Steps to Apply for a Chinese Work Visa in 2024


The visa application process seems complicated, but as long as you follow the steps, it won’t be a problem. To avoid the “going to the embassy back and forth” situation, please stick to the following steps.

Step 1. Apply for Apostille

For foreign teachers, what documents should I apostille?

  1. Original Degree Certificate (either Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate)
  2. Criminal Record Check from your country of origin or country of staying (within the past 6 months)


Step 2. Apply for Work Permit Notification Letter

You need to apply for Chinese work permit letter before applying for work visa. The letter which is officially called ‘Notification Letter of Foreigner’s Work Permit’ (外国人工作许可通知). Your university will apply for the letter online through the online application system. The process usually takes about 2-4 weeks. You will need to prepare the following:

  2. PHYSICAL EXAM REPORT (Check with your university to see whether you can do the body check after arriving in China)
    – Original Diploma authenticated by Chinese embassy/consulate
    Criminal Record Check from your country of origin or country of staying (within the past 6-months, must be authenticated)
  5. Original TEFL/TESOL/TESL/CELTA CERTIFICATE (if applicable)
  6. REFERENCE LETTER (if applicable): A signed reference letter of from employers over the past 2-years of teaching
  7. MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE and BIRTH CERTIFICATE (if applicable): If you married and you want to bring your spouse and kids, the original Marriage Certificate and original Birth Certificate are required. Both need to be authenticated.


Step 3. Apply for Work Visa (Z Visa)

This is fairly easy and straightforward, and is usually done in 2-4 working days. NLFWP comes with 2 pages, one in English and the other in Chinese. Print out both and take them to the Chinese embassy/consulate to apply for your Z visa. You will need to bring the following

  1. Passport
  2. Notification Letter of Foreigner’s Work Permit
  3. Visa Application Form and Photo
  4. Proof of legal status (applicable for those not applying for the visa in their country of citizenship)


Do Ask the Following Questions to Your School:

1. Is criminal record check performed by local police acceptable? If not, what level of police check is required?
2. Does language teaching certificate like TEFL and TESOL needs to be notarized or authenticated?


Useful Resources:


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