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China work visa help?

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by Teachallover, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    Due to unforeseen family circumstances I am unexpectedly returning to China next academic year. Despite previously working in China for three years, long gone are the days when a degree scan and an outdated police check would suffice to receive your invitation letter and work permit.
    HR of my new school seem good, however, for convenience, if anybody knows a good and reliable company to help me sort my Z visa, please PM me, (notary, legislation, Chinese consulate stamp) I am not sure how much has to be done in person or by using a letter of authority for others. It is very difficult as I am working on a small island overseas nowhere near an embassy. I only have a very short window that I am physically in UK between now and next summer. I have only been teaching in this non-speaking English third country a couple of months and I prefer to go down the UK route rather than starting the translation headache and cost. Greatly appreciated!
  2. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

  3. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I used a solicitor in my uk hometown. They did everything for me, and were more clued up on the recent visa changes than my school HR. My school reimbursed the costs later. Is there someone in the uk who could do it for you, via a solicitor, if you can't do it yourself?
    Teachallover likes this.
  4. peakdj

    peakdj New commenter

    I went through the proçess from outside the U.K., via a solicitor, a few weeks ago. I used a solicitor/notary who charged £175 per document to have them notarised, apostilled and stamped by the Chinese consulate. I then sent scans to China and had my invitation letter back within 2 weeks.

    The cost should be reimbursed by your school.

    The only docs I had done in the end were: Degree certificate, PGCE certificate and CRB check.
    Teachallover likes this.
  5. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    Thank you for your advice. You can understand why the HR of the school in China might not know the legalization process for each individual country if they recruit teachers from all over the world.
    For UK, is following the procedure correct? 1. Have a notary solicitor signature of your photocopy degree and criminal record check (within six months validity), is QTS certificate photocopy needed too? 2. Have the FCO legalize the notary documents, 3. Have the legalization documents stamped by the Chinese consulate (I was at the Manchester visa centre last week picking up a tourist visa and they confirmed they do not stamp legalised documents so this must be done only in London?).
  6. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    My school's HR didn't know that the criminal record check needed doing as well, it was my solicitor who told me - that's what I meant when I said the solicitor was more clued up than them; it wasn't an issue of them not knowing the procedures in my country, but them not knowing the new visa rules for their own country - visa rules that applied to all of the foreigners they were recruiting.

    Yes - the solicitor notarises (signs) the photocopies, then they can take/send to the FCO for you, then to the Chinese embassy in London, then return the docs for you with the official stamps on.

    You need your degree cert, PGCE cert and criminal record check (I had the international one) - you don't need the QTS certificate doing UNLESS your school tell you otherwise. I did this in May/June 2017, it could have changed since then...

    The Chinese visa centre in Manchester is not the same place as the Chinese embassy. The Chinese embassy is Denison Road. They used to legalise (I had something legalised there a few years ago) - check their website to see if they still do. They didn't do same day legalisation then, and probably don't do it now, so it would require 2 trips. Much less hassle to have the solicitor do it all. I think my turnaround time was 2 weeks.
    Teachallover likes this.
  7. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    Thank you for your clarification blueskydreaming. It is reassuring for those at the beginning of this long journey! have also found a solicitor who is willing to organize it all. He did say that after the notary stage, my parents could do the rest on my behalf as i’m overseas. However, i think i’ll just pay him the extra £95 and know I have it sorted! I’m waiting a little while as it is still over six months (for the police check) until I properly intend to apply in early July having received my medical scans and invitation letters etc). The only thing i’d add is, I have a 4 year Hons primary education degree alongside QTS, not everyone does a PGCE to train as a teacher.
  8. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Sorry - because I'm a secondary teacher I always forget that!
    Teachallover likes this.
  9. Xtinelove

    Xtinelove New commenter

    Does the DBS check need to be within the last year? I have one from 3yrs ago but was wondering if I needed a new one as I'm off to China in July.
  10. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    It's got to have been issued within the previous 6 months.
  11. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    Yes, my HR confirmed it must be within six months. This is why i’m holding off a little more time to submit the documents to the solicitors, who usually charge as a batch of documents, as I wish to apply for the Z visa when i’m back in UK in early July.
    If you have been living in a third country more than 1 year you need one from there, possibly running into translation costs and difficulties, depending where you are. Hopefully you will be reimbursed for costs.

