Keats School

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Changing Z/teaching visa to Student Visa

KAYARAK (12 posts) • 0

I have just reviewed many past forum posts about extending/changing visas, but did not see anything about changing a Z or Teaching Visa to a Student Visa. Today after several discussions with local language schools and the Visa office on Beijing Lu, I found I must leave China to obtain a Tourist (L) Visa before returning to have it changed to a Student Visa. Has anyone gone through this? Are there any hidden catches or is it straightforward? Do I just leave, say, go to HongKong, and ask for a tourist Visa to replace my Z visa?

I have some dated info....... (Your original z visa -- if that is what you came in on -- is only good for getting into China and for staying the first 30 days until the permit is issued.. Once your residence permit is issued, the original z visa has no function.

To leave china for good you must surrender the residence permit at the point of departure. To leave china temporarily you need to get a reentry visa put in your passport.)....which I am not sure if it is still valid.

My original and current visa is multi entrance so I think I can just exit with it. But I have never attempted to change the visa to a different type, so am feeling a bit shaky going off to do so. Plus I am taking my 11 year old daughter, and would like to avoid getting stuck. Any help/info would be very appreciated!

onlyone (156 posts) • 0


Just wanna correct some information to you .The residence permit in your passport is enough to exit and enter china for unlimited times .2-Not just L visa can be converted to x "student visa" but also F and X.You can extend your contract of working in the same place or find other place to employ you so you can have another new z visa without leaving China .

no way (104 posts) • 0

why would you need a tourist visa? if the language

school is legitimate, they should be able to sponsor
your student visa. you should be able to get that
in hong kong, "maybe" in thailand or laos.

the x-visa is similar to the z-visa. it's single entry,

good for zero days. you have 30 days to get your
residence permit, which acts as an unlimited

re-entry permit.

you don't surrender the residence permit. that's a
permanent sticker in your passport. it will eventually
expire, or the embassy may cancel it when you get
a new visa.

KAYARAK (12 posts) • 0

NO Way
Your question is exactly the same one I have been asking since last Friday when I found out that China has some strange rule that prohibits going from a teaching visa to a student visa.

I have been teaching for 2 years here. Now I want to attend a language school. I talked with 3 schools and all told me the same thing.....they can only change a tourist visa to a student visa, Not an existing teaching visa to a student visa.

So went down to VISA office on Beijing Lu. Even had some big gun friends call. NOPE they said, I must leave the country, obtain a tourist visa, then come back and have THAT changed to the student visa.

My current teaching visa expires end of this month. The language school I want to attend does not start till end of August. So basically what I need is a tourist visa to tide me over for 23 days. Had the VISA office on Beijing Lu allowed me to just change to the student visa, the school would have been willing to work out a way to give me the student visa beginning August 1. But that little rule that a teaching visa cannot directly get changed into student visa has royally tripped me up.

I have not obtained visas on my own to date while in China, nor by leaving and getting a new one. So I was not sure if there would be a problem changing the teaching visa to a tourist visa....either in Hong Kong or Laos. But what I think I understand now is, the fact I am currently holding a teaching visa, will be irrelevant when I apply for the tourist visa.......where ever that is.

I just did not want to get stuck with my daughter somewhere, by not having been prepared with some insight or knowledge about how the process was going to take place. So it looks like a quick trip to Hong Kong this week is now in the cards for us. Thanks to all who responded to my post.

no way (104 posts) • 0

you don't need to "get your visa changed."

when you go to hong kong and apply for a student
visa (with the jw-202 issued by the school where

you will study), your residence permit and z-visa
are cancelled. you are then issued an x-visa.
there should be no need for an intermediate
tourist visa.

you are NOT going from a teaching visa to a
student visa. once those teaching thingies are
cancelled, you have no visa. you're applying

for a new student visa. starting from scratch.
same with the tourist visa. you are NOT going
from a work visa to a tourist visa. again, the
work visa is cancelled, and you start from zero.

please check that you are applying at a legitimate
school. you know that many schools not

authorized to hire foreigners tell you to come
in on a tourist visa, and they'll change it later?
then turns out they can't and you're stuck teaching
illegally. universities (ynu, ynnu, kstu) or schools
like ELCEC can process your jw-202.

and ask yourself, if you've been to the school and
spoken with the administration, and they know
you want to study with them.....why don't they
offer to properly process your visa paperwork?

you might want to research dave's cafe or

chinese-forums. i'm sure other teachers have
been in the same situation.

no way (104 posts) • 0

"they can only change a tourist visa to a student visa, Not an existing teaching visa to a student visa. "

i missed this. what they mean is they can only change a
tourist to student visa for someone already IN china. they
cannot change a work visa to student visa.

this is important in that it saves someone with a tourist
visa a trip OUT to get a student visa.

it doesn't save you a trip, because you have to leave
anyway to get the tourist visa.

laotou (1714 posts) • 0

Did you try asking if you can pay a penalty to convert the teacher to student visa? Usually if it's difficult - they'll just say no instead of offering helpful suggestions - so you have to ask the superior officer who's more experienced - the other option is to ask a LAWYER to specializes in visas - consultation should be free (if it ain't - look for another company). Immigration lawyers have better guanxi than alleged big guns (unless the big gun happens to be a high-ranking gov official - like in the police - he/she'll walk into the back office - chat with the immigration head and things happen)...this usually also involves a nominal gift - say about ¥1000 of baijiu.

Other cheapie options are the infinitely long train to shenzhen - catch the bus to the border (with HK) - cross over - come back a day later (hang out in a sauna in HK or macau for the evening - just be careful of your valuables!!!!!!!), then jump back across the border on the tourist visa. The train to & fro should consume about 6 days round trip (and it's hell unless you have the semi-private sleep berths - those are the ones with doors...much nicer) the day dinking around HK.

Even cheaper than the trains are the buses - which are REALLY HELL and you REALLLLLLY need to watch your goodies...even you sleep on top of your stash - the thieves will find a way to cut your bag and swipe whatever their grubby little hands can scoff...

onlyone (156 posts) • 0

Mr Laotou I am afraid to say your information about crossing borders with Hong Kong and coming back next day is inaccurate .Foreigners not permitted to have a Chinese visa through the border .They have to head to the visa office in Hong kong and apply for Chinese tourist visa and this takes 3-4 day normally.

Not all nationalist can obtain a Chinese visa on Hongkong .They had a list of some 40 counties cannot do that in Hongkong .

Mr no way
I confirm that not only Tourist Visa or Student visa can be converted here to be a new student visa but also many types,I did changed business visa to student visa without leaving China .

About the case

In my opinion the cheapest option is to go to Vietnam to option new visas but make sure the school give you the admission notice and visa forum to apply with them in Chinese embassy abroad.

no way (104 posts) • 0

except that recent reports on travel forums (fora?)
indicate that the hanoi consulate is denying visas
for some nationalities. in particular, the french.

Dan Siekman (102 posts) • 0

When I was in Vietnam a couple months ago the consular section of the Hanoi embassy was not issuing tourist visas to non-residents of Vietnam. You'd have to travel to Saigon yourself or have an agent send it down there for you, which takes several days and costs more money.

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