The Ultimate China Work Visa Application Guidance

What is China work visa?

The China Work Visa actually has 2 types, R or Z visa, which is issued to foreigners who have got a work permit and intend to work in China.

The application for obtaining legal work rights in China is a process, not just a visa from the Chinese embassy. Let’s focus on the Z visa application process in this article!

Z visa

The whole application process can be divided into 2 directions: before and after entry.

China Work Visa Application Before Entry


You need a work permit issued by the Chinese government. Your employer will submit the work permit application online via “service system for foreigners working in China”

After getting approval, you will get the “NOTIFICATION LETTER OF FOREIGNER’S WORK PERMIT IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA”, in Chinese and English version.

—–This step usually takes 2weeks after your employer submitted your papers online.

Step 2: To get a Z visa from Chinese embassy


It is an electronic version, you need to print it out, then bring your passport to the Chinese embassy (Selected at the time of online application,You must tell the employer which embassy is better for you)to submit a “Z visa” application. You can apply by yourself, or through your local visa agency, it’s up to you.

—This step usually takes 3-7 workdays after you submitted the application, or longer if u apply via visa agent.

Step 3: Order ticket, to your workplace

After you get the“Z” visa, it means u can enter China. It’s 90days valid before u enter China, so, u must enter china in time, order ticket, go to your workplace.

China Work Visa Application After Entry

How to get the work permit card?

China work-permit back
China Work Permit(Back)

Step 1: Temporary registration

If you stay in a hotel at the beginning, you may be able to register there; Those who stay with a Chinese resident, as long as you are an Expat, you must also register at the local police station in your apartment area. Some cities need them to do this every time they return from abroad.

You need to present the following to register at the police station:

  • Your original passport
  • Housing contract
  • Landlord’s ID copy and contact number (the police may call the landlord to confirm if you are actually living there). The police station may also ask your landlord to show up with you.

*Attention: According to the regulation, within 24 hours after entering China, Expat should go to register at the police station.

Step 2: Physical Examination Verification

Generally speaking, the Chinese government won’t accept the English version, so you must translate it into Chinese. You can use this official template from the beginning.

You may need to provide a medical check before your coming. Some cities accept the commitment of healthy.

No matter what, they need to verify your medical check report to meet their official criteria, so you need to do a medical check in China again.

Don’t panic, usually, a Chinese employee from your company will take you to a medical examination, follow their guidance. Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Institutions are located in every city of China.

Things to bring with you:

  • Original medical check report from your country
  • Money in cash (600RMB around)
  • Photo (Or take a quick photo at the scene)

*Attention: No alcohol and coffee the night before, no breakfast and water on the day of the medical check.

Step 3: Apply for a work permit online

The employer will assign an agent to assist with your visa application. So, provide the color scanning copy of your visa page, passport entry page and medical report to the agent.

Step 4: Verify the original papers

After passing the online verification, you will go to the China Science and Technology Bureau to verify the original papers.

If you don’t go, your visa agent will go to verify for you. You only need to give your passport and papers to the agent, if you worry about your passport and papers, you can go with the agent.

After passing verification, you will get your work permit in about 2 days.

How to get the residence permit?

China Residence Permit

After getting the work permit, with your passport, you can go to the local public security bureau-immigration branch(police station) to apply for a residence permit.

After submitting the application, you will get it in 15 days. Note: Applying for a residence permit will take away your passport, but the local public security bureau will issue you a “receipt of acceptance”.

With the receipt of acceptance, you can take transportation in China, and you can buy train tickets at the ticket window. Please note that your visa time is only 30 days, so, you must hurry to apply for a residence permit to replace your 30-day visa.

After obtaining a work permit and a residence permit. Congratulations!!! You have successfully completed the application process for a China work visa.

You are already a legal worker in China!

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