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Documents needed for move to China

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by jessbin, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. jessbin

    jessbin New commenter

    Well, I knew the process would be a bit daunting and confusing and so far it has lived up to my expectations! I know there's been a few threads that cover the difficulties associated with visas and document gathering but I wonder if some kind souls out there could clarify a couple of things:
    *Medical check - I've found a company in London that will do this and the school will reimburse on arrival BUT my question is whether or not this check needs to be under six months old on arrival in China? E.g. Do I need to wait until March to get this done and signed if I am arriving in China at the beginning of Aug? I've contacted my school who have said that I can get it done anytime, that there are no time limits on the medical, but I've looked at a friend's documentation from another school which says that they should not have it done until later to make it under six months. Any advice?

    *DBS check - I am right in thinking that this document does definitely need to be under six months old from the time I arrive in China? In which case I do have to wait until March to get this done?

    *Marriage certs/birth certs - My husband and myself both have contracts in the same school but have one child as a dependant. Does the marriage cert need to be legalised etc before sending off? Does the birth cert of our child need to be legalised etc before sending off?

    Any light shed onto all/some of the above would be very much appreciated and good luck to all other newbies having the same headaches.
    jiveannie likes this.
  2. edmundstavros

    edmundstavros New commenter

    I might be wrong here, but it is my understanding that the DBS check has to be issued within six months of when your school applies for your visa in china, i.e. when you send it to them and they take it to the government in order to get your invitation letter / work permit. Not when you actually enter the country.

    According to the visaforchina website, all you need to take to the Chinese embassy to get the actual visa is your passport, application forms and declaration letter, and the invitation letter / work permit your school sends you.

    My school is encouraging us to get everything sorted asap, and definitely hasn't mentioned having to wait until March.

    But happy to be corrected if I am wrong as this is something I need to get sorted too!
    loislane1 likes this.
  3. Hz101

    Hz101 New commenter

    Hi Jessbin,

    I did my visa for China last year just before I moved out to Hangzhou. Im hoping my experience will help clarify some of your questions.
    * Medical check. Mine had to be within six months of moving to China for the school to clear it. This step is pretty nonsense as 90% of people have to redo it in China once they arrive. However, for the school to give you your invite letter this is a requirement.
    * DBS. This must be valid within six months of you moving to China. When I checked mine it was out of date and my school would not accept it. I had to pay my current school to issue a new one for me. Do this asap if out of date as it can take weeks to arrive depending on how busy they are.
    * Marriage and birth certificates. Yes all will need to be certified as all of you are moving, you will also need your degree certificate and DBS certified. This can take ages so start it asap. Firstly take all the documents to a notary who will check they are legit. Then you have to send them to the FCO who checks the notary is legit. Finally send all of the documents to the Chinese embassy to have it stamped and cleared. Once this is all done, you will most likely need to send all of the paperwork to your school in China who will then send it back with a letter of employment invitation.
    You will then need to make an appointment at the visa centre and take everything with you, including recent passport photos, your passport and a couple of other docs (I forget). They will take your fingerprints and keep your passport for around 5 days. You will then collect it with your work visa attached.

    Its a long and pricey process. In total it took me about 6 weeks and cost around £1200 (I'm single with no dependents). However, you should get all the money reimbursed once you arrive.
    jiveannie likes this.
  4. spanboy

    spanboy Occasional commenter

    If I were you, I would email your school with ALL these questions and get their answers in writing. I say this, as when I was going through all this a couple of years back I was getting different answers/opinions (all in good faith) due to different regions wanting different things - some peeps didn't need an original of a certain document, others did; some needed a FULL medical, others only needed certain parts of it etc etc. Your school will/should know what is required for their province or city which may differ from another school elsewhere.

    Chinese regulations are changing constantly and are difficult to keep up with, even for schools' HR teams. Mistakes in producing the correct documentation can be costly in time and money - better to get it from the horse's mouth from the outset, then if there are any slip ups you'll have done your best to comply with their requests.
    loislane1 and edmundstavros like this.
  5. shazzamac

    shazzamac New commenter

    When I arrived, anyone with a medical under 6 months only needed the blood test, everyone else needed the xray etc all over again.
  6. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Email the school and follow their instructions as then they have to sort out any problems that occur thereafter.

    The regulations are changing rapidly in China at the moment and what happens in Shanghai is different to the second and third tier areas.

    But you can imagine that international schools in China can not attract enough staff to fill all the jobs on offer. Add to the age limit now of 60 in Shanghai and tax changes coming along in 2 years, it not as attractive as it use to be.
  7. jiveannie

    jiveannie New commenter

    I am just starting the process one year after you!
    Did it all work out OK?
    Any top tips?
    Im still trying to find out where to get the medical done. Did you have to attach the chest X-ray or did the doctor just sign to say normal?

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