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Teachers returning to China

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by amysdad, Jul 20, 2020.

  1. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    With the first set of teachers getting their invitation letters (at least in Beijing) it might be helpful to have a thread where we can share experiences, ask about process, etc. So post away.....
    TusitalaH, suem75 and lpbray like this.
  2. lpbray

    lpbray New commenter

    Great idea! I am feeling much more hopeful now that letters and notarisation is all in in the process of being completed. I am now racking my brain as to how to get my partner out with me also....
  3. suem75

    suem75 Occasional commenter

    Thank you for starting this. My school lodged the requests on our behalf late June / first week of July, and have said it'll take up to four weeks before we hear anything further.

    Still a case of "hurry up and wait", but at least there's a process going on.
  4. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    It's a small glimmer of hope to cling onto right now in these trying times.
    How much is a flight from UK to China right now?
  5. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    To help my fellow teachers I will post what information I have with regard to Shanghai here.

    Seriously if you are out of China and think you are starting a new job here in Shanghai in September, I would have a plan B, C and at least D in place.

    If you left Shanghai before the 20th of March 2020 your visa has been cancelled and will need to be renewed before you can re-enter. BUT this is only for "working" teachers and no dependent's visa's are been processed at this time in Shanghai. So if you have a following spouse and children you will have to consider leaving them behind with no time scale as to when they will be able to join you.

    The visa process seems to be starting with school Directors and Principals and then moving down the food chain. The number of captains that jumped first from sinking ships is quiet amazing here in Shanghai.

    The number of flights into Shanghai is still restricted till the middle of October, so getting a replacement/new visa is only the start of process. The only charter flights allowed at the moment are taking expats out of China. The German Chamber of Commerce did arrange one flight in but it had people infected with the C19 virus and everyone was locked up for two weeks and no more charter flights in have been arranged.

    The Pandemic might be over here in Shanghai but there is now an outbreak of politics gripping the country, this may well have a greater impact on the number of expats returning to China.
    suem75 likes this.
  6. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

  7. lpbray

    lpbray New commenter

    I've been following the news every day too. Both these articles are from May and June though so will keep thinking positively since we are now nearly in August. My school personally keep in touch with us regularly and are working closely with the local government on invitation letters so that we can fly.
  8. lpbray

    lpbray New commenter

  9. shazzamac

    shazzamac New commenter

  10. lpbray

    lpbray New commenter

  11. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
    lpbray likes this.
  12. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Foreigners entering freely is some way off - just as it is in many other countries. What today's announcement could be is preparation for flights from countries around China, eg Thailand or Vietnam, where COVID is largely controlled. The link to the official announcement is here. It's a slightly more convoluted approach for foreigners v Chinese because we can't use the health app, and means a second or third trip to the consulate, but not impossible.

    Beijing is allowing dependants back - where possible, schools are trying to have them in the same 'wave' but if not possible then they tend to follow in the next one. I know of one HS principal who returned with their non-teaching spouse and two kids, as well as my own case.

    And on flights - Air France were allowed to add a second flight to Shanghai via Seoul this week, so while the CAAC said they wouldn't review this before October, in practice it looks like they might be relaxing a bit.
    lpbray likes this.
  13. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

  14. lpbray

    lpbray New commenter

  15. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I know some school owners in China are members of the “Billionaires Club” and as such give free unicorns to all their teachers to ride to work on, but the OP is asking for hard facts and not conjecture. What one school can do as a “one off” to get staff and dependent's back into China is of no use to majority of the 100s of teachers wanting reliable information on returning to the country.

    Information on what one school can do is not the same value as what 1000 schools can do to get staff into China. Just because one school could give me a work and residence visa for 6 years didn’t actually mean that the school I work for existed compared to the other 252 educational establishments in the city.

    Lets keep this thread populated with information that can actually be referenced.
  16. lpbray

    lpbray New commenter

    This is all really useful. I'm so glad you posted this here so we can share experiences as at times it can feel really overwhelming. Thank you @amysdad, will be posting with updates as and when we have them :)
  17. TusitalaH

    TusitalaH New commenter

    I also know of a member of staff, senior leadership but not head teacher, who is returning with dependents. From the school in this article. https://www.beijing-kids.com/blog/2020/07/16/group-international-teachers-allowed-return/

    While across-the-board, fully transferable, verifiable facts are of course preferable, I don’t think that means anecdotal evidence is worthless or even unhelpful. At this crazy time I’m grateful for any information, be it just a one-off case or official policy.

    What may begin as preferential treatment for billionaires can still be an indication for what policy changes may be coming down the line. Thanks for the updates @amysdad , please keep us posted!
  18. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Also remember that different cities will do things differently - so Beijing might be more sympathetic to dependants coming, while Shanghai is less so.
  19. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

  20. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    This is only about teachers I know who work in Shanghai, other parts of China may be different. Teachers I know who have been trapped outside of Shanghai have just submitted their paper work to London consulate for an entry visa for themselves and dependants. The teachers are currently employed in two international schools and one bilingual establishment in the city.

    Shanghai Government have just eased the wording on the PU Letter that removes the words HUGE and NECESSARY from the application, replaced with NORMAL BUSINESS ACTIVITIES to describe applicants. What impact this will have on current visa application process is difficult to say at the moment. Still looking like the letter of application is taking 20 working days for processing. Still lots of steps in the process, firstly your Foreign Work Permit has to be valid before you can complete the PU Letter. No information on how you can complete the CV19 nucleic test in the UK or even if their will be any additional flights into China.

    Sorry no information on New Teachers entering Shanghai for the first time.

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