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How to Teach Legally in China

When it comes to teach abroad, China can be one of the most popular destinations these days. The culture, food, history, low living cost, modern structures and endless travel opportunities, all make it a great place to embark on a wonderful overseas adventure. 


China’s global influence is expanding, so is its need for international connection and native English teachers. For those who would like to stay in China and soak it all in, teaching English would be one of the best ways. 


To secure a full time English teaching job, you need to hold a passport from native English speaking countries, a bachelor’s degree, a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certification and a clean background check. Though it is not a must, teaching experience would make it easier to get you work permit and a well-paid job. 


Before coming to China, your Chinese employer, be it a school or an institution, needs to get an FWP notice (Foreigner’s Work Permit notice) for you. This FWP notice is tied to FWP, which is a legal qualification issued by the Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs in different Chinese cities. You need to bring the FWP notice to apply for a Z visa to enter China. Z visa is issued to people who come to China to work and it is only valid for 30 days after landing China.


After entering China, foreigners are supposed to register themselves at the local police station where their hotel or apartment belongs. Chinese police officers would check the hotels and apartments without any notice and failure to do the police registration can cause consequences once get caught. Meanwhile, the employer is required to apply for the FWP within 15 days. 


After acquiring the FWP and before your Z visa expires, apply for a residence permit in the Exit and Entry Administration, or the so-called Immigration Office. The duration of the residence permit is decided by the Administration but generally it is associated with the length of your contract with your employer. Upon receiving your residence permit, make sure to update your police registration as the validity period of the registration is the same as your visa or residence permit. 


Simply put, to work in China legally, you need to acquire a Foreigner’s Work Permit, the police registration, a residence permit and everything that is meant for getting those permits and registration such as the BA degree and background check authenticated by the Chinese embassy, a medical report, etc.


FWP and the residence permit for work do not accept individual application and can only be done by the Chinese employer who has got the government permission to employ foreigners so be careful before signing the contract with the employer. 


Teaching in China may seem daunting at the beginning but just give yourself some time and it would turn out to be a rewarding experience and unforgettable memory!


Check here to learn more about teaching jobs in China

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