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Which provinces are requiring Z Visas? (Revised Sept 25)
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Volodiya



Joined: 03 May 2004
Posts: 1025
Location: Somewhere, out there

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 3:40 am    Post subject: Which provinces are requiring Z Visas? (Revised Sept 25) Reply with quote

Some posters to this forum have reported entering China on other than a Z visa and, nevertheless, receiving a "Foreign Experts Certificate", and a "Residence Permit for Foreigners" (sticker, placed in their passport), in country- giving them permission to live and work as teachers of English, in China- since new rules, placing restrictions on this process, came into effect on January 1, 2005. The following tables are based on the information they provided:

(If you have had experience with this process in these or other provinces, since January 1, 2005, please add your information; or, if information you provided was used to prepare this table and you now have something new or different to report, please update, as necessary, to keep this information current.)


Those provinces in which you reportedly may not have to leave the country (to obtain a Z visa) before beginning work-

Fujian (jeffinflorida);
Guangdong (clomper; spiderman two, Sept 9);
Guangzhou (GZ, Sept 24);
Jiangsu (amanda_barrick);
Liaoning (Alex_P; cj750);
Sichuan (ekirving, phillipl);
Zhejiang (dyslexic_dcuk)


Those provinces in which there is reportedly a high probability that you will have to leave the country to obtain a Z visa before beginning work-

Anhui (randyj);
Beijing (Spiderman Too);
Hainan (talkdoc);
Heibei (nolefan, Sept 25);
Henan (Girl Scout, June 21);
Hunan (Nauczyciel);
Inner Mongolia (tw);
Shandong (deezy, June 13);
Shanxi (meggles5);
Yunnan (no_exit)


For further details regarding the experiences of the posters who provided the information on which the tables are based, see-
http://www.eslcafe.com/forums/job/viewtopic.php?t=22363


[To those outside of China- this information is based on the personal experiences of the posters: it can only be used as a guide, not a guarantee, as to what may happen in your case, should you choose to come to China to work. (If no information appears here regarding a particular province, it simply means no poster has reported their recent experience in a manner which drew the writer's attention, and nothing should be inferred from the absence of information.)

Obtaining a Z visa before you enter China to work is your reasonable assurance that your that your prospective employer has obtained permission to hire foreigners; that you are qualified to teach, under the standards set by Chinese law and, that your employer has obtained permission to hire you.]

************************************
Additional, explanatory material for people considering a job in China:

Both the Z visa, issued at a Chinese Consulate or Embassy abroad, and the Residence Permit for Foreigners (RPF), issued by the local authorities after you arrive at your post to work, are based on a grant to you of permission to live and work in China. The Z visa grants you permission to enter the country to work, and the RPF grants you permission to remain in the country to work. The Foreign Experts Certificate (FEC), mentioned in the first paragraph of this post, is a document which asserts that you are qualified to teach, according to the requirements of Chinese Law.

To enter to work in China, you are supposed to obtain a Z visa at a Chinese Consulate or Embassy abroad. Some people, however, have entered on visas other than Z visas, and found work. In some cases, if they met all the requirements, they have been given an RPF and an FEC, in country. Still others, having found work, have been required by the local authorities to leave the country, obtain a Z visa (which can be done at any Chinese Consulate or Embassy when the requirements for issuance of the visa are met), and return, often at their own expense; hence, the table, above, which is based on our posters' report of their experiences in their provinces.

Regarding the RPF
The holder of an RPF has the privilege to leave the country, and return, at will- anytime within the period of validity of the RPF. However, since the RPF is based on the grant to you of permission to work in China; and, that permission is, in turn, based on your maintaining your contractural relationship with your employer, should that relationship end, the FRP is subject to being revoked, at the request of the employer. Should this occur while you were out of the country, you would not be able to re-enter China on that RPF. You would, again, need a visa to enter the country.

Is the RPF a visa? No. Does it allow you to exit and re-enter? Yes. (It does that by giving you the privilege to leave and re-enter, without a visa.) The RPF is not issued at a consulate or embassy abroad. The Z visa is.
______________________
[Everything I've written here is subject to revision, if future developments in the law, or the experiences of the posters to this forum, suggest it should be. I am indebted to the score of other posters who made the effort to familiarize themselves with the details of obtaining visas, and made their valuable technical and practical contributions to the information contained in this post- and will continue to do so, I trust, when they see something in need of correction.]


