Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Moving to China

China is a huge, diverse country with over 1.3 billion people. It is both a political entity and a long-lasting ancient civilization that stretches its rule, directly and indirectly, over much of East Asia. Today, China is administered by the People’s Republic of China, in a one-party Communist system. The main language is Mandarin, spoken by about 70% of the population.

Visas in China:

Work Visas:

To apply for a work visa in China, you must do so in person at your nearest Chinese consulate or embassy. All work visas require a corporate sponsor. You must first acquire a business partner in China who will begin the registration process for you.

A Z Visa is for coming to China to work, and bringing your family members.

To apply, you must submit:

  1. Passport
  2. Application form
  3. Photograph
  4. Visa notification from the authorized Chinese Unit
  5. Work Permit for Aliens form issued by the Chinese Labor Ministry, or the Foreign Expert’s License issued by the Chinese Foreign Expert Bureau
  6. Visa notification for your family members (if necessary)

Short Term and Study Visas:

You can get a single or double-entry tourist L Visa, in which you can stay in the country for thirty days or longer. The multiple-entry L Visa lasts for six months, but you must have an official reason for obtaining one.

An F Visa is for short-term stays up to six months, such as for study or work for up to six months.

To apply for an F Visa, you must submit:

  1. Passport
  2. Application form
  3. One recent 2×2 photograph
  4. Visa notifications from host company or school

An X Visa is for studying over six months.

To apply, you must submit:

  1. Passport
  2. Application form
  3. Photograph
  4. Foreign Student Visa Application Form, issued by relevant Chinese unit
  5. Enrollment letter

Residence Permits:

Residence Visas get you into China, and come from the aforementioned visas, but Residence Permits allow you to live there.

Once you arrive in China, you must secure your residence permit. Your initial visa will probably expire within a few months, so your permit allows you to live, enter and exit China without any visas. Temporary residence permits allow you to live in China usually six months to one year, and the Foreign Residence Permit usually lasts for a year, and you can renew it.

Moving Pets to China:

You can only move your pet into China if you have a Residency visa. When you arrive at the airport, you must show customs a health certificate and vaccination certificate. You must put your pet in quarantine for one to two months, and then go back for a health check. If it passes, you will then have to register your pet.

Other Information:

Once you arrive in China, make sure to register your arrival and new address with the Public Security Bureau within 10 days. Make sure to be aware of Chinese laws, because the authorities there are very strict and often will not tolerate foreigners breaking code. You are not allowed to enter China if you are diagnosed with AIDS, contagious tuberculosis, venereal diseases, leprosy or you have a mental disorder.

Click here for information about Chinese real estate.