Legal Stuff – the “Paperwork”

Getting into China to work is a time and paper intensive process.  I am fortunate that the company I work for has people who specialise in this, but even so, it has required many forms to get to this point.  I actually started the process in the UK, 14 weeks ago:

1. Apply for the work permit – most important and can take up to 10 weeks for the labor bureau to process.  This requires invitation letters from the company in China, copy of your CV/Resume, copy of education degree, copy of passport ID page.  The employer will need to provide a copy of their business license, copy of organization code and copy of Approval certificate.

2. Apply for Z visa which gets converted to residence permit once you are actually in the country.  This is another 12 page application document with copies of all accompanying family member passport id pages.  This also needs a company application form and letter with the company stamp.

3. Get a medical (please see previous post on this step!)  Need passport photos for this step – 4 per person.

4.  Arrive in China.

5.  Register – at once – with the police to get a temporary residence permit.  All original passports need to be surrended.  This also needs a copy of the residence lease, landlord property certificate and id.

6.  Once these have been returned, you need to then submit them to the Public Security Bureau with 2-4 passport photos for all family members.  You will also need copies of birth certificates for your children and a copy of your marriage certificate.  Plus, the application form and letter from the company.  You need to appear in person for an “interview” that consists of you standing in front of a camera to get photo taken and to make sure that you look like your passport photo.  5 days later passports were returned with residence permits and an additional work permit document.

That’s it!!  We are all legal.

 At least until we move………then we will have to register our residence for our new address.   I think I have completed over 20 forms for each member of our family and supplied 12 photos of me, 8 of Owen and 6 each of the kids!

Be prepared to be without your passport for 3-4 weeks once you arrive in China.  Temporary travel permits can be issued, but these are just valid for travel within China.

WARNING – do not attempt all this on your own.  You will definitely need help as all documentation is in Chinese.  It helps to have legal representation to validate all the forms and steps in the process.  For anyone who wants to visit us (please do!!) you just need a tourist visa which you can get from your local embassy and will take about 3-5 days.


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