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From student visa to work visa

RomanZ (2 posts) • 0

I recently received a notification letter of foreigner’s work permit to obtain a working visa for a chinese company.

The thing is that I am still on student visa and unable to transfer the visa to a work one. I apparently have to go back to my own country and go to the Chinese ambassy to show the all the papers etc..to

get the working visa. With the covid-19 restrictions I’m unable to come back to my own country, plus the air ticket prices are insane, plus China closed their gates for any foreigners who wants to come back until October.. what am I supposed to do ? Did someone had the same trouble during that time ?

michael2015 (773 posts) • 0

Depending on country - there are usually visa agents (usually chinese owned and operated) who specialize in these services and they're NOT inexpensive - but definitely cheaper than round trip air tickets, transportation and the infinitely many trips you'll make to the embassy or consulate because your paperwork isn't perfect.

You'll have to do a web search, so good luck finding these places - and beware the fake sites...usually if you ask 3-4 questions of increasing depth and complexity - you can weed out the fake guys from the genuinely legitimate players.

You may still be required to do an entry exit - but get your paperwork done beforehand so the entry/exit is merely a formality.

JanJal (1199 posts) • 0

When I was arranging my work visa and work permit, I was simultaneously the employee and the manager/owner of the company that I was going to work for. Thus I did all the paperwork on employer side as well.

The website where the employer submits the relevant paperwork, had a separate section for foreign staff who would acquire the work permit while already in China, without leaving the country (and without needing any visa for re-entry).

In my opinion this is clearly an option, and because it makes no sense (for any relevant entity) to require legit persons to spend time and money traveling back and forth, I suspect it is another case of central government's policies not fully implemented - and remaining so until employers and employees request and require it to be implemented.

That said, this is something that few Chinese employers would be willing to pursue.

But in current situation with all the above mentioned travel restrictions etc in place, now would be the time to seek that road.

RomanZ (2 posts) • 0

Thank you everyone for your answers. It is definitely a real pain to find some legit informations on internet.

@michael2015, I know travel agencies that can do the work for you but I apparently have to do an interview by myself to finish the process. That person couldn’t do it for me unfortunately.

@janjal, my “future”employer got through the process to submit all the required documents but never mentioned about the

“foreign staff” section as you said. I will ask him again.

JanJal (1199 posts) • 0

I think vast majority of employers will blindly follow instructions given to them by higher or more senior authorities - without challenging them.

But my take on the current pandemic and its consequences is that in near-term (as in right now) there are more talented foreigners trying to get out of the country (permanently) than trying to get here from abroad.

Also in long-term future, I think foreigners already residing here and switching between employers (or visa/residence permit types) will contribute much more to the overall movement of foreign work force than they do now.

This development would push local authorities to change their implementations on the OP matter.

If I was the Chinese government or a legit employer, I would much rather give jobs to foreigners who are educated or otherwise experienced in China, than newbies who've never been here.

On the other hand, if I was a shady and non-legit employer, I would do the exact opposite and hire those green ones.

michael2015 (773 posts) • +1

Usually you can pay a penalty or additional fee (even at the Kunming exit/entry office) to avoid the "leave the country and re-enter) thing, but you have to ask the visa officer for this option, if they ask you to exit/enter. It's a legitimate fee as you have to pay at the cashier.

I can't remember, but usually for "special services" you have to write a letter of justification - such as financial duress. If you're required to write a letter - the supervisor or the staff will tell you what to write.

To make things difficult for you - they may occasionally ask you to do it in Chinese - so, bring a friend just in case...

I've done this a few times over the years - as in the case when they told me my newborn baby had to leave the country and re-enter...

Front desk staff usually spout the canned response, so you have to ask and they have to ask their supervisor.

JanJal (1199 posts) • 0

To continue on my comment above (suggesting that Chinese authorities may be "forced" to relax employment rules for foreigners already here), here is something related that I recently stumbled upon:


I couldn't open or find the sources referred to in that article, specifically the supposed statement or draft measures from China's Ministry of Education. If anyone has better luck, follow up would be great.

JanJal (1199 posts) • +1

Here are some English translations of the draft regulation:



Specifically this:

"Article 22: (Management of part-time employment)

Foreign teachers can only enter into one contract with one education institution during one term of employment to obtain a record-filing number.

Upon consent of the employing institution, foreign teachers may take on reasonable part-time work at other education institutions. Foreign teacher that takes on part-time jobs should sign a three-party contract between the teacher, the employing institution and institution for the part-time job. The contract should specify responsibility of each party. The employing institution should not collect any fees from the institution for the part-time job. The three-party contract should be submitted to the responsible education department to be retained on file, and the responsible education department should provide the name list to exit and entry administration agency of the public security organ to be retained on file. The accumulative teaching hours of the foreign teacher at the part-time job should not exceed the hours spent teaching at the employing institution. "

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