Last edited by Volodiya on Sun Sep 25, 2005 9:28 am; edited 23 times in total
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Volodiya



Joined: 03 May 2004
Posts: 1025
Location: Somewhere, out there

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deezy wrote:

"Shandong is unlikely to change Fs or Ls to Z's now...."

and, she wrote:
Quote:
We have a situation here which we are currently trying to resolve. Although we sent all the necessary paperwork for a Z visa to our new teacher, his agent only got him an L visa. He phoned me when he was about to get on the plane, and I told him to still get on the plane, and we'd try to resolve it here in Shandong. He arrives this morning. We've talked to some 'high-ups' in Beijing, and the advice has been that we should first go to the PSB and state the case, explaining that it is a genuine mistake, and we have been told that there's a 99% chance that if we have a reasonable PSB officer, the visa will be changed. The only other option, we have been told, is to send him to Korea or Hong Kong to get the visa changed.

Deezy, do you have an update for us, on the situation in Shandong Province, as a result of your experience with this new teacher?
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Volodiya



Joined: 03 May 2004
Posts: 1025
Location: Somewhere, out there

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2005 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deezy wrote:
Quote:
An update on the situation in Shandong. Don't expect to be able to change your L or F to a Z unless you have HUGE guanxi with the PSB.

The teacher I wrote about earlier, it wasn't his fault but his agents, that he arrived on the wrong visa. We were advised to be upfront with the PSB and tell them exactly what happened. Which we did. There was a huge amount of extra paperwork, and it took three days for one of our staff to get everything sorted out, but the PSB eventually changed the visa to a Z. But told us this was a 'one-off' and would not be possible in the future.

Deezy, Was it a Z visa, or a Residency Permit for Foreigners (sticker, placed in passport) they gave him?


Last edited by Volodiya on Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:28 am; edited 3 times in total
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Volodiya



Joined: 03 May 2004
Posts: 1025
Location: Somewhere, out there

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2005 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meggles5 wrote:
Quote:
My school in Shanxi was able to convert a visa last year but was told the rules changed this year. Last year was the first time they have done this. After a few discussions I have gotten them to agree to pay for the travel fees and visa fees.

It appears, in Meggles5's experience, that Shanxi Province will require a FT to go abroad to get a Z visa, before being willing to process them, further (to issue a FRP and a FEC).

She then asks:
Quote:
Does anyone know how much a work visa costs??? ANd how long it takes to process this???

On October 22, 2004, Green Mountain wrote, regarding his experience with a Hong Kong visa run:
Quote:
Did you have ANY problems?
Yes - my plane was late, so I didn't get to the visa office before it closed.
I got the express service the next day, and it was ok.

Where is the office? Wanchai?
Yup, in Wanchai,

Visa Office
Ministry of foreign affairs of the PRC
5th floor
Low Block
China Resouces Building
26 Harbour Rd

(Well that's what it says in the LP, but I think they might have changed what floor they are on - easy to figure out though)

What documents did you take?
What documents were you asked to produce?
I don't remember exactly, but the school should have given you everything you need (except for passport).
I remember:
Passport, and letter from the school. You also need one or two passport photos.
When you get there you fill out a one page form stating what visa you are applying for.

Oh, and when you come back to collect your passport, don't bother to get a number to queue up. Just go to the cashier.

How much was the express service including visa fee?
400$HK.
I think they like you to pay in $HK, but you can easily change money at the airport. Some of the money changes in town might give you a better rate. ATMs are fairly common too.


Where did you stay? Any good hotels near the visa office you can recommend?
I stayed in Chungking Mansions (36-44 Nathan Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui)
It's a bit of a hole, but its cheap and tollerable.
About 120-150 $HK for a small (really small) room a night.
If they say $160 or so you might be able to bargain them down a bit.

I think I caught bus A21 from the airport, it goes down Nathan Rd.
They don't give any change in the buses.

There is another place with guest houses called Mirador Arcade (58 Nathan Rd).

I hope to make my application first thing in the morning (Monday 25 Oct) and want to fly to the mainland later that day. Do you envisage any problems with that?
I had to get the express service because my plane was late. I got there about 10 mins before it opened in the morning. There is a queue of people who wait outside.
The office is quite efficent though, and with the express service they got my visa done in about 3 or 4 hours.

I think your plan should be ok, so long as you get the visa office early enough. Probably wise to have the number of your airline, so you can make last minute reservation changes if need be.
Also don't forget that the visa office closes during its long mid-day break! That's 9am-12:30, then 2pm-5pm they are open (mon-fri)
9-12:30 (sat)
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Volodiya



Joined: 03 May 2004
Posts: 1025
Location: Somewhere, out there

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elsewhere, Deezy wrote:
Quote:
Ok. another update. Spoke to the guy who did the work on changing the F to Z visa for our teacher. Seems it was 'no problem' and the PSB said that at the moment you can change them, with lots of paperwork, but they can't forcaste what the situation will be in the future. Cost was 400 rmb.