    The issue I have found is that individuals cannot apply for a DBS and unless your new employer has ties to UK to carry out an enhanced check, it is hard to get a UK check done if you’re currently living out of UK for less than 1 year. Scotland CRBs can issue a basic check, however, rules change all the time, including new legislation from 1 January 2018 that a basic check cannot be done if you are living out of Scotland EXCEPT bizarrely for overseas people (sorry to England, Wales and Northern Ireland). However, for this check, I am currently finding it hard to produce any documentation showing my address overseas.
  12. Capricorn2412

    Capricorn2412 New commenter

    Does the original degree need to be legalised? What I mean is that will they stamp and legalise the original degree certificate? Will they stamp and sign all over it? My school has instructed me to get the originals legalised, not copies.
  13. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    My HR have confirmed it is only photocopies that need notarizing. Since a notary supposedly verifies with your university that you did study there, there wouldn’t be any need to use an original to scribble all over. Anyone could knock up a false document, I guess that is why they do this thorough check now to make sure you did indeed graduate.
  14. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    We had to get an ACRO police check (https://www.acro.police.uk/icpc/) for my school, for that reason. Still had to prove my address though, but they accept something from a doctor etc. if it's on headed notepaper...
    Teachallover likes this.
  15. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    I was just going to reply that ACRO do an ICPC for schools overseas who pay to join the organization for British expats. I’ve just looked and separately they also seem to do a police certificate for individuals who have lived in UK, including current overseas expats. I believe you can type more than 2 current addresses so i’m going to put 2001 to current day at my parent’s address alongside all the overseas addresses for 10 years. I have to get a letter from my dentist as I’ve regularly attended since 2001 plus another proof of address (bank statement within 3 months). You also need a non family endorser to confirm they can identity you by photo who can be a friend but must be under a certain profession, thankfully ‘teacher’ is included in this list. I feel like I never want to apply for a new job EVER again! I don’t know how a British expat with no UK address connection is supposed to apply when they only seem to accept UK documentation.
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  16. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    It seems that the rules have been tightened up a bit since Mr and Mrs H came to China. You can read about some of our misadventures on my blog, www.bulgariawithnoodles.blogspot.com
  17. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    They certainly have Hippo. I first moved to China 3.5 years ago and am currently having a gap year to now find the changes! That makes it all the more frustrating.
  18. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Having lots of big, red official-looking STAMPS on your bits of paper usually works wonders in China, but alas sometimes even some red stamps are not enough. My mind goes back to a very early (and dark) morning in Bulgaria, when I got into line outside the Chinese Embassy in Sofia. It was 5.30am, so there were already sixteen people in front of me in the queue.
    Teachallover likes this.
  19. rickpat

    rickpat New commenter

    Is this request for a police check from a third country a Chinese Govt requirement or is it your employer who wants this?

    I can't find anything on Disclosure Scotland's site that says nobody south of the border entertained. Where did you hear this?

    What i did see was "If you can't apply online or live outside the UK, you can apply using a paper form."

    Dont really understand why those of us living overseas can't appply online and obviously would make life easier.

    Yeah, it seems life is getting harder for those of us from the UK who have no base there, but are still need to get paperwork in order to gain employment and support ourselves. Surely as people move around the planet more, it should be a consideration, but seems not.
  20. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    After looking on gov.uk at respectable organizations that give you a police check I read about the changed legislation from 1 January 2018 on the first page of their websites. After researching, I believe a ACRO police certificate is the best for individuals who have lived in UK to get around all the proofs of address IF you can put a simultaneous second address, such as, your parents, as you have lived in UK during changes of workplaces/countries/holidays etc over a long period of time. The third country check for more than 1 year abroad, according to my HR, is a requirement for the visa. I just read that the Spanish criminal check has also changed involving an option for apostille legalisation and an separate check for those working with children.

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