Arriving to China with a job is the best way to avoid problems with the visa. Any Chinese company, WOFE (a foreign-owned company) or even a representative office are in position to obtain work visas (Z) for foreign employees. The visa itself is valid for one month from the holder’s arrival date. During that period, the company and employee must see a “Temporary Residence Visa”. Remember that you can’t change any visa to a Z visa within China, so try to get it before you arrive or you will have to return to your home country to complete the process.
Family members accompanying the employee may also apply for the Z visa. Each family member must submit a “proof of relationship” such as a marriage certificate for a spouse or a birth certificate for a child.
You must apply in person at your local Chinese embassy or consulate. While mailed applications are not accepted, you can send someone (such as a travel agent) to act on your behalf.
Work Visa (Z)
- original copy of a valid passport
- 2 color 2×2″ Passport Photo
- completed Visa Application
- “Invitation Letter of Duly Authorized Unit” or “Confirmation Letter of Invitation”
- State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) Invitation Letter (TEACHERS ONLY)
- Alien Employment License (Business Only)
- health check required
- maximum validity – 1 year
- single entry – valid for 30 day, after which, your employer should replace it with a Residence Permit which allows for multiple entries and up to one year stay in China
- Processing time is approximately 4 days
For more information, visit the Shanghai Municipal Government website.