China work Visa 2023: Easy ways to apply

How to apply for and receive China work visas for international employees is a major source of anxiety for both foreign nationals and Chinese employers of foreigners.

The rules for obtaining a China work visa have gained national attention not so much for their inherent difficulty but rather for the constant changes that have been made to them.

Since 2016, the Chinese government has nearly annually updated its list of needed documents. is always improving and expanding to provide you with the most current information possible.

All information in this article is current as of the year 2022 about applying for a China work visa.

Details on China work visa

Since June 2022, China has relaxed some of its most harsh travel regulations, including PU letter exemption for Z-visa (work), M-visa (business), and F-visa (visitor) applications, cut quarantine period for inbound travelers from 14+7 to 7+3, and simplified work permit application procedures.

These developments suggest that mainland China is gradually reopening its border and that businesses there can once again openly recruit and hire foreign workers.

Types of China work visa

Some categories of visas in China are designated by letters and numbers only. For instance:

This visa designated “Z,” is for foreign workers who want to remain in China for more than six months.

The X represents the noun xuéshng, which means “student,” and the 1/2 represents the duration of the visitor’s stay. Students can apply for either the X1 (for stays longer than 180 days) or X2 (for less than 180-day stays) visa categories.

The J stands for “journalist” (jzh) in the Chinese alphabetical system. Journalists from other countries who intend to stay in the country temporarily can apply for this visa.

M: A visa for business trips lasting between 30 and 60 days.

F: Visa for visitors, exchange students, and study tours of 30–90 days’ duration.

Visa category S1/2 is for those who wish to visit relatives who do not currently reside in the country.

A1/2: This type of visa is available from the Chinese government for those planning to visit relatives who are citizens or permanent residents of China.

There are a few other characters to keep an eye out for C for chuányuán (staff), L for lowài (foreigner/tourist), and G for gujng (transit).

Requirements to get China work visa

A work visa’s prerequisites are subject to change from one visa category to another.

However, most applications for Chinese visas require a passport photo, a health certificate, and an official employment license issued by the Chinese government.

China no longer necessitates a separate invitation letter for work visas as of June 6, 2022.

Following China’s Exit-Entry Administration Law, all visa-holding foreign nationals are required to report to the Public Security Bureau (PSB).

They have only 24 hours from the time they enter the nation to register.

Here’s what every one of your workers has to do to comply:

Don’t hesitate to visit the local police department.

Provide proof of citizenship by displaying a valid passport.

To register as a guest at someone’s home, you’ll need to show identification and a lease or deed to the property.

Fill out a form to register your temporary address

Your employee receives a temporary residence registration form after enrolling.

If they want to stay in China permanently, this form can assist them to do that.


Primitive Requirements for Both Employees and Employers

China has recently instituted an open, inclusive, and fruitful approach toward attracting international talent.

It has streamlined the application procedure for Chain work visa by enabling applicants to complete most of the application online.

Employers hiring foreign workers in China must abide by the country’s rules and regulations about overseas workers.

For instance, businesses need to be legitimately incorporated and certified by the relevant industry body.

Foreign Applicants who also want China work visa must also meet China’s minimum standards. This means the applicant must:

  • Possess the necessary education and at least two years of work experience to do the job.
  • Have a clean slate, so to speak.
  • The candidate must submit to a background check conducted in their country of residence.
  • The job with a Chinese employer.
  • Possess a passport and/or other appropriate travel documents to enter and exit the country.

China work visa: Structure of China’s Work Permit System

In recent years, the Chinese government has streamlined the work permit application procedure by centralizing authority under a single organization, SAFEA (The State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs).

However, when it comes to China work visa, the government entity in charge is SAFEA. This includes both the Z and R categories.

The Chinese government issues Z visas to the majority of foreign workers and R visas to the upper echelons of management and specialists in fields where China is weak.

Both the potential employer and employee can use this platform to electronically submit the necessary paperwork.

Application letters and resumes no longer need to be submitted thanks to the advent of online management service platforms.

The prospective employer will use SAFEA’s foreign worker management system to get things started (only in Chinese).

Here are the forms the company will fill out and submit:

The registration form, business license, organization code certificate, and employer/agent ID information.

