GoKunming Forums

ESL job market

Matthewni (3 posts) • -1

So, what is the job situation like in Kunming for teaching English? Do most people arrange jobs before going or do they just turn up on a tourist visa? I have taught in Taiwan previously.

Cheers Matt

Mario007 (40 posts) • +1

Not sure how people usually do it now that covid restrictions are in place. Generally it is pretty hard to come into the country on a tourist visa. I know we're looking for teachers but unless you had the Chinese vaccine done we can't get anyone into the country because getting a PU letter is quite hard.

AlPage48 (1353 posts) • 0

Read the Chinese Embassy websites in your country and you will probably see that they are not issuing tourist visas right now.

You need to start from a job application and acceptance to get a work visa.

And then ........

michael2015 (773 posts) • +3

Converting a tourist visa into a work visa is actually quite difficult logistically and not particularly encouraged as it's an abnormal procedure, especially since you'll need a plethora of authenticated or apostilled documents from your home country - some but not all are listed below:

. Criminal background check
. University Diploma (authenticated or apostilled).
. Invitation (from a company or institution) to work in China
. Health checks PLUS the newly mandated but subjectively approved COVID travel test and the COVID immunizations.

I noted "subjectively" as this is an issue of national training for new visa and immigration office processes and procedures, so you should expect speed bumps.

One of the most complicated is the Invitation Letter as it must be presented to a Chinese Embassy or Consulate for internal authentication (there's a bar code on the letter) in order to issue a temporary work visa - which you then convert to a residence visa, shortly after arrival at your designated work location (you usually have 30 days to apply for/complete the visa conversion). It's complicated if not impossible - as there are no Chinese Embassies or Consulates in China.

On top of this are the COVID travel and immunization certifications - which are subjectively nebulous regarding visa office approvals.

Then there's the issue of the potentially mandatory quarantine upon entry into the country regardless of tourist or work visa.

I usually recommend newbie teachers in China work for a university the first year, as universities have debatably stronger processes than most private schools and or institutions - but significantly lower pay, benefits and perquisites (eg bonuses, vacations, holidays, and repat trips). Once you've completed your first year - you'll probably want to move to another company or institution, where you can theoretically double your pay (your mileage may vary).

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