in China and I now have an invitation letter from the school we've' talked about.

I'll receive the letter shortly and I'm curious what I should be looking for in the letter and does this letter work for either F or Z visas?

I'm familiar with and have participated in the ongoing discussions re: working on non-z visas - not dismissing it but may not be a need to rehash it in this post?

Regards,
tideout
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roadwalker



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1460
Location: Ch

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just took a look at a reasonably recent invitation letter I received to get a z-visa a couple years back and while it didn't mention the type of visa specifically, it was particular to the school I was working for. My Chinese isn't good enough to know for sure that it spelled out employment or not (nor is my knowledge of Chinese labor law). To get the z-visa, it must be accompanied by another document from the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs granting a working permit (NOT the Foreign Expert Certificate which is a separate passport-sized booklet applied for once you've arrived to a z-visa sponsoring employer).

Basic difference between a z-visa and tourist or business visa: with the z-visa, the school has invested money and probably more time as well in getting the visa; they are telling the government that they are accepting responsibility for your actions and safety to some extent; they are telling the government that they indeed are planning to be your employer and therefore certain employment laws pertain. They have some skin in the game.

Whereas under a tourist or business visa, they aren't taking responsibility for you and with the tourist visa, they didn't even have to write or print out and send a letter. If they like you, fine. If they don't, they aren't under any legal obligation to keep you (at least no easily enforceable obligation). The expansion didn't happen afterall? Too bad for you. A taller, whiter, more gregarious teacher showed up with a guitar? Looks like they don't need you after all. Or they agree to hire you but change the terms of the contract you (alone) agreed to over the internet.

It all depends on how much risk you are comfortable with and can afford. I used to be in the "just show up and look around" camp, but there are fewer places now that will be able to send you to Hong Kong to get your visa "converted" to a z-visa. My first job in China I came on a tourist visa and got the work visa without leaving the city. Those days are gone. People work under the "wrong" visa today, so it's possible certainly. But they are also at risk of large fines and deportation, with some areas perhaps more risky than others. "I didn't know" and "the school said it was okay" are irrelevant according to the government.
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have all my current Z visa paperwork with me. My newly issued Z visa is about a week old.

There isnt really anything to 'look' for. The invite paperwork doesnt include a working contract or similar terms. I have the following:

Confirmation letter of invitation.
Name list of the invited.
Invitation letter from Employer on headed paper.
Copy of employer licence 1 (in Chinese)
Copy of employer licence 2 (in Chinese)
Copy of employer licence 3 (in Chinese)
Copy of employer licence 4 (in Chinese)
A state administration of foreign affairs invite certificate.

The only things to check are perhaps spelling of your name, and dates specified etc.
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choudoufu



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 3325
Location: Mao-berry, PRC

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

is your connection legit? are you working directly with a school authorized
to hire foreigners, or is this some "official invitation" on "crazy zhou's
enterprises" letterhead? it kinda sounds like you're getting a letter
sent by 'some guy you know' in china.

anyways, an invitation letter is only one of the requirements for your
z-visa. that there invite letter basically says "yo dude, you're hired!
use the other stuff in the package to apply for your work visa."

the other stuff will be a "visa notice" with red stamp from the provincial
foreign affairs offce, and a "working permit" (not a foreign experts cert)
with red stamp from the provincial foreign experts bureau.

you may also need a medical exam report.
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3231

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything on the invitation letter I received in Mexico City was in Chinese (except my name). The only thing I recognized was the red-ink smudge.
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SeldomSeen



Joined: 07 Feb 2013
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in China now and have the documents I needed in front of me. These two documents got me my Z visa almost a year ago.

1. An invitation letter headed "Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Unit" in English and, I assume, the same in Chinese. Mostly in Chinese but with my name, date of birth and passport number and also that red stamp thingy/smudge that another poster mentioned. I assume that this is what the OP has.

2. Another document, I don't know what it is as it's in Chinese but says, in English "The State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.P.R.C requests that foreign expert presents this Working Permit, along with the invitation letter to have his / her Z visa processes at the nearest Chinese Embassy or Consulate" [sic]. It has my name and passport number on it along with two other red stamps. I assume it's a work permit.

I guess you need both to get the Z visa. My employers also provided a cover letter telling me what to fill in in various boxes on the visa form such as addresses and things.
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