So you can put Shandong as a tentative 'yes' to being able to change visas.

Deezy has told me that she's going to try to get clarification on whether the teacher in question was given a Z visa or, rather, a Residence Permit for Foreigners.

[Those of you who've been following these issues will understand that confusion can arise from the inappropriate use of terminology relating to this process: I'm in an on-going process to try to get the focus sharper, and the information available more precise (in part, by refining my own use of terminology) and, if possible, more coherent and understandable to the uninitiated. Many posters have put a lot of effort into this task, and I'm indebted to all of them. Thanks, again, to those who have provided me details of their experiences with this process, by PM and otherwise, in response to my questions.]
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Volodiya



Joined: 03 May 2004
Posts: 1025
Location: Somewhere, out there

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone out there in a position to provide us information about what's happening in the other provinces, regarding the subject of the OP?-

Chongqing, Gansu, Guangxi, Guizhou, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Jilin, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shanghai, Tianjin, Xinjiang?


Last edited by Volodiya on Thu Jun 09, 2005 1:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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hilary



Joined: 19 Feb 2005
Posts: 246
Location: Kunming

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I entered China on an L visa and after a bit of faffing around between the agency to which I had been unknowingly sublet and the principal of the kindergarten, the FAO managed to get me a residence permit. The principal here has guanxi in spades.

But I've only just had it pointed out by Volodiya, whom I met last week, (hello there!) that I don't actually have a Z visa - my L visa was cancelled and replaced by a residence permit which I had wrongly assumed to be a Z visa. It's valid, for some arbitrary reason, till early August. So I shall have to do some faffing around back in London or Brisbane to get a Z visa to re-enter China, where I'm starting a new job in Kunming at the end of August.

So that's my story from Guangdong.
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Volodiya



Joined: 03 May 2004
Posts: 1025
Location: Somewhere, out there

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations, Hilary, on your job offer in Kunming. Hope it works out to your satisfaction!
_____________________

To the readers- Hilary has two options: one, to get her present Residence Permit for Foreigners extended, based on the new contract of employment; or, two, to leave China, let the RPF expire, and apply for and get a Z visa abroad, which will allow her to re-enter China to work. (She will not want to risk entering China on any other kind of visa, as Yunnan Province is one well known for refusing to grant permission to work, if you have not entered the country on a Z visa.)

The first option is superior, if she can manage it, as I see it. But, she'll need to deal with her new employer, in Kunming, to get it done. Using EMS or other fast and reliable mail service, she should be able to forward her passport to her new employer, once a contract satisfactory to her is signed, to have the RPF extension noted in it by the local authorities. (Her prospective employer is a government university, so there will be no question of their ability to get it done in an expeditious and timely fashion.)

Once this is done, she'll be able to leave China for her extended holiday, then re-enter to proceed to her new employment, without a Chinese visa of any kind- her RPF giving her the right to exit and re-enter, at will, during its period of validity.
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hilary



Joined: 19 Feb 2005
Posts: 246
Location: Kunming

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the clarification, Volodiya. Will get onto it asap.
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Volodiya



Joined: 03 May 2004
Posts: 1025
Location: Somewhere, out there

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No_exit wrote, regarding the experience of one who had attempted to start work in Yunnan Province, after entering China on other than an Z visa:
Quote:
Update on my friend who went to Thailand to get his work visa.

He arrived in Kunming on an L visa originally, found a job with a school here, and was told by the school that he had to go out of country to process his paperwork (and they made him pay for this expense as well!).

So he went to Thailand, where the paperwork was processed. He entered the country again on a temporary Z visa, which had to be converted to a residence permit within 30 days. He took his passport with the new visa and the relevant forms to the local PSB, where they issued him one of the new visa/residence permit things, the sticker in the passport which acts as both.

So, in short, they would not issue him the Z visa in country. In Thailand they did not issue him a residence permit, but a temp. visa. When he came back in, they processed the residence permit and issued that in country.

Also, the PSB told him that were he to switch jobs, all he would have to do would be to bring in an invitation letter from his new company, and they would simply change the name on his documentation, without actually processing a new visa. His current visa/residence permit is good for a whole year, starting now, which actually means it will outlast his actual contract by about 4 months (contract started in February).
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Per Scott



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 12:24 pm    Post subject: Sichuan visa situation Reply with quote

A few days ago a friend of mine who manages a language school in Chengdu called the PSB, who said you can convert your tourist visa to a Z visa (or residence permit now) only if your employer can also get you an Expert Certificate; otherwise you must leave the mainland.
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Volodiya



Joined: 03 May 2004
Posts: 1025
Location: Somewhere, out there

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Per Scott, that makes sense because qualification for a Z visa abroad is also based, in part, on your qualifications for the Foreign Expert Certificate (F.E.C.). The "Foreign Experts Affairs Invitation Confirmation", which you must present with your Z visa application, shows that you have preliminary approval and the qualifications necessary to get the F.E.C., in country, after you arrive at your new post.

