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Making the Move to China--Chinese Visa from Thailand

Discussion in 'Visas and extensions of stay' started by DavidUSA, 10 Feb 2016.

  1. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    Here is how to get a job, a visa, a residence permit, a health permit, and a foreign expert certificate for China.

    Making the move to China has been one of the best decisions of my life because of how I have been treated and the increased salary/benefits.

    1. Get a job
    Go to China Expat | Expat China|外国人网|Guides to 41 Chinese cities - eChinacities.com Apply and be ready to interview via Skype. Universities pay less than private schools. 7000 RMB is too low for someone with a degree and teaching experience. Make sure to pick a school that has permission to hire a foreigner. Do not go to China and work under the radar. 12000 is a good salary outside of the bigger cities such as Shanghai. I got 12000 + a very nice free apartment + utilities + a bonus + car/driver and an expense account. I am loving life. 17500 is a good salary in Shanghai, but that includes your housing allowance. Your housing is not going to be cheap. If you decide upon a job on Shanghai or Shenzhen, then be ready for a detailed interview from a Western teacher. I had about ten offers and many interviews. I decided upon a successful school in a mid-sized city (2 million people!). I am their first foreign teacher. This was a good decision. I got the VIP treatment from day one. My school is an extremely professional operation, they like each other, it is a pleasure to work for them.

    2. You need a Z visa
    In order to get the Z visa you must apply at the Embassy in Bangkok or at a Consulate. I chose the Consulate in Khon Kaen. Go there because you get quick service. The place was empty. The visa set me back about 4300 Baht. In order to get this visa you must get your police check done, and for an American that means you must have your fingerprints taken. Do the fingerprinting in Bangkok, send the cards to the servicer in the States, and get your police check via email. Choose a servicer that will send your verification of no criminal record via email. Make sure to do two fingerprint cards, not one.

    Get a health check at your local Thai hospital, to include an HIV test. Send the health check and the police check to your school in China. They will go to the local police office to get the approval you need for your Z visa. This approval comes as a paper from the local police. You do not need the original paper when you go to the Embassy or Consulate to get your Z visa. I just printed a copy of the pdf that my school had sent me. So the order of all this is as follows:

    fingerprinting (free) + application for police check ($35-40) > get police check back via email (took one week) > do health check ($15) > send police and health checks to your school in China (via EMS 600 Baht) along with copies of your degrees > get approval from local police for your Z visa > apply for the Z visa (4300 Baht)

    One thing to be aware of: the requirements for getting this local police approval vary by province. They really looked at my academic credentials. I did not have to send original documents, just photocopies.

    At the Consulate in Khon Kaen I had these documents ready:
    -the original health check (they did not care to see it)
    -copies of my academic credentials
    -my Thai work permit (you must have a Thai work permit to apply for a Z visa from Thailand)
    -application for the Z visa
    -copy of the police check
    -HIV result original (they did not care to see it)
    -approval paper from the local police got by my school in China (copy) (that paper has an approval number on it)

    It normally takes 4 working days to get the Z visa. They had two-day express service, but not one-day express service.

    3. Get a residence permit
    So once you roll into China you have 30 days to get a residence permit. Don't delay. Start that within 48 hours of arrival. You will be given a temporary permit once you apply.
    The residence permit comes as a sticker in your passport. One first gets a health check done, in China, at a special traveller's clinic (this is for foreigners coming to China and for Chinese people going abroad). That health check will then be a little book, a permit in fact, that you need for the residence permit.

    The health check at the traveller's clinic included:
    -urinalysis test (probably for drugs)
    -blood test (HIV)
    -EKG
    -physical exam
    -eyesight test
    -chest X-ray

    The whole thing took about ninety minutes. You school will pay for it all. I asked how much it cost. I think it was around $45. You do not have to be in perfect health. In fact, you can have some significant health issues, ie. high blood pressure. They will recommend a follow-up and approve your application. The residence permit costs around $105, and all schools pay for it. Again, you should not pay for this.

    4. You get a Foreign Expert Certificate
    You get something that looks like a Chinese passport. This is applied for online. You start an account and put yourself into a national database. A lot of personal information goes into this account: all about your education and work experience. You then get declared a foreign expert.

