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Your 5 Step Guide to China

How to Apply for a China Teaching Visa: Step-by-Step Guide

The China Z Visa application process may seem overwhelming at first, but, in reality, it’s quite straightforward, you just have to make sure you have everything in place.

Your 5 -step guide to securing that visa? Right here!

Step 1 – Obtain your China Work Permit Notice

Once you have a job offer in place, your prospective employer will provide you with a job invitation letter. You can apply for a notice to secure a work permit with this. You can get the relevant application form and whatever other documents are needed directly from your employer, who’ll also guide you through the submission process. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to do this step BEFORE travelling to China.

On your end, you will need:

A copy of your passport

A copy of your authenticated qualifications as detailed above (Degree & TEFL)

2 recent passport photos as per the China Visa requirement

Your clear Criminal Background Check certificate

Step 2 – Get your PU letter


The Chinese Government reintroduced it in March 2020.

The PU letter is a formal invitation document that states you have been vetted and are allowed to apply for a working visa. You won’t be the one applying for it – that job sits on the shoulders of your prospective employer. However, you will need to give them your China Work Permit Notice (see Step 1) so they can apply on your behalf. That’s why you’ll need to get that first!

There’s nothing complicated about getting a PU letter but, unfortunately, it can add weeks to the whole visa application process.

This is because businesses in China who wish to employ foreigners (schools included) must apply for a permit.

If Chinese residency permits are still valid, for example. In that case, they are exempt from needing a PU letter, and their entry into the country is facilitated.


Step 3 – Apply for your Working Z-Class Visa

Yet another step to do before travelling to China.

Your China work visa application must be handed in at your nearest visa centre.

Visa centres have not accepted walk-ins for a couple of years now, so you need to make an online appointment. Making an appointment is a two-step process.

Here’s what you do:

Fill in your online visa application form through the COVA (Chinese Online Visa Application) website.

Please book an appointment online; we can help you with that.

Given there are only so many appointments available daily, it can take up to a month to find a suitable slot – prepare for a possible delay!

Here are the docs you will need:

Your Work Permit Notice

Your PU letter

Your passport, scanned

Passport photo, scanned


Step 4 – Receive your Z-Class Visa and double-check it carefully

Once you get your passport back, study your new visa very carefully. It’s not all that rare to be granted a visa other than the one you have applied for.

The visa will detail the entry date and length of stay, the type of visa (Z !) and anything else you need to know.

Step 5 – Pre Travel Covid Tests

From 02 September 2021, The Chinese Embassy in the UK requires that people travelling from the UK to China should take a Covid-19 PCR test seven (7) days before departure (“First PCR Test”). They must also complete a “Self Health Monitoring Form” (Download the form here) that records daily temperature, symptoms and close contact information for seven days. In addition, from 28 March 2022, one of the Dual PCR tests can be done 48hrs before departure, and the other needs to be 12hrs before departure.


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