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How to get a China work visa

#FeatureByVisaExpress - What details and supporting documents are required to apply for a residence permit?

Chinese visa

When your company decides to expand in China, you need to consider all the different visa types and decide which visa is best for your employees. For example, do they need a permanent residence visa, a work permit, or both? What details and supporting documents are required to apply for a residence permit?

All of these questions, and several others, are important to ensure you stay compliant and get to work quickly.

China uses abbreviations with letters and numbers to designate certain visa types.


· Z Visa: For staff who stay in China for more than 6 months.

· X1/2: X stands for xuéshēng (meaning student), and the number indicates how long it will stay. This visa is a student visa, where the X1 visa is for students who stay for more than 180 days, and the X2 visa is for students who stay for less than this period.

· J1/2: J is taken from jìzhě, or reporter. This visa is issued to foreign journalists who stay there for a period of time.

· M: Business visa, suitable for people with a stay of 30 to 60 days.

· F: A visa for exchange students, tourists and study tours, suitable for people with a stay of 30 to 90 days.


· S1/2: This visa is for people visiting family members who are not Chinese residents.

· Q1/2: China issues this type of visa to individuals visiting family members from or residing in China.

Other letters to watch out for include: C for chuányuán (crew), L for lǎowài (foreigner/tourist), and G for guòjìng (transit).

Requirements to obtain a work visa vary depending on the type of visa. However, most Chinese visa applications require a passport, photo, health certificate and official employment permit from the Chinese authorities.


As of June 6, 2022, China waived the special invitation letter requirement for work visas.

All foreigners holding visas must abide by the Chinese Entry-Exit Administration Law and be registered with the Public Security Bureau. They must complete the registration within 24 hours of arriving in China. Here are the steps each of your employees can follow:

· Go to the nearest police station

· Show passport

· Show the deed or lease agreement, or the household registration information of the owner


· Fill out the Temporary Residence Registration Form

After registration, your employee will be given an approved temporary residence registration form. This form will be helpful when they try to apply for a Chinese permanent residence permit.

To apply for a work visa in China, you need to go to the nearest Chinese visa application service center or Chinese embassy. Your employees will need to provide basic supporting documents. In addition, China grades work permit applications based on factors such as salary, qualifications, work experience, age, and Mandarin proficiency. Depending on the applicant's score, they may receive additional benefits. We recommend applying for a visa one month before planning to enter China.


Many employees of your company will apply for Z visas and need to apply for a Chinese residence permit within 30 days after arriving in China. They must apply through:

· Go to the nearest Immigration Service Center

· provide passport

· Fill out the registration form

· Fill in the Alien Visa and Residence Permit Application Form


· Provide passport photo

· Provide official health certificate

· Provide the necessary supporting documents

· Other Important Considerations

When your employees submit their work visa applications, they can indicate how many entries they want - single, round-trip or multiple.


This number will be used to show how often and when they enter China. For example, returning from a travel to Macau or Hong Kong is considered a new entry and requires a round-trip or multiple-entry visa.

If your employees do not plan to go abroad while they are in China, a single entry visa is sufficient for them and costs less.




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