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.