Today, more and more people from Western countries are relocating to China. Some are going there to study, while others are interested in working in China. But why are so many Westerners moving to China? The answer is quite simple. China is the new land of opportunities. For instance, if you work in China, teaching English, you will enjoy a decent salary with attractive benefits such as vacation allowances, house allowances and more.

China has the fastest growing economy in the world, which means that foreigners living and working in China have many options with regards to finding employment. The other reason as to why the number of foreign workers in China has increased is because the Chinese government has not set very high standards for hiring people. For example, you will find that most Americans who live and work in China as English teachers don’t have a Bachelor’s degree. The only teaching institutes that require you to have a degree are the Universities.

what foreign workers need to know

What is a Z-VISA?

The Z-VISA is the working in China visa. In other words, if you’re a foreigner, and you want a paid job in China for pay, you must have a Z-VISA. The working visa is granted when both the employer and employee have met certain requirements. First of all the organisation willing to hire you must be accredited to employ foreigners. Secondly, you must meet the requirements as a foreign expert, and your employer must obtain a certificate stating that you comply with all the rules set. The basic requirements for getting a working a Chinese working visa are:

· A passport with a photocopy of your name page. The passport must be valid for at least 12 months.
· A completed VISA application form.
· An invitation letter issued by your employer.
· A work permit.

It’s important to note that the Z-VISA is only valid for 30 days from your date of arrival. During this period, you or your employer must find you a Temporary Residence Permit which will cover the duration of your contract (a minimum of 90 days and a maximum of 5 years).

Living and working in China as a foreigner

Worldwide, there are two countries whose cultures have a historical depth and confidence. Those countries are China and India. Both of these countries attract immigrants in a different way.

Westerners who are planning to move to China, this is what you should know.

You must choose your conversational topics carefully: in Western countries, it’s normal for one to criticise government policies and politicians behind them. In China, this isn’t the case. If you criticise the Chinese government, you might end up losing your job or an important business contract.

Know which city is for you: if you want to have an expensive lifestyle, move to one of the major cities such as Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. You will find more Westerners and American-Chinese restaurants catering for Westerners in these big cities. Unfortunately, however, you will not experience the real Chinese culture in these smaller urban areas.

On the other hand, if you want a cheap lifestyle, look for an apartment in Chengdu. There aren’t many foreigners in small cities, and you might experience a cultural shock in these less populated cities. However, don’t be shy, go out and have some fun. The secret to living and working in China is being adventurous. Once you’ve settled down, get out and explore your city, and then the country. Understand where you live. Exploring other cities too, such as Yunnan, Tibet, Nanjing and more will open your mind to new business ideas.

what foreign workers need to know

Please learn Mandarin

You don’t have to how to speak the language fluently; just the basics will make it easier for you to interact with workmates and you’ll have an upper hand on your on other Westerners who don’t understand Mandarin during job interviews. Mandarin isn’t that difficult.

Teaching English in China as a foreigner

If you’re considering teaching English in China, you are on the right path. China is the most populated country in the world, and the good news is that it needs hundreds of native-English teachers. You don’t have to be a native English speaker to teach English in China.

Here are the minimum requirements:

· At least two years work experience in teaching English.
· A Bachelor’s degree.
· A TEFL certification with at least 120 hours of training.

The salary of an English teacher in China will vary depending on the institute, the teaching level and city. For instance, teachers in Shanghai get paid more than the ones in Chengdu, but the qualifications for teaching English in Chengdu are lower than those of Shanghai. Some schools will also accept foreigners who don’t own a degree or TEFL certificate.

Other jobs available in China for foreigners

Unlike teaching English jobs, other jobs available in China for foreigners will sometimes require you to understand some Mandarin. The most popular jobs include:

· IT jobs.
· Sales jobs – marketing, real estate, finance and more.
· Engineering and technical jobs.
· Creative field jobs
· High-level management jobs.

There are also fantastic hotel jobs in China for foreigners, and they pay well. For instance, if you’re lucky enough to get a job in a 4 or 5 star hotel such as Hotel Shenzhen, you will have the best time in China.

How to find a job in China

Finding a job in China has proved to be very easy for foreigners. However, you need to use the proper channels when looking for one.
Take advantage of the Internet. Many organisations in China post job vacancies on their online. To increase your chances of getting hired, use English-speaking websites such as LaowaiCareers.

Finding a job through internships in China

If you go for an internship in China, you will have a better chance of getting employed in a public institution or the company itself.


To avoid breaking any laws, ensure that you have a working in China visa before leaving your country. Once in China, you’ll realise that there are many jobs available for foreigners. You’ll never be broke.

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