How Do You Manage Support Documents for Chinese Work Visa Applications?

For any foreigner who wants to do business in China, successfully obtaining a Chinese work visa is essential. As one of the world’s largest economies that does business with companies worldwide, it’s no wonder that an increasing number of people are looking to conduct business in China.


Indeed, China welcomes visitors from all over the world — including many business visitors — but applying for a temporary work permit for China isn’t necessarily easy or straightforward, especially when it comes to figuring out what underlying evidence and documentation you need, what format that documentation should be in, and so on.


So in this article we wanted to highlight several popular visas available for short-term business stays in China and share helpful tips about properly handling the documents and evidence required for the visa applications to help make sure that you have everything taken care of before submitting your paperwork.


What are some of the work visas available for China?

Getting the right work visa is necessary for those looking to move to China for business. To apply, you are typically required to have an offer from a business or institution in advance of your travel as well as that business or institution’s registration and business license. There used to be a special invitation letter requirement, but that requirement has been waived as of June 6, 2022. Applicants also require a medical and police background check and need to promptly register at the Public Security Bureau (PSB) once they arrive in China.


Those who successfully secure a Chinese work visa can remain in the country for as long as the duration of their work or study lasts, with a multiple entry system allowing them to leave and reenter the country while their visa is valid without issue. 


China uses a letter system for their visas, which range from student to tourist visas as well as work permits. The most common types of Chinese visas for business include:


  • Z visa: This popular multi-entry visa allows individuals to work in China for longer than six months.

  • M visa: Allows short-term trips, for commercial and trade activities, or for competitions, for stays of 30 to 60 days.

  • J1 or J2 visa: This visa is primarily for foreign journalists, and grants leave for the specific period they need to work.

While similar to other countries’ work permits in many ways, Chinese visas require very specific documentation that must be prepared and legalized correctly. This process can be a long and complex one, and may be frustrating for anyone who isn’t familiar with the process or used to dealing with the Chinese consulate. The chances of making a small error resulting in a visa denial are high, and small errors can lead to major issues.

Additionally, work visa applications also tend to require documentation that has to be obtained from several agencies. Procuring these documents and making sure they are prepared correctly takes coordination, time and attention to detail.


How do you deal with documents needed for a Chinese work visa

Chinese work visas require very specific documentation. Some of these are personal documents, such as passport copies and filled-out applications. However, other supporting documents need to be procured from various places, and, by all accounts, should be notarized and authenticated or certified. These documents may also need to be officially translated as well — in this case into Mandarin Chinese — and the translations should also be certified. 


Supporting documents for the Chinese work visa will typically include:


Police records

You will need to provide a background check report that has been notarized and authenticated by a Chinese embassy or consulate. While a local background check is sometimes accepted, you will likely need a more in-depth search, such as an FBI or other federal agency background check.


Medical test certificates

Chinese work permits require that you undergo a thorough medical check carried out by an authorized facility. It’s important that you go to a health centre that is used to providing medical checks for Chinese work visas as their requirements can be quite specific. This health certificate will need to be legalized and submitted along with your application, and it’s important that you take the original medical certificates with you to China or you may be required to undergo another medical check once you arrive. 


Birth and marriage certificates

If you are traveling to China with your family, you may need to provide extra documentation to prove that familial relationship. Any marriage license and birth certificates required should be original copies procured from the local office, civil register or other official entity and should also need to be notarized, legalized and if needed, translated.


Diploma or other educational certificates

You will also typically need to provide proof of education for most Chinese work visas. To do, you need to provide an original copy of your diploma or other educational certificate, and if the diploma or certificate was not originally received in China, then a copy will also need to be translated, notarized, and authenticated. 


Ultimately, depending on the type of visa you’re applying for and the particular facts of your case, you may need even more documents as part of your Chinese work visa application process. And as you read in this article so far, that means contacting everyone from police stations to health clinics to university offices and local registers for marriage and birth certificates. Coordinating with these offices and agencies for applicants who have never done it before can be complicated, and ensuring that document translation and legalization happens correctly adds to the challenge.


Getting expert help from someone who understands the Chinese work visa application process and all the underlying document procurement, legalization, and translation, is a must. That’s where LEX Documents comes in.


Lex Documents can help with Chinese work visa documentation

At LEX Documents, we offer services ranging from visa applications and processing to document procurement, legalization, and translation. We’re have experience working with Chinese work visa applications and can help make the process as smooth and efficient as possible – from strategizing what documents are needed to procuring those documents in a timely fashion to translating, legalizing and certifying those documents as well.


Whatever your needs are with respect to getting a Chinese work visa, we offer a customized service with a single point of contact to navigate the complex Chinese bureaucratic systems quickly, including if you need an immigration partner in your country of origin. Reach out to us to find out how our globally connected service can help you with your international documentation and Chinese work visa application!

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