Sending Money Overseas Guide

Salaries in foreign currency can be deposited directly to an overseas bank account. For example, US dollar salaries can be deposited directly by employers to a U.S. bank without restrictions.

International transfers via banks, on the other hand, can be quite paperwork-intensive. If you want to send RMB out of the country via wire transfer from bank to bank, you will first need to convert that RMB into foreign currency. Then the funds can be transferred. You will need to bring the following three items to the bank:

  1. Employment Contract—This states the annual salary and must be chopped/red stamped by your company’s human resources department.
  2. Last 3 Months Salary Statements—This shows the breakdown of salary and Chinese taxes paid. This document also needs to be chopped/red stamped by your company’s finance department.
  3. People’s Republic of China Individual Income Tax Certificate—This is an official government document that confirms your company has paid the required Chinese tax on your salary and needs to be chopped/red stamped by the Chinese tax bureau. Your company will have a copy of this.

You should also bring your passport with you when you arrive at the bank to do the exchange and transfer. Each bank might have slightly different procedures but at the Bank of China for example, you must provide a correspondent bank in your home country detailing bank name, address, ABA routing number, SWIFT code (request from your home bank), and account number. A transfer will take about 3-5 days to show up in your overseas account. Take note that currently, each passport holder can transfer up to $50,000 USD out of the country.

Western Union is another option for international transfer of funds. It offers over 500 counters in Beijing, but because of its steep fees, this method of international transfer is usually just reserved for emergencies when you cannot access your bank account.