The following forms of identification are now mandatory for all prospective international workers who want to apply for a China work visa.


To prove your identity, we require a copy of your passport’s biographical data page in addition to a signed original.

To get China work visa your passport must:

  • Keep working over the next half a year at least
  • Includes at least two visa stamp-ready pages (amendments and endorsement pages cannot be used to fulfill this requirement)
  • Not be damaged (by tearing, splitting, or fraying), separated (from one another), or changed (by any means).
  • If your passport does not fulfill these specifications, you can get more information by calling the China Visa Service Center at 1-800-799-6560.


There are specific photo criteria for the Chinese Consulate. To make sure your photograph satisfies the demanding features required by the Chinese Consulate, we advise you to send it electronically through the China Visa Service Center.

To submit a photo for a Chinese visa, go to

  • Electronic photos must be shot within six months on a white backdrop.
  • Your photo should be taken from the front, with your head centered, your shoulders visible, your eyes open, your lips closed, and your ears visible.
  • The use of shadows or backlighting is forbidden. Unless for religious reasons, you are not permitted to wear any form of corrective lenses, jewelry, or hat.
  • Please avoid wearing white.

If you choose to submit a real photo, it must fulfill all of these requirements and also:

  • Have a precise height of 48 mm and width of 33 mm
  • Utilize professional-grade photo paper for printing.
  • Your application should not have any tape or staples on it.
  • You should know that the standard 2×2 inch photo size offered by most photo shops is too small for passports.
  • Application packages containing images that do not conform to China Visa Service Center’s photo requirements will be returned.

Letter of Invitation

If you want to visit, your sponsor needs to write you a formal invitation letter. It is the responsibility of the host group to secure the invitation. This letter must:

  • Make sure to provide the start and end times of your stay.
  • Write your full name exactly as it appears on your passport.
  • For this purpose, you must ask for a “Z” visa.
  • A Valid Driver’s License or State ID
  • You must show proof of residency.
  • A utility bill or driver’s license front is required. The document must:
  • Do not alter the spelling of your name from what is shown in your passport.
  • Put your current address, as it appears on your visa application, on display.
  • The consulate only accepts electric, gas, or water bills, not telephone or cable TV bills, if you need to submit one.

PU Letter

Your personal PU needs to bear the seal of the consulate with jurisdiction over your home country.

Reach out to the China Visa Service Center for clarification on the PU and assistance acquiring it if you have any questions or concerns.

Chinese Work Visa Application Form 

Use the China Visa Service Center Order Form in this kit.

Form For Requesting Visa

One visa application was duly filled out and signed. Specifically, the application must:

  • Take place in cyberspace
  • Fill out all form details
  • Please use the full name as it appears on the passport.
  • Have only one side printed
  • Include a signature and date in either blue or black ink.
  • Include everything else that’s required for your visa application.
  • If you need help filling out your China visa application, the China Visa Service Center has you covered with a comprehensive tutorial.
  • You can get the guide here (or get there by typing the address into your browser): Application Guide.pdf.

Former Citizens of the People’s Republic of China or Those Who Are Native Born Residents of China’s Territories.

Individuals who were either born in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Macau or who previously held a passport issued by the People’s Republic of China (PRC)

At the top of the visa application form, under “Name,” you must use Chinese characters to identify yourself.

  • Send in a copy of your current China visa and the passport that was used to get it.
  • Original Chinese passport, one copy each of your Green Card and Naturalization Certificate, and proof that you have never been awarded a China visa.
  • If you were adopted from China, you must send a copy of your adoption documents indicating the adoptive parents’ names, name change, and photo with parents (do not include the original papers).
  • Please include a copy of your naturalization papers and your U.S. birth certificate if they apply.


Ministry of Labor Records in China

There is a need to present either a “Work Permit for Aliens” from the Chinese Ministry of Labor or a “Foreign Experts License” from the Chinese Foreign Expert Bureau.

A government-issued barcode is required to be included on all Alien Work Permits in Shanghai and a few other locations.

  • Native-born Americans from Selected Countries
  • American citizens with foreign birth certificates from Afghanistan, Cameroon, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Nigeria, Tunisia, Turkey, or Syria will need to appear in person to petition for a visa to China.
  • There is nothing the China Visa Service Center can do to help you get China work visa.