    5. Pay
    You are going to pay taxes to the Chinese on your income in China if you are an American. I a cannot speak what will happen for any of our Aussie, Brit, Kiwi, or Canadian friends. That tax amounts to around 850 RMB if your base salary is 12000. One can easily start a checking account in China. They use "Union Pay." It is their Visa. I got a Union Pay card and started an account in about one hour. Not all ATMs in China work for Visa, even if one sees the Visa logo at the ATM. In my experience, Bank of China always works, as does Agricultural Bank of China.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I can recommend teaching in China. I have been treated extremely well. Just make sure to work for a company that has permission to hire a foreigner. Ask your company to show you proof of that, if you are concerned. Choose a successful company or a decent public school.
     
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2016
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  2. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    More info/advice:

    Don't sign a contract too quickly. Negotiate. Also, try to deal with the HR department of your school directly (probably through an English-speaking teacher). If you go through a third party to sign your contract, part of your benefits will go to that third party. I negotiated an increase in salary (of about $160 a month) with the HR people at my school.

    About time off: surprisingly, China has a lot of holidays, so don't worry about that. If your holdiays are not paid, then get that fixed before you sign. Your holidays should be paid holidays.

    My salary in China is 67,000 Baht per month (11,150 RMB), after taxes, and I have a very nice free apartment with all of the utilities/internet paid. That is a lot better than what I was receiving in Thailand. Plus I got a bonus: every year I get one free airplane ticket home. This free airplane ticket is a normal benefit. My school also guaranteed me a 10% pay raise if I stayed for another year. So you can get some pretty generous benefits. They also gave me an expense account and an assistant. The way that I have been treated in China, and the professionalism I see every day at work, says a lot about the character of Chinese people. The other foreign teachers I have met in China are all very pleased with their situations. As you can tell, I am impressed.

    But here is something to watch out for: if you work in Shanghai or Shenzhen the cost of living is comparable to that of Zurich. Your salary will probably be high (17,000 +), and you can make a lot of money on the side (I am told), but if you get an apartment you will have to pay a huge deposit (I have heard this can be around $4000). So be ready for that.
     
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  3. GanDoonToonPet

    GanDoonToonPet Well-Known Member

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    Great stuff. Keep it coming. :thumbs up

    Can I ask what your academic credentials are, as this is reflected in the salary & conditions?
     
  4. Stamp

    Stamp Administrator Staff Member

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    Great info. Thanks for sharing this with us. :)
     
  5. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    I only have a BS in Liberal Arts, an AAB in Computer Networking, and a Certificate in Russian Language. I also have a TEFL (120 hrs).
     
  6. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    Below one can see the Z visa (1chinese visa.JPG), the Residence Permit (2.JPG), the Health Certificate (red/orange booklet), the Foreign Expert Certificate (blue booklet that looks like a passport), and the Health Certificate and Foreign Expert Certificate together.

    Again, the Z visa and Residence Permit are stickers that go into one's passport.

    1chinese visa.JPG

    2.JPG

    IMG_6933.JPG

    IMG_6934.JPG

    IMG_6935.JPG
     
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  7. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    Below you see what you get back from the local office in China that allows you to get the Z visa. I am calling this the "Permission for Z Visa" form. These vary in appearance. This one is an example that I got from the Chinese Embassy in Beijing when I was trying to figure out the application process. The one that I got was actually blue in color, also one page long. All of them will surely have a big red stamp. You take this paper with you (I only had a color copy) to the Chinese Consulate or Embassy when you apply for your Z visa.

    The Physical Examination Record form is attached at the bottom. You get this filled out at a Thai hospital and send it to your school (along with the police check) in order to get the "Permission for Z visa" form. Your school goes to a local Chinese office to get your Z visa. I did not send the original health document to China at first, but I had to send it later. Perhaps you should send the original at first. I was concerned that the Consulate would want to see the original. They did not. This form needs to be stamped and signed by a Thai hospital/doctor.

    This form is not for the physical exam that you will take in China. That exam is more thorough, but it is not a huge deal.

    Permission for Z Visa.JPG
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: 13 Feb 2016
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  8. ramses

    ramses Well-Known Member

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    Brings back memories.

    There was a crazy law in effect 10 or so years ago. You had to report to immigration within 24 hours of arriving in a province to declare your intention to work in that province.
     
  9. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    It has gotten a little better. One has thirty days to apply for the residence permit, but they do not tell you that they will keep your passport for about ten days. In other words, you cannot leave the country until you get your residence permit. But it automatically allows you multiple entries and exits once you have it. It is good for one year.
     
