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Q1 Visa - Legal Regulation on Self Employment?

German Shepherd (2 posts) • 0

Hi All,

Me and my wife (from Kunming) are planning on moving to Kunming (most likely) next year and are planning on taking over her dad's business. As I will need to go through the Q1 visa process, I understand that I will not be allowed to work for a third party company. However, what I would like to know is, whether it is legally allowed to work on ones own business/family business, or whether I would be condemned to eternal boredom?

I have been browsing through the web + this forum for the last few hours, but unfortunately wasn't able to find anything on this. If I missed it, please just post the link and I take it from there.



Geezer (1952 posts) • +1

I am not sure but if your wife owns a business and you helped her out without compensation, I don't think you would have a problem.

JanJal (1199 posts) • 0

If it is a type of business where your visible presence would increase profits, then even if you don't take out salary and the PSB wouldn't mind otherwise, possible competing businesses may raise the issue with them.

DanTheMan (619 posts) • 0

You could work remotely for a company in another country, but you're not supposed to work for any Chinese company while you are here without a work permit or green card.

German Shepherd (2 posts) • 0

Hi All,

Thanks for the feedback so far!

@JanJal: Not sure whether my presence would increase the profit of the business, but of course I would be visible to the customers. So I understand this could be a risk.

I know that there are some foreigners doing business (e.g. bars, restaurants, etc.) in Kunming. Do you maybe know what Visa category they are usually on?

Or to simplify the question: What Visa can I apply for if I want to run my own business in Kunming?

M Visa does not really seem suitable... Z Type (based on my understanding) also does not apply as non of the below can be provided:

- Foreigners Work Permit
- Registration Certificate of Resident Representative Offices of enterprises of foreign countries (regions)
- An approval document for commercial performances
- Invitation Letter to Foreigners for Offshore Petroleum Operations

kaddibuddy (45 posts) • 0

I would recommend you to make a stop at the exit entry administration office in Kunming. Of course you can have some informations and some personal experiences from others. But to be 100% sure, you will have no other choice than ask the officials.

JanJal (1199 posts) • 0

@German Shepherd: "foreigners doing business (e.g. bars, restaurants, etc.) [...] Do you maybe know what Visa category"

I don't really know what visa everyone is really on, but I can tell what they should be on (and what I am on).

If a foreigner registers a formal business in China, he/she can then also apply for Foreigners Work Permit to work in the foreign-invested company, and subsequently acquire Z-visa (I'm not sure if this is absolutely necessary if you would be already in the country) and work-related Residence Permit.

He can then work in the company doing any work that is in the scope of the business.

This is pretty much the usual process same as if the person worked in Chinese company, with one notable exception.

The person would be both the employee and the manager, and as such the person would handle both the employer and the employee parts of the application process.

That said, with all the relevant initial and annual administrative responsibilities and related costs, I would not personally suggest this option just to avoid "eternal boredom". Unless the hobby could bring a fortune too.

(if the foreigner were instead to invest millions, then the person would be eligible to Permanent Residency and that's a different story).

michael2015 (773 posts) • 0

You may enter China under the Q etc visa and then convert your visa to a legal working visa. Until you convert the visa - you are legally forbidden from working. Volunteering is not technically working - but you should check with the visa office or an attorney.

You may then work for your wife's company as either a direct employee - the company would have to sponsor your visa and provide all the necessary documentation (invitation letter etc) or you can start your own Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE) and be legally paid as a consultant along with the necessary taxes, insurance etc.

Suggest you consult directly with either of the law/accounting firms that advertise on gokm.

1. Beijing Yingke Law Firm


2. Yunnan Yu-Cong Enterprise Management Co., Ltd

Both companies are well-known and well-respected with excellent reviews on gokm, with reasonably competitive fees.

Yunnan Yu-Cong is exceptionally experienced helping foreign business owners register their companies AND helping the principle(s) get working visas - in addition to providing excellent guidance and accounting services or referrals for taxation issues - also for reasonably competitive fees (you'll need an accountant). Your wife's company should already have a long-term relationship with the company's accountant - so you can probably use them also, but your mileage may vary.

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