Chinese Work Visa – What you need to know

Chiense work visa – Working in China is not as difficult as you would imagine, the key is to get on the right path then the rest will follow through without too much hassle. In order to work in China, you will need to obtain your Chinese residence permit (the ultimate goal) from the Chinese authority, but first you will need to initiate the following steps:

1.Find an employer
2. Get your work permit
3. Submit your work visa application
4. Obtain a Residence Permit when arrived

Find an employer

We can’t really suggest you where to find the best employers in China (there is no such thing as “top 100 companies to work for in China”), but for talented individuals the employment market is massive – with 1.3 billion population there is always a gap to serve.

Get your Chinese work permit

Once you have employed by a Chinese employer, they will start processing a work permit application for you. It takes place in China and the local Chinese authority will require a list of documents from you (via your future employer). This includes original + legalised documents of:

  • Proof of 2yr work experience
  • University Degree certificate
  • Proof of Criminal convictions (usually a DBS check in the UK)
  • If the employee is bringing family into China, they will also need to provide:
    • Marriage certificate
    • Birth certificate

The Chinese government requires all the documents to be legalized by the Chinese Embassy, after initial notarisation is completed. So the whole process will be: 1. FCO does the legalization of the notarial documents, then 2. the Chinese Embassy does the authentication of the documents legalized by FCO and this finally completes the requirement of ‘Legalisation”. The whole process will take 10-15 working days (with regular service) and the price will be £210, or with express service (6-7 working days) the price will be £330 (See more details here).

All legalised documents (copies) will be sent to the local Chinese authority (via your employer) in order to initiate the work permit application process. Depends on the region, the process will take about 2 weeks and the authority will then issue a work permit to you. As soon as you have the work permit, you may start applying for your work (Z) visa.

Submit your Work visa application

It is simple and straight-forward to get your work visa done, all you need to do is to send your documents to us and we will work on your behalf to get the visa. All we need from you (for uk passport) are:

[icon name=”file-text-o” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Passport  1. With at least 2 blank pages
2. With at least 6 months validity remaining
[icon name=”file-text-o” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Passport size photo Two standard passport size, coloured photo

  1. WHITE background
  2. NO visible distortion of facial features (i.e. NO glasses/ Ear rings)
  3. Head width between 15mm and 22mm, head height between 28mm and 33mm
  4. Should be taken within 6 months

More details is available at

[icon name=”file-text-o” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Mandarin Visa Order form, + Application Form 1. Order form:; or

2. Visa Application Form: we could do form-filling ( Order Form – Mandarin Visa Order Form) on your behalf or you could visit for online applications.

[icon name=”file-text-o” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Your Original Work Permit Employers in China should contact their local authority to obtain such documents for you.
[icon name=”file-text-o” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Interview You may need to attend an interview at the Chinese Consulate. Please see here for more information
 [icon name=”file-text-o” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Chinese origin If you are a Chinese origin, you may need additional documents. Click here for more details.

How to submit your application

Mandarin Visa accepts applications via different channels, and all successful applications received by 10:30am will be submitted to the authority on the same working day. Our office address is: Mandarin Visa, Blackwell House, Guildhall Yard, London EC2V 5AE.

Submission  Method Process
Application made in person Our office opens from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm (excl Bank holidays). For applications delivered in person to our offices an application checking service is available but is provided on a discretionary basis. Charges may apply for this service. More information about our address is available at
Application deliver by courier You may send your application by a same day/ next day courier, and we will review your application as soon as your documents arrived at our office. For same day submission, please make sure your documents arrive by 10:30am.
Application send by post You may send your application via post, and we will review your application as soon as your documents arrived at our office. Please make sure you send it via Royal Mail Special Delivery as it can be tracked via Royal Mail’s system. For same day submission, please make sure your documents arrive by 10:30am.

The process will take 3-4 working days. Once the visa is issued, we will then send the package back to your address by post/ courier, or you could visit us for collection.

Obtain a Residence Permit when arrived

The work visa allows you to enter China for work purpose but it will not allow you to stay for the whole duration. On arrival to China, you should visit your employer asap and they will switch your work visa into a residence permit on your behalf, in which the residence permit will allow you to stay until the end of your contract.