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  10. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    Once you get your Residence Permit you can leave and enter China all you want. But if you go to another country/Macau/Hong Kong for a short trip, then you must check in at some police station or hotel, any one is fine, so that the police station or hotel can enter you into the online system. This must be done within 24hrs of your return. In other words, the Chinese have tabs on you all the time in China. It is ok, they have a very organized system. If you forget to re-register, then they deny you a second Residence Permit.
     
  11. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    How to Bring Your Thai Spouse to China

    Once you get your residence permit for China it is very easy to bring your Thai spouse. Surprisingly easy.

    Your Thai spouse will apply for an S1 visa--that is the long-term visa for the spouse of a foreign expert. The form is attached. In box 2.1 you check

    □ 长期探望因工作、学习等事由在中国居留的外国 人
    As accompanying family member of foreigner
    residing in China due to work, study or other.


    The cost is 1,000 Baht.

    She/he does not need a return ticket in order to get this visa.

    Once your spouse arrives in China he or she will get a physical exam and be given a one-year residence permit. The cost of the residence permit and health check is about $100.

    You will write a letter inviting your spouse. Go the the Chinese Embassy's website for Bangkok to find out the specifics of what you need to put into your invitation letter.

    China makes it easy because they want qualified foreign workers who will stay for a long time.
     

    Attached Files:

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  12. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the nice info. I just received some more job offers, lecturing German at a college. But only between 6,500 and 7,000 doesn't sound good to me. Plus an apartment, free plane ticket, etc...

    The position has to be filled in August, should things go wrong here, i might give it a try. And continue my Dip Ed online from China. But only thinking about sending money to sup[port my family gives me a strange feeling.

    P.S. I didn't forget to post the material, but have to go to school to get it from my own PC at school.

    Thanks again for the nice information about Niehaus.
     
    Last edited: 12 May 2016
  13. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    About China: the universities pay less than private schools. Chinese people do not spend a lot of money, nor do they make a lot of money. The cost of living can be very low in China, but you have to be careful because the opposite is also true (Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing). Bringing one's family is surprisingly easy.

    6000-8000000RMB,ESL /German need in Zhejiang Public College Sep2016 - Jobs in Ningbo丨宁波外籍招聘网丨招聘外国人丨招聘外教丨外国人才网 up to 8,000 (one German teacher needed)
    After taxes that amounts to about 42,000 Baht.

    I only recommend coming here if one can land a job for 8,000 or more + housing. 10,000 is normal. Universities generally pay less. Keep your eyes on echinacities and jump when you see an opportunity. Remember that recruiters get a cut of your salary. You can negotiate. I did, and it worked. Also, you can ask for a guaranteed paid raise upon renewal of your contract. The free plane ticket home is normal for every job you get--going home during Spring Festival (if you work outside your city or province) is a big part of Chinese culture.

    Hold the presses:

    German teaching in Middle School in Suzhou from September NEW
    Other Teaching/Training | 8000-10000 RMB/M | Full Time | Suzhou

    10,000 RBM, after taxes, is about 52,700 Baht And Suzhou is a very good location.
     
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  14. ramses

    ramses Well-Known Member

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    indeed it is. It is to the west of Shanghai about an hour's drive or so. The town is about 1.5 million, and is renowned for its gardens and temples. Shanghai is where you will find the US embassy and consulate, plenty of western food and is downright expensive at times. Cost of living in Suzhou is reasonable, and there is plenty to do. The streets do roll up earlier than in Bangkok. 10,000 rmb will be more than enough there. Transportation and accommodations will be cheaper than what you pay in Bangkok (so if you know how to get along in bkk for 40 - 50k a month, you should have no problem doing so in Suzhou).
     
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  15. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Thread Starter την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    Exactly.

    And one can go into Shanghai once in a while to teach extra and make high pay for one-on-one instruction. One is not supposed to do this, but most people do. The rates I have heard run from 100 RMB per hour to 300 RMB per hour. I imagine myself charging 120. I know of a man who charges 200 RMB per hour for instructing two middle school students. That is about 1120 Baht per hour. I consider that good pay for an English teacher. The economy is still booming, no matter what anyone says.

    If GDP goes up by around 8% per year for a city, then you know the party is not over.
     
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