Services > Education & Jobs
Important FAQs about expats working in China
2020-09-09 09:15     Source : Guangzhou Municipal Science and Technology Bureau;

Basic conditions for applicants to work in China

(1)At least 18 years old, in good health, without a criminal record, with an employer in China, and possession of necessary professional skills or appropriate knowledge for their work. (2) The work they are engaged in shall meet the needs of China's economic and social development and is an urgently needed professional in China. (3) If laws and regulations provide other provision for foreigners to work in China, those provisions shall prevail.

Furthermore, China has classified foreigners employed in China into three types: A, B and C. Click the following link to see the official document on Evaluation Criteria for Foreigners Employed in China (Trial) for more details:

About applying for a Category-B foreign work permit

Q: We are an educational institution that wants to hire foreign teachers to work in Guangzhou. In that only nationals whose mother tongue is English can apply for teaching work permits, but I have searched for information and have not found the official website with a clear classification. People from which countries can apply for teaching work permits?

A: (1) According to the Evaluation Criteria for Foreigners Employed in China (Trial), in principle, foreign language teachers should be engaged in teaching the mother tongue of their native country, hold a bachelor's degree or above and have more than 2 years of work experience language in education. Among them, those who have obtained a bachelor's degree or above in education, language, or in teacher training, or who have obtained a teacher qualification certificate in the country where they stay or a qualified international language teaching certificate can be exempt from the requirement for work experience.

(2)According to relevant regulations, English-speaking countries and regions mainly refer to: Ascension, Australia, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, Canada, the Falkland Islands (Malvinas Islands), Gibraltar, Guernsey, Guyana, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, New Zealand, Pitcairn Islands, Singapore, South Africa, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, St. Helena, Tristan da Cunha, the United Kingdom, the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis , Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands.

Can foreigners who have just quit work start work seamlessly?

Q: Our company is going to hire a foreign employee. He has applied for a work permit in another company before, and now he is about to work in our company. He hopes to start work immediately after resigning because of the issue of income.

(1) Can he apply for resignation at his original company and formally resign after one month? During this period, the original company will cancel his work permit the day he submits the resigning letter, and then can we start to help him apply for the work permit at the same time? Will it affect his last month's income? After the work permit is canceled, can he still resign after having worked for one month in the original company?

(2)While the original work permit is invalid, he also needs to re-apply for work-type residence permit. But if the residence permit expires when he is still in China, will illegal residence occur? Is there a short-term visa to apply for while he is still in China?

A: According to the Exit and Entry Administration Law of the People's Republic of China, foreigners working in China should obtain work permits and work-type residence certificates. In accordance with relevant regulations on foreigners working in China, if the foreigners' contract or employment relationship terminates in advance, the employer shall apply to the decision-making agency for cancellation of documents within 10 working days of the event occuring.

After cancellation, foreigner's work permit shall immediately become invalid. Foreigners can apply for corresponding visas through the Exit-Entry Administration Department of Public Security Authorities.

Foreigners staying in China shall obtain visas consistent with their purpose of stay. To consult specific matters about visa, please contact local Exit-Entry Administration Department.

About the tax payment of Category-B foreign talents working in China

Q: We are an educational institution and plan to hire foreign teachers to come to China to teach. Does foreign teacher's salary require any special tax payment methods? Who should I consult if I have questions over tax payment?

A: It is suggested to call 12366 to consult the taxation department regarding relevant regulations on foreigners' tax payment.

About loss of foreigner's work permit

Q: My colleague's work permit was lost, and now she wants to stop the contract with her company. How to cancel the work permit?

A: If a foreigner's work permit is lost, it should be declared in the "Service System for Foreigners Working in China" (website: If one needs a replacement, he/she should submit an application in accordance with replacement procedures. If one needs to cancel the work permit, he/she should apply for cancellation in the system.

Editor: 郑思慧