Vaccine-Proof Evidence

Either the original CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Card proving full vaccination or a notarized copy of the front and back of the card is acceptable.

Included in this set is a travel record form, which you must submit.

Filling out the form requires:

  • Involve all the nations you’ve visited.
  • Accept a signature
  • Remember to include the arrival and departure dates for each trip.

History of Visas

  • You must submit a copy of your current China visa or a record of all previous China visas issued.
  • If your current passport does not contain your valid China visa, you will need to provide the original passport that does contain your valid China visa.

Job Seekers with a Past Criminal History

To produce biometrics, those travelers who have a criminal past must be personally present at the embassy.

Emergency Requests

China Visa Service Center will help you save time and money if you need to apply for a visa quickly and your deadline is approaching.

After you submit your application to the China Visa Service Center, they’ll evaluate it to make sure it’s error-free and complete before sending it on to the appropriate authorities.

If your application has any errors, we will get in touch with you directly to resolve the matter as soon as possible. Information regarding this service can be found at 

Complementary Materials for China work visa

To use these materials, you must fill out the “Where You Stay” form.

Native-born Americans from Selected Countries

Citizens of the United States who were born in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Nigeria, Tunisia, Turkey, or Syria and who are going to China on an American passport will have to show up in person to apply for a visa to China.

There is nothing the China Visa Service Center can do to help you get a visa.

Remarks from the Military

The Chinese Consulate requires a separate statement detailing your job description if you have a military history.

  • Paying the People’s Republic of China Consulate, a Visit
  • First, Middle, and Last Name
  • Purpose of Position
  • The End Dates of Training Served
  • Patterns of Work Intensity, etc.
  • Authorized and Dated

If SAFEA approves after the initial review, they will need a paper copy of everything. Documents will be sent to the Bureau of Public Security (the police department).

Then start preparing for a China work visa



What jobs are in demand in china




Bank Managers

Chief Executive Officers

Chief Financial Officers


College Professors


Marketing Directors

What is a Z visa in China?

Z visa is given to people who have registered to work in China and have valid work permits. For legal employment in China, you’ll need a valid work visa or permit issued by the local government.

The usual Z visa has a validity of 000 and allows for a single entry (means to be determined). The holder of a Z visa must enter China within 90 days of receiving the visa and register with the local public security bureau within 30 days of arrival

Once registered, the holder will be issued a China Residence Permit in place of the Z visa, allowing for multiple entries into China for a full year.

How easy is it to get a job in china as a foreigner

To be completely honest, A foreigner can easily find work in China.  Like modeling, acting and you can also teach English, and a native speaker is in high demand in China.

On the other hand, they are rarely chosen by those living abroad. Self-employed people in this country have very few protections and perks. Getting a work visa as a self-employed foreigner in China is next to impossible because one needs work contract.

What kind of salary can one expect to make as a foreigner in China?

I counted up the average monthly salaries of all foreign workers in China and found they all hover around 20,000 RMB. Whether you consider this a high or poor income in China will likely depend on your upbringing, level of education, and level of experience in the Chinese job market.

In China, what is the best-paying profession?

  • The General Manager and Supervisor
  • Loan officer
  • Architect Mortgage Broker
  • Software developer
  • Sales manager Marketing manager

Is it hard to relocate to China?

Even still, life in China isn’t simple. Moving to China can be challenging because of the country’s many cultural and linguistic differences, including food that may seem strange to a foreigner, distinctive ways of doing things, various social contracts and expectations, varying degrees of development and modernity, and a lack of English proficiency among the general population.

What does a foreigner need to know to make it in China?

Meet together with other internationals who are fluent in Chinese.
Meet Chinese locals who can communicate with you in English. …
Get a cell phone. …
Keep a pocket-sized phrasebook on you at all times. …
Take note of nonverbal cues. …
Don’t bother with filler; use only empty containers. …
Keep your cool. …
Do all you can to pick up some of the languages.

How safe is it to work in China?

The majority of Chinese citizens are also guilty of this. Socially isolating regulations and masks are still used in the classroom and workplace. China is one of the safest places in the world because of the severe punishments given to criminals. Even major metropolitan areas feel remarkably secure.



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