Work visas & work
permits in China.

If you are a professional who wants to work in China or a business in China wanting to hire foreign employees, our immigration team can help you get the work visa and work permit quickly and easily.

Work visas & work permits in China

What is a work visa?

A China work visa, or Z-visa, is issued to foreigners who are going to work in China full-time. Acclime’s dedicated immigration team works with the applicant to ensure all paperwork is in order before the employee applies at a Chinese embassy, consulate, or Chinese Visa Application Center.

The visa itself is valid for single entry and a 30-day stay in China, and upon arrival we make sure our clients’ employee scan smoothly process this entry visa and take all steps necessary to obtain their residence permit.

What is a work permit?

A China work permit, or license, is required by all foreigners seeking work in China and an application for one is a prerequisite for obtaining a work visa (Z). Our immigration team works with the employer and employee to prepare and submit the application in China.

We engage the officials through the application process and forward the relevant documents when completed. Pre-approval of the work permit, a “Letter of Z Visa Notification,” is needed for the work visa application, and the application may then continue once the employee arrives in China. The entire process often takes four to six weeks.

Work permit in numbers.

1 year*

Length of stay

2 months

Application process

* The duration is dependent on the Tier (A, B or C) and previous working permits

Eligibility criteria

Who is eligible for a work permit?

Professionals who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply for a work permit in China:
  • Have a no criminal record
  • Have a good education background, usually a first-level university degree in the relevant field of work
  • Have an official employment contract with an employer capable of obtaining an Employment License
  • Are offered a remuneration package comparable with the prevailing market level for professionals in China
In general, the Labor & Social Security Bureau will look at the following conditions when approving work permit applications:
  • The applicant can prove that he has outstanding experience and qualifications for the position and that the vacancy cannot be filled readily by local citizens
  • Supporting documents and an explanation from the sponsoring company stating why they cannot fill the post with local talent
  • The company has demonstrated commitment to doing business in China
Application documents

What you will need to apply.

A proper work visa application should contain the following documents provided by the employee:

  • Completed China Work Visa application form
  • Letter of Z Visa Notification from employer
  • A passport with at least six months validity and multiple blank pages
  • A recent photo in the required size
Application process

Taking care of the whole application process from start to finish.

Pre-application advice

Pre-application advice on obtaining the China work permit required to obtain the work visa (Z) and employee eligibility.

Application tracking

Filing and tracking the status of work permit and visa applications.

Document issuance

Arranging for issuance of work permit and other documents required for the extension of stay under the temporary residence permit.

Visa renewals

Handling renewal and extension of work permit and temporary residence permit before they expire.

How to apply for a China work visa.

We work with your employer to process the work permit prior to your arrival for work, which usually takes about two weeks.

Once we have completed the paperwork with your employer and sent you the Letter of Z Visa Notification, you will need to apply at the nearest China Visa Application Center or, if your country does not have one, at your nearest Chinese embassy.

You should apply for your visa approximately one month prior to your entry into China. Visas have a limited validity, so do not apply too early.

It usually takes four working days to process the application.

Ready to get started?

Our dedicated immigration team can process your visa application quickly and reliably.

Non-binding & confidential
Not sure where to begin?

Schedule a free 30-minute consultation
on starting & managing your company
in China.

+86 21 6173 8270 (SH)

We are open Monday – Friday
9:30 am – 7 pm (UTC+8)

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