Here, we explain how to apply for a work visa for China, also referred to as a ‘Z’ visa, the eligibility rules, and how to apply. For expert assistance with your immigration matter, contact Reiss Edwards, immigration lawyers and solicitors in London.
Business across China is booming due to a prolonged period of strong economic growth. In turn, this growth is fuelling a growing demand for skilled labour from outside of China to fill roles for which there are insufficient suitable local candidates. Due to the need for foreign workers in China, in recent years, the Chinese immigration authorities have made the process of securing a visa more efficient and straightforward. If you will be travelling to China for work in the near future, it is essential that you choose the correct entry visa for your needs. Here, we explain how to apply for a work visa for China, also referred to as a ‘Z’ visa, the eligibility rules, and how to apply.
The Chinese Z visa permits entry for foreign nationals who have been offered paid employment in China.
The Z visa is issued for up to 30 days, during which time the visa holder will need to secure a temporary residence permit to enable them to reside and work legally in China for the whole period of their employment contract. Temporary residence permits can be granted for anywhere between 90 days and five years.
To make a successful application for a Z visa for China, you must:
If you are unsure if you are eligible for a Category C work permit for China, speak to a lawyer specializing in Chinese immigration policy who will be able to assess this for you.
Before applying for your Z visa for China, your employer will first need to apply for your Foreigners Worker Permit (FWP). Once this is granted, your employer will then let you know that you can proceed to apply for your entry visa.
The application process for a Z visa can vary from country to country. In some countries, you will need to visit your nearest Chinese Embassy or Consulate, where you can complete an application form. In other countries, you will need to complete an online application and then make an appointment at your nearest Chinese Visa Application Centre.
In addition to submitting your application form, you will need to provide evidence of your eligibility for a work visa in China; this may include one of the following documents:
If you need any assistance with your China Z visa application, speak to an immigration solicitor who will be able to guide you through the process, check you are applying for the correct visa, and that the application and supporting documents submitted are correct.
The application fee for a Z visa depends on which country you are applying from. The amount also depends on whether you are paying for the regular, express, or postal return service, the length of the visa, and whether it is for single or multiple entries. A schedule of fees (in pounds sterling) can be found online.
Processing times can vary by country. For the Chinese Embassy in the UK, for example, the processing times for the Z visa for China are as follows:
Yes, dependant family members (i.e. spouse and children) who wish to accompany the principal visa holder will need to apply for an S visa. To support their application, they will need to provide evidence of their relationship with the Z visa holder.
In some cases, Z visa holders in China may wish to extend their stay, assuming that their employment is also extended. To extend a Z visa, holders must apply for an extension at their local immigration office in China with evidence of a renewed or extended work contract.
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