Tenwest Mandarin School

User profile: michael2015

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  • RegisteredDecember 16, 2015
  • RegionChina
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  • RegisteredDecember 16, 2015

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Health Certificate

Yes - that's how I did the health check in the USA. My office mailed the official Chinese/English form, which I had the US medical rep fill out after I completed the physical.

There was some discussion about whether I'd have to have the completed forms notarized and then authenticated (city, state, federal) - but we fortunately got that request squashed.

There was also some discussion about having this crud translated, which would then require notarization and then the profane and obscene authentication process, but got that quashed also.

The next thing I was asked to do - go to a Chinese Embassy/Consulate and have the health check done yet AGAIN by a health clinic certified and designated by the Embassy/Consulate, AFTER I'd completed the local health check in the USA.

The Chinese Consulate asked me who was directing me to do these things, as they have NO REQUIREMENT for a health check and they have NO DESIGNATED health check clinic, so that inane request quashed also. They also noted - they'd been receiving a LOT of these non-sensical requests. Please note - they were prepared to honor the request by telling me to have everything notarized and authenticated - if it was absolutely mandated by some government agency in China...what a nightmare.

By this time - it's clear someone is making things up, utterly unrelated to work visa requirements. It was apparently originating from the new provincial office staff involved in this newly implemented process.

To reiterate - Yunnan is part of a nationwide pilot to revamp the foreign expert and work visa system (and probably also the student visa and every other type of visa). It seems they're trying to go digital and move away from paper records (yay!). The work invitation letter and the temporary work visa are barcoded and MUST be additionally entered into the MOFA (ministry of foreign affairs) computer system AND both your invitation letter AND your temporary work visa approval certificate (?) must be specifically targeted (addressed) to the consulate or embassy handling your "stuff". My "stuff" was initially addressed to the Chinese Embassy - so in a typical catch-22 - the consulate could not verify any of my barcoded documents as they weren't in their system AND the Embassy refused to handle my documents as I was within the consulate's designated "care" zone...so we had to do all the letters over again.

Following up on this - the un-named to protect the guilty provincial office neglected to also enter my letters into the MOFA system...so even though I had the hardcopy originals - the consulate still refused to issue the work visa, because there was no record of me in the MOFA system.

FYI - for those in the USA and especially california - I used a combination of free county clinics (for the STD checks) and low-income health clinics for the health check certificate stuff. Only had to pay for lab tests (not inexpensive) and nominal fees for physicians (or their lower paid counterparts). I'm not even sure I actually saw a board certified MD in this process.

I'm still waiting to hear if I need the supplemental health check, once we transition the temporary work visa to the semi-permanent annual work visa. I've had to have health checks from the designated clinic sporadically, even though I'd never left China during those periods.

I'll bump this thread if the additional local official health is required of me.

As always, with most things in china, your mileage may vary (YMMV).

This new system process is extremely bug ridden - it's quite obvious nobody did a preliminary process walk-thru before they went live with the pilot. The pilot was the dry run and it was an utter mess for me.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Foreign Teachers & Tax Treaties

Double taxation, as I understood it - was being taxed in both the country you work and your home country.

Technically, as long as one is paying taxes in a foreign country, with records to prove - one needn't pay tax in your home country, subject to the tax laws of your home country.

For US citizens working abroad (federal employees exempted), we're allowed over USD 90k in non-taxable salary (but you still have to file annual federal tax returns). Expat tax benefits are of course subject to IRS qualifications (330 days living overseas, etc ad infinitum).

I do NOT believe this means you can work in China and NOT pay tax in China. It merely potentially relieves your tax burden at home (paying taxes on taxes), with the appropriate official tax documentation.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Health Certificate

I have a z visa. The entry/exit thing was for one of my kids because their dependent visa lapsed (passport expired before the end of the sponsor's work visa), so the front desk staff told me the kid had to do an exit/entry. I asked if we could pay a fee to avoid the exit/entry and the supervisor had to come down. I may have been required to also write a letter explaining the situation - can't remember as it was a few years ago.

I also did this in Beijing back in 2005 - except the company I worked for did the request. The fee was something like ¥2k.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Health Certificate

Usually, you can avoid the entry/exit trips, which are expensive, by paying a "fine/penalty/fee" at the entry exit office. You have to request this special service from the supervisor. There's no graft involved as you have to pay the fee at the cashier, so apparently this is a "normal" fee/service that the front office staff don't know about.

Whether or not they'll permit you to pay this fee and avoid a useless entry/exit is another matter.

Regardless, they'll need to stamp your passport with turnaround stamps, so not sure how that works AND not sure if that policy has changed recently...and I don't even know the name of the policy.

You'll just have to ask the front office if you can "pay a fee" for in-country entry/exit stamps, so you won't need to travel un-necessarily.

I've ALWAYS had to have this issue escalated to the supervisor somewhere upstairs, so approval may be whimsical.


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Great article and introduction to Keats. I noticed the article did NOT touch on employee loyalty and retention programs (at the cost of profit). Keats may wish to address this kind of core infrastructure in the future, at the appropriate time.

Thanks much - great demographic info update!

Maybe your next article (assuming the census updated that info) can be on the various GDP per capita ratios?


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