Deezy had earlier written:
Quote:
Spoke to the guy who did the work on changing the F to Z visa for our teacher.

Deezy has just informed me that it was, in fact, a Residence Permit for Foreigners (RPF) (sticker, placed in passport) that her new employee was given, in country, not a Z visa.

Z visas, issued in country, are becoming more rare in that their main function is to give you permission to enter China to work: once the the FT has been given the RPF sticker, placed in his passport, the Z visa ceases to serve any purpose, as the RPF itself allows you to exit and re-enter China, during its period of validity.

She also again said that the PSB is telling her not to expect L or F visas to be given the curtesy in the future; that is, to get a RPF in her province, the FT will have had to have entered China on a Z visa.


Last edited by Volodiya on Fri Jun 24, 2005 4:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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hollie628



Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 6:51 pm    Post subject: Entered on a Z visa Reply with quote

I had a Z visa, and a temp foreigner resident permit. The permit expires June 30. The Z visa expired in March. I'm so confused on all of this - it seems there is more infor about L and F visa's and the need for a Z visa then there is once you have one.

The warning about Shanghai BSK Academy has this too: They never gave any of their employees a Foreign Expert Certificate book. The ex roomie had to meet an official from the company to go to the bank, where they would bring the booklet then take it back again. I never even saw mine. When I was let go I was told I couldn't have it and that it was sent back to the bureau.

I tried to get an extension today but was told I need that certificate. I have a letter from the new school I work for, however I have no contract with them. I was told that with my release letter (required from your previous employer to be legal to work for a new one) would get me one month extension, but that I need the expert cert for a longer term. I don't know what the one month extension includes - multiple entry or not?

The new school will not apply for all the necessary paperwork I'm sure. They hire foreign freelancers, and I'm sure that would cause problems. I know the warnings about shady situations and it's not shady if my visa is in order, it's just not a place to get my visa in order. A very common occurrence here.

So, does anyone have experience in this situation? Have you extended your Z visa on your own? I need to get to india next month and now time is running out. That old company, Pacican, should have given me the book or cancelled my visa. They didn't act within the law for this and now I'm in trouble too. Well, maybe not trouble; but for sure difficulty!
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Volodiya



Joined: 03 May 2004
Posts: 1025
Location: Somewhere, out there

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I had a Z visa, and a temp foreigner resident permit. The permit expires June 30. The Z visa expired in March.

Hollie, What is it that you have, a "Resident Permit" (green booklet with your photo in it), or a "Residence Permit for Foreigners" (sticker, placed in your passport)? The implications of each are different, so we must know....
Quote:
When I was let go I was told I couldn't have it and that it was sent back to the bureau.

Unless the rules have changed, that is the correct handling of the Foreign Experts Certificate: odd as it seems, the document is not transferable when you change employers.(*)

It will be the duty of your new employer to get you a new one, based on their offer of employment and your qualifications to teach in China. (They must be licensed to employ foreign teachers to be able to get the FEC.)
Quote:
Have you extended your Z visa on your own?

All documents associated with your employment in China, like the Z visa, are based on that employment. Most of the steps involved can be undertaken only by your employer.
________________________
*I'm basing this statement on the latest copy of the rules I can find. If someone has information regarding a change, please let us know by giving us the website for the new rules.


Last edited by Volodiya on Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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lowes13



Joined: 01 Sep 2004
Posts: 56
Location: Jiangsu

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will need the FEC and FRP (RPF), look up the abbreviations in this post, in order to extend your documents.
As has been pointed out the FEC is the property of your employer and must be left with your employer when you leave.
The FRP is yours until you leave the country, permanently.
Iím in the process of changing my employer and that has involved, so far, my new employer taking my passport, FEC, FRP and 2 photos to:
First of all obtain a new FEC from the foreign expertís administration
Secondly to go to the PSB and have the FRP sticker placed in my passport
If you donít have a contract with your new employer they cannot extend your documentation.
Youíre not entitled to FEC status when not under contract to an employer.
If your intention is to work freelance then you would have to, I presume, work illegally, as many expats do, on an F visa which can be acquired for periods of 3 months to 5 years.
You may want to re-consider freelance work!

Thatís the story as I perceive it, Iím sure there will be other comments.

